How to Minimize Costs & Maximize Fun on Your Next Family Vacation
Family getaways should be all about fun and not about worry, but the expense can lead to the latter. If you are looking to embark on a family trip, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to have a great time. Follow these budget-friendly tips to make the most of your vacation.
Drive to a nearby destination
You don’t need to fly halfway around the world to take a fun-filled family vacation. Instead, pick a destination to which you can drive. YTravel explains taking a road trip can be a low-cost, memorable adventure you and your kids will treasure for years to come as you bond over word games and picnic lunches. But before heading out on the road, make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound, your tires are in good shape, you have an emergency kit on board, and your car insurance is up to date.
It’s also a good time to take a look at your insurance policy to ensure you are saving as much as you can. You can save money on auto insurance by bundling it with other policies. Also, ask your insurance company for a good driver discount if you haven’t been in an accident or had any tickets. Car alarms and other security devices can also yield a discount as well.
Flexibility is the key to cheap travel. If you are flying, be flexible about flight times and dates, as well as long layovers. Similarly, don't insist on staying right next to popular hot spots or directly in the city center. Be willing to take public transportation or rent a cheap car to get to where you want to go. It’s also smart to book extremely early if you must travel in the summertime or near major holidays to get the best rates.
If you have some flexibility about when you can travel, TripSavvy suggests going during the shoulder season. This is the period of time right before and after the peak travel season, and it can vary by location. During the shoulder season, you will still likely encounter nice weather but rates on lodging, activities, and everything else will be less expensive than in peak season.
Think outside the box
Hotels and rental homes aren't your only choices for accommodations. You can do a home swap or go on a volunteer trip that includes free lodging. To offset your costs, also consider renting out your own home while you are on your vacation. Vacation rental websites make it relatively simply to rent out your place.
Eat your meals in
Hotels are nice, but for families, vacation rental houses and apartments are your best bet. You'll have more space for the kids, and most importantly, kitchen facilities. Having a kitchen will encourage you to avoid eating out at expensive restaurants. Instead, you can shop at local grocery stores and farmers markets to save considerable money, and maybe splurge on a meal out once a day.
Use credit card rewards
Credit cards that reward miles, points, and cash back can help you save on lodging, transportation, and other travel expenses. All year long, you can charge your regular expenses on these credit cards to rack up rewards but only do this if you can pay the cards off each month before interest starts accumulating. When vacation time rolls around, you’ll have ample points to play with!
You can save on family travel by being as flexible as possible, booking early when necessary, and avoiding costly attractions and events. Fun family vacations are not about how much money you spend, but rather the quality time you spend with your partner and kids. And with a little planning, you’ll be making memories for a lifetime!
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