Summer is finally here and everyone at my house is ready for a vacation!!! If you’re anything like my family, you’re probably ready for a vacation too! I thought I’d share some tips for cutting down on expenses while still enjoying a wonderful vacation.
If you could travel anywhere with your family, where would you go? What is holding you back? One of the main responses is probably money. Trips are expensive. Traveling with your family makes the price go up even more. But, there are ways to get around that with a bit of planning and creativity.
Where will you go this year? Have a list of places you would like to visit with the family. An alternative to a faraway destination is exploring your own area. If you go that route, here are some great staycation ideas. You can even break it up into several weekend trips instead of one week-long excursion. Children will think that they are getting a treat every week.
Plan an itinerary that includes seeing the sights as well as spending quality time together. Instead of eating out every night, plan picnics in the park. Teach kids about the cities you visit by using public transportation to get around instead of your own car.
For popular destinations, look into travel packages. Families can travel to the Caribbean and stay at all-inclusive resorts. Packages often include airfare and while you are there, the food and drinks (and some of the entertainment) are included as well.
Mode of Transportation
Everyone wants to hop on the plane but it is not always convenient and it can be quite costly…especially when traveling with multiple kids. Check out train and bus fares. It may take you a little longer to reach your destination but the time can be well spent with your family. And oftentimes, the cost is significantly less. If your family has never ridden a train, treat it as an adventure.
What about a car? With gas being so expensive, rent a car for your trip. Choose the smallest, most fuel-efficient model you can reserve that will fit your family. During the last few family trips we’ve taken, we’ve rented a minivan. We own an older minivan that doesn’t get nearly the gas mileage that that newer minivans get. We also didn’t have to worry about our high mileage minivan breaking down along the way. Also, make sure to check with your personal car insurance provider. They often cover any damage to your rental car so you don’t have to purchase extra insurance.
This is the biggest hidden cost of a vacation after transportation and lodging. With a family of four or more, food costs can amount to hundreds of dollars a day. There is nothing wrong with supplying your own fare. Bring snacks and drinks that kids will love to eat as an alternative to eating out. When we travel by car, we try to bring an electric griddle, a blender, and if we have extra room, a crockpot. Between these items, we can prepare tasty meals in any hotel room…even if it doesn’t have a kitchenette.
Vacations are fun but can cost quite a pretty penny if you don’t plan carefully. Start your planning process by identifying sources of expense and then finding ways to cut back without sacrificing the quality of the trip.
Do you have tips for saving money on family vacations?