When it comes to planning a family vacation, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. And expenses can add up quickly when you’re on a trip but you don’t have to break the bank every time you travel. Here are some simple ways to save money on your next family vacation.
Flying or Driving?
One of the biggest decisions is how you’re going to get there. Are you going to fly or drive? There are a few situations in which you don’t have the option to fly or drive. And we’ve been there too but if you have the option to drive, compare your costs and see. There’s been a few times when I thought it would be cheaper to drive but last-minute deals with airlines made flying the more cost-effective option.
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The cost of airfare, gas, food and lodging can all add up, so it’s important to compare the costs before making a decision. Flying might cost more than driving if you’re just looking at the cost of gas. But if you need to stop for the night, flying might be the better option.
The cost of airfare will vary depending on the time of year and the destination. It’s generally cheaper to fly during the off-season and to fly into smaller airports. You can also save money by booking your flights in advance. The cost of gas will also vary depending on the price of gas at the time of travel and the distance you’ll be driving. If you’re driving a long distance, it’s important to factor in the cost of tolls as well.
PRO TIP: Flight offers can really help when it comes to saving money. It can help you save money, and some offers can even provide you with a little cash back. Know the best time to buy tickets, and of course, join an airline miles program so you can save on flights in the future!
Save money on lodging
And once you’ve decided on your mode of transportation, where are you going to stay? Is your budget going to allow for a hotel, or will you have to look into other options like Airbnbs or hostels?
When it comes to finding lodging for your next family vacation, there are a number of things you can do to save money. First, consider staying in a rental like an Airbnb instead of a hotel. Airbnbs are often cheaper than hotels, and they can offer a more unique and personal experience. And if you’re able to find a place with a kitchen, you can save money by having meals at “home” instead of eating out. Airbnbs and hostels can be cheaper than hotels, but they may not have all the same amenities.
If you prefer to stay at a hotel, look for those that offer free breakfast or other amenities. Another way to save money on lodging is to book your stay during off-peak times when rates are typically lower. You’ll also want to search online for coupons or promo codes before booking your stay. take advantage of discounts you might be eligible (like an AARP or Veterans discount) for and ask about any promotions.
PRO TIP: Did you know that there is no age limit or minimum for an AARP membership? If you travel often, consider getting an AARP membership!
Hotels can be expensive, but there are often discounts available if you book in advance or join a hotel loyalty program. We tend to stay with the same family of hotels when we travel so that we can build up points. Many hotel loyalty programs offer perks like free breakfasts and discounted rates.
Eating on a budget while on vacation
Another big expense on a trip is food. You’ll need to factor in the cost of meals for everyone in the family, as well as any snacks or drinks you might want to buy while on vacation. When it comes to food, one of the biggest vacation expenses can be eating out at restaurants.
To save money, try packing your own snacks and meals whenever possible. This will help you avoid spending money on expensive convenience foods. If you do eat out, try to research restaurants in advance so you can find ones that fit your budget. Avoiding touristy areas is another great way to save money. These areas usually have inflated prices and crappy service so opt for something more local and you’ll have a better experience.
Another way to save money on food while on vacation is to take advantage of happy hour specials. Many restaurants offer discounted prices on food and drinks during certain hours. By planning ahead and taking advantage of these specials, you can save money on your next vacation.
Finding free or low-cost things to do with the family
When planning a vacation you can’t forget about the activities! You’ll want to make sure there are plenty of things for everyone to do, without breaking the bank. And the good news is that there are plenty of ways to entertain the family without spending a lot of money.
Many towns and cities have free or low-cost museums, parks, and historical sites that make for great day trips. Another option is to look for free or low-cost events happening in the area. These could include concerts, farmers’ markets, or festivals. If you’re looking for something more active, take a hike or go for a bike ride in a nearby park.
You can also pack a picnic lunch and enjoy some time outdoors for a fun way to spend the day. By doing a little research ahead of time, you can find plenty of fun things to do that won’t break the bank.
Some of the best memories with family most of us have are from family vacations. Planning a vacation can be expensive but there are plenty of ways you can stretch your money. Don’t think that your next vacation is out of budget! With these tips, your family can have fun and travel without the expensive price tag.