Planning the perfect family vacation takes some serious strategy. Even if every little detail is planned out and all your “I’s” are dotted and all your “t’s” are crossed, will you truly ever have an error-free vacation?
When there are little ones involved, sometimes the best way to plan for a family trip is to plan for the unexpected. Something can go wrong at any moment, but as long as you’re prepared for the worst, you’ll know how to make the best of it.
To help ease vacation-planning stress, parents can save money by following a few family vacation budgeting tips. While on vacation, you’ll want to make the most of it. Don’t let costly vacation expenses keep you from enjoying this special time.
Continue reading below for several ways to save money without taking away from a wonderful family trip!
1. Choose Non-Peak Dates
Knowing when to travel will save you a ton of money when planning your family vacation. Non-peak dates will save you airfare costs, hotel costs, and more. It’s common for most families to want to travel during the summer or weekends.
School is out, offices are closed, and it’s the best time to get away. It’s also the most expensive time to get away. When traveling on the weekends or during the summer, travel costs are higher.
To save money, choose non-peak dates. Leave on a Thursday and come back on a Monday and travel during the school year for the cheapest prices.
2. Stay Outside Large Cities
The most expensive destinations are large tourist areas. If you can book your stay in an area outside of large cities or tourist areas, then you’ll save. Another good idea is to plan your vacation for a destination that isn’t a tourist area in general.
You might feel that the only fun family vacations happen at Disneyland or other theme parks, but you can have a great time with the family in less tourist populated areas. Consider planning a beach getaway or explore what hidden natural attractions your city might have.
3. Book Last Minute or in Advanced
Booking at least 30 days in advance could land you some amazing savings. Many airlines, hotels, and vacation packages will provide discounts to those who book in advance. Booking your vacation necessities last minute could also help save you money.
The only downfall with this option is that you’ll have to put off knowing exact dates and vacation plans until right before it’s time to leave. It’s more difficult to travel this way, which is why it’s cheaper.
If you’re able to travel and plan last minute, then it’s a great option, but it’s also important to keep in mind that this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find a cheaper price.
4. Rent a Place With a Kitchen
Food can get expensive whether you’re on vacation or not. When vacationing with the family, though, consider saving money on food by renting a place with a kitchen. Hotels, motels, Air B&Bs, and other vacation rentals usually have options that include kitchens.
If you find a place with a kitchen, then you can bring your own snacks and food to cook while there. Purchasing food at the grocery store nearby and cooking for your family at least a few nights while there is a sure way to save.
5. Discover the Best Deals
All of the airlines you’re using, hotels you’re booking, and travel companies you’re working with offer deals and discounts if you know where to find them. A lot of these deals can be found on their social media pages. Checking out their social media would be a good starting point.
If any of these companies have mobile apps to download, then that’s another good place to look for deals. When prompted to sign up for an email newsletter, be sure to do so because you’ll receive deals and discounts via email as well.
Plan to do this at least 6 months before traveling to ensure you find a good amount of deals for each company. You can also stock up in advance on supplies that you’ll need while there rather than buying them while on vacation.
For example, take a few moments to find the best diaper deals, beach toy deals, and more now and put them aside to last your little ones throughout the entire vacation.
6. Look into Taxi Services vs Car Rentals
If you’re flying to your destination and will need a means of transportation upon arrival, consider looking into taxi services before deciding to rent a vehicle. Using a taxi service like Uber or Lyft could be cheaper than what your daily rental fee plus cost to park your car would be.
It’s also nice to have a service drive you around while on vacation so you won’t have to worry about having a few glasses of wine at dinner one night.
7. Research Free Things to Do
Young children don’t need the most expensive vacation packages to have fun. They’ll enjoy spending time with you at a new place and having a few days off from daycare or school. Don’t feel obligated to purchase expensive theme park tickets to appease them.
Instead, research what free things there are to do in the neighborhood. You’ll be surprised by how many natural parks, landmarks, and other free but fun things there are to see and do.
Parents Can Save Money When Using These Tips!
Parents can save money while traveling by keeping these tips in mind. Use these tips listed above to create a fun yet budget-friendly family vacation.
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