Although traveling as a family is fun, it can also be really expensive. And with the cost of travel on the rise, it can be challenging for families to find the money to vacation together. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you that travel doesn’t always have to break the bank and that there are plenty of simple ways to save money while away. From booking a vacation rental to avoiding peak travel times and more – here are 10 tips for going on a cost-effective family vacation:
1. Book a Vacation Rental
If you have a lot of people in your family who will be traveling with you, consider booking a vacation rental. Most of the time, vacation rentals will be cheaper than a hotel, especially if you have to book multiple rooms to accommodate your whole crew. So do your research, look for vacation homes on sites like Airbnb and VRBO, and find something that fits your needs and budget.
2. Choose Your Destination Wisely
It’s essential to consider where you’ll be taking your vacation and look for budget-friendly travel destinations. Some places will be a lot more expensive than others, and where you decide to go can be a huge deal breaker when it comes to your budget. Try to choose a place that isn’t very touristy, and instead, pick one that’s more off the beaten path.
3. Partake in Free Activities
Often, families think the only way to have fun on vacation is to take their children to theme parks or other expensive tourist attractions. But in reality, there are so many free activities available, no matter where you are. You can look for museums where kids can get in free on certain days, visit a park, spend the day at the beach, go hiking, have a picnic, and so much more.
4. Avoid Peak Travel Times
Certain times of the year will be more expensive to travel than others, and a key to taking affordable family trips is to travel during the offseason and avoid peak travel times. Many destinations see the most traffic during spring break, summer, and around the holidays, so avoid these times if possible. Further, travel during the week if possible and avoid traveling on the weekends.
5. Plan Your Trip Early
In order to have the best family vacation on a budget, you need to plan your travels as early as possible. This is especially true when booking airline tickets, car rentals, and accommodations because the longer you wait to book, the more prices will increase. So, once you know where you want to go, book everything that you’ll need for your trip.
You also want to ensure that your family has valid passports if you plan on traveling internationally. Passport processing is currently taking longer than usual, so you’ll want to start applying for your passport or child’s passport as soon as possible to avoid missing out on your trip.
6. Cook Meals Instead of Eating Out
Going out to restaurants can be very costly, especially if you have a large group of people. Restaurants typically upcharge you for food when, in fact, a lot of the time, you can make similar food for cheaper at your vacation rental. Shopping for your groceries and making meals can save you a lot of money, and you can also ensure that your group’s dietary restrictions are met.
7. Look For Deals
Finding family vacation deals on things such as accommodations, food, and tickets to attractions is actually quite simple. Many hotels offer deals for families and may even offer complimentary breakfast or ticket discounts. There are also a lot of restaurants out there that allow kids under a certain age to eat for free or give meal discounts to kids on certain days of the week. Furthermore, some local attractions offer discounted tickets throughout the month, so it’s essential to look out for these deals.
8. Keep Track of Airline Ticket Prices
Airline tickets can be one of the most significant expenses for families, and depending on where you’re going, the cost of flights could be your largest expense. So, if you plan on flying, keep track of flight costs and buy tickets when prices are low. An easy way to do this is to use Hopper. Hopper will track flight costs and tell you the best time to purchase airline tickets.
9. Go Camping
An inexpensive family getaway idea is to go camping. Camping is very budget-friendly, allows you to spend quality time together as a family, and puts you right in the middle of nature. Renting a campsite is typically very cheap, and you can get away with spending little money on food and supplies. If you want to camp but don’t feel like leaving your house, consider camping in your backyard or setting up a small tent in your living room.
10. Have a Staycation
If you find that taking a family vacation far from home is out of your budget, that’s okay! Instead, have a staycation with your family. There are plenty of incredible places to visit that are close to your home and won’t cost a lot of money. Further, a staycation gives you the chance to try new places in your community and allows you to support local businesses. Who knows, you may just find a new favorite store or restaurant near your house!
We hope these tips can help you save money on your family vacation. Traveling as a family is so special, and we know that you will have a fantastic time, no matter your budget.