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How to Have Great Family Vacations - on a Budget!
Great Family Vacations
How to Save Money on a Family Vacation
Due to the decline of the economy and gas prices being at an all time high, you may be wondering if it is even possible to take a family vacation this year. Most families living on a budget are always on the lookout for any way to save a dollar and vacations are no exception to this rule.
So can you still have great family vacations on a budget? Yes, you can. It may not be the ultimate dream vacation you had in mind, but there are ways to cut down the expenses while still creating a fun filled trip that your family will remember for years to come.
If you are looking for ways to save money on your future travel expenses, read below to find some tips and advice on how to have great family vacations on a budget.
Family Friendly Restaurants
How to Save Money on Food Expenses
One of the biggest expenses of a family vacation is food. Feeding a family of four or more can be quite expensive when you are traveling. To help cut down on the cost of food, here are some tips and advice that our family uses to save money.
- Pack lots of snacks and a cooler full of drinks for the road trip. Bring a picnic lunch and eat outside at a park or rest stop if the weather permits. If you have these food and drink items handy, you can avoid spending money at restaurants and gas stations along the way.
- Bring as much nonperishable food items from home as possible. Pack up the cereal, canned goods, chips, cookies, etc. Often times, grocery stores at popular vacation sites charge more for their products. You may have to pick up milk, bread, and other needed items, but you will save a ton of money by already having a good stockpile of food to prepare meals for your family.
- Always eat breakfast and lunch in the room. If you have a full kitchen in your room, you can even make dinner a couple of nights on vacation. Order pizza one night and eat dinner by the pool. By not going out to eat three times a day, you will be able to save all kinds of money on food expenses.
- Check out the family friendly restaurants in the area. Search for coupons or any other discounts on the Internet that will save you money on dinner. Try to find restaurants where kids eat free. If you can find these kind of deals beforehand, going out to eat won't put so much of a strain on your budget.
Save Money on Lodging
How to Save Money on Lodging Expenses
The largest expense of any family vacation is going to be the cost of lodging. Be sure to make out a budget for your trip to see exactly what you can afford to spend on a hotel, condo, or rental house. To help you save money, here are some tips and advice to help you find places that fit your budget and overall cut down on the cost of lodging expenses.
Figure out the off season travel time for your destination and schedule your vacation accordingly. Often times, hotels and other accommodations offer better deals during these months to fill up their vacancies. Don't stop at the Internet searches. Place a phone call to see if they can offer you a better deal or any other discounts than what they state on their website.
Check discount travel websites or consult a travel agent for special discount packages. Search popular websites such as Kayak, Priceline, Expedia, and Groupon Getaways to see what kind of deals they are running for your scheduled week of vacation. Consult with a travel agent who may be able to provide a huge discount on an all inclusive family resort.
Shorten your vacation time. Instead of the standard week vacation, shorten your travel time to 3-5 days. By decreasing the number of nights, you will be able to significantly decrease your lodging expenses. As an added bonus, you will be able to relax at home with the family before you have to go back to work.
Invite family members or friends to vacation with you to split the lodging costs. This idea works best when you are renting a condo or house for vacation. By having another family join in the fun, you can ensure to drastically cut down the lodging expenses. As the old saying goes, the more, the merrier!
Forget the lodging and go camping. The best way to completely cut out lodging expenses is to grab the tents and sleeping bags and enjoy what nature has to offer. If you don't own any camping gear, ask family members or friends if they have any that you can borrow for the trip. Visit your local national park or campground for more family friendly accommodations.
Travel Tips for Affordable Family Vacations Video
How to Save Money on Gas and Travel Expenses
The third largest expense to a family vacation is the cost of gas and travel expenses. With gas being at an all time high, you will be paying more at the pump which puts even more of a strain on your already stretched to the max budget. To help cut these kind of expenses, here are some useful tips and advice to save money when traveling.
- Vacation closer to home. Although that trip to the beach eight hours away is your usual destination, check out some popular vacation spots a little closer to home. Try some hot spots with lots of kid friendly attractions in your own home state. By cutting down the mileage of your trip, you can ensure to save loads of money from not spending it at the gas station.
- Carpool with another family if possible. If you have more than one family traveling together, try to see if renting a van would be more economical for the trip. Splitting the rental fee and cost of gas could potentially cut travel expenses for all families involved.
- Stay home and take mini trips to the local attractions to save on gas and travel expenses. Look for family fun activities in your immediate area. Maybe you haven't visited the local zoo or history museum in awhile. Plan a couple of outings that the whole family will enjoy. Also be sure to look for free attractions such as national parks. Pack a picnic lunch and go for a nature hike for some family fun without the admission fee.
Family Vacation Poll
Has the decline in the economy and rising gas prices changed your plans on taking a family vacation?
Have a Great Family Vacation on a Budget
As I have pointed out, it is possible to have a great family vacation even on a budget. Just as you do in your everyday life, make it a point to do some research and find ways that could potentially save your family money. You will find that with a little bit of effort that great deals are out there and waiting for you and your family. So what are you waiting for? Go plan a fun filled, money saving family vacation that everyone will thank you for - including your wallet!
I hope you have found some useful tips and advice on ways to help you plan a great family vacation on a budget. What other ways do you save money on family vacations? Do have any great money saving tips you want to share? Feel free to leave your comments in the section provided below! Happy travels to all!
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