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Finding Family Vacation Bargains and Discounts

Updated on April 4, 2007

Traveling with the family can be so much fun! It can also be so expensive. The internet is one of the best tools to use when looking for a bargain on traveling. Right at your fingertips, in your own home, and even in the middle of the night, you can search for just about anything. That to me is a bargain. Traveling on a budget doesn't have to feel that way.

Some of the ways we have found to save money on traveling is to look at all our options. Don't go into the deal assuming you will be staying at a particular hotel, that you will be flying, and that it will be certain days. Being flexible is one of the best ways to save money. Can you go to the beach Tuesday through Friday instead of Friday through Monday? You can save a lot of money by traveling during the week, instead of on the weekends.

Last minute deals are gaining in popularity. If you can really be flexible and you don't have to go to a certain place during a certain week of the year, this is a great way to go. This can really be exciting too, almost like a mystery vacation.

Most places have off-peak seasons. In the mountains of CO the off-peak times would be the summer. In the beaches of South Carolina the off-peak times are going to be the winter. I have been looking into a beach vacation and I found that the peak season ends August 11th of this year. School doesn't start here until August 24th or so, so we could go during an off peak time and it will still be the hot days of summer. That works for me!

There are many family packages out there for just about any type of trip you could imagine. I found family cruise deals, where the kids cruised for free. Many hotels offer kids eat free and some airlines even offer kids fly free (with a paying adult). Looking for these packages and/or offers will really help keep your costs down - that way you can have more money to enjoy at your destination.

Another type of vacation is the all inclusive resorts. These places really do have it all. Everything from hotel, to airfare, to food and drinks, to many activities will be included in these resorts. It sure does make things simple. If you are looking to relax in one location this could be a good option for you.

Alternative transportation is another great way to save - while having a great vacation. Flying is becoming such a hassle and driving is getting more expensive due to increased gas prices. Trains are becoming more and more popular. This is a great experience for kids and you get to see the country, but not be strapped in a seat belt. Riding a bus is another inexpensive option. There is a bus that travels from Cleveland to Chicago, with tickets as low as a few dollars each.

Doing it yourself is a good way to save money as well. Don't just use the internet either. Sometimes a phone call can get you a lower rate. With six people in the family I cannot usually book a hotel room online. By calling and explaining the situation and asking for the lower internet rate, I have always gotten at least the internet rate and usually an even lower rate. Places want your business and if you make a point to call and talk to them and find out some information about them and the area, they are usually more than willing to work with you on the prices or accomodations.

If there is a particular city you are interested in, get on the internet and request some information about the city. Most cities are more than happy to send out a packet of information that will help you determine where you want to go and what you want to do. Knowing ahead of time will allow you to find the best deals.

Traveling with your family should be fun and shouldn't cause you stress over whether you can afford it. Planning ahead and researching your options is going to save you money and give you peace of mind that you aren't paying too much.


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