Looking for a family vacation without spending too much money? We share these tips for planning your family travels on a budget with ease.
Get ready for endless fun, exciting adventures, inevitable fights, and lots and lots of expenses. Yes, traveling with kids is not only awesome but is also mind-bogglingly expensive. There are tons of ways to cut corners. And we know quite a few of them. So get your pen and paper ready and start jotting down 10 ways you can save money while traveling with your family.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON FAMILY VACATIONS
Book Everything in Advance
If you already have eyes on a certain destination – a certain hotel and flight even – make sure to book it all early. The trick is simple – the closer you get to your vacations, the more expensive everything becomes. So if you want to save on ticket flights and accommodation rates, book at least 30 days in advance.
Make Your Own ID Photos
Do you remember how much an ID photo costs at CVS or Walmart? It’s $14.00 per person. And how many family members do you have? Yes, it all adds up to a pretty sizable sum. Cut the expenses here as well by making your own passport or visa photos. All you need is a specialized program. Whether you go with desktop software or an online service – you’ll only have to pay once. A modest price of $39.95 for a convenient passport photo maker doesn’t seem like much, since you’ll be able to use it to make IDs for any need and any trip.
Try Booking Tours
Consider getting a guided tour. First of all, you will be free of the burden of booking everything yourself. Besides, the cost of a package is usually a lot lower than all your potential expenses combined. Besides, tours come in a variety of types, so you can, for instance, book a quiet family tour or a more exciting option – depending on your kids’ ages.
Limit Dining Out
One of the pleasures of vacations is local food. Street vendors, seaside cafes, and luxurious restaurants are nice for sure, but also expensive as heck. Here’s a simple solution – rent a palace with a kitchen. This way you can shop at local markets, get the freshest ingredients and cook the food yourself. While it might not sound like a bona fide vacation, since you’ll be stuck in a kitchen for some time, at least you’ll keep your budget safe.
Stay Outside City Limits
Sometimes a little distance from the city center makes all the difference. The rent is suddenly cheaper, food is suddenly more affordable. The reason is simple – you are far from the main tourist attractions. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to see them. Just take public transport to see the sights and have lots of fun, then come back to your quiet and affordable accommodations.
Don’t Get a Rental Car
Rental fees, parking free, gas, tickets – should we go on? Granted, a rental car is convenient, but so are bicycles, public transport, taxis, and airport shuttles. And don’t forget about old-fashioned walking – those fannies aren’t getting tones by themselves!
Be Reasonable When Packing
Are you sure you can afford luggage fees? If so, skip this tip. If not – consider packing light. Start packing by making a list of all the things you’ll need. Check the weather at your destination to see if you need to pack warmer clothing. Put the bigger shoes on, pack the lighter ones. Put your creams and lotions into travel-size vials. Put as much as you can – and are allowed to -to your carry-on.
Don’t Waste Money on Souvenirs
Are you sure you want that fridge magnet? Or that seashell necklace? Instead of buying literal junk, try to remember your destination in other ways. Take lots of pictures, eat street food, chat with natives, and dance to local music. All the money you don’t spend on souvenirs can go to your activities budget.
Pick the Right Time to Travel
It’s better to go on vacation in the off-season. You’ll get lower rates on everything – hotels, flights, rental cars, etc. Besides, there will be fewer people wherever you’re going. If choosing the off-season is not an option, consider shifting your flight dates. The thing is that on certain days of the week flight tickets cost less. You can learn this data by installing apps that scan plain ticker rates.
Rent Out Your Place
This is not a way to save per se, but rather a way to earn a bit of money. Consider renting out your house or apartment through Airbnb. You’ll easily get enough offers to make sure that you cover some of your expenses. If you are worried about the mess other people might leave at your place, just get a cleaning service to fix it all up.