Nine ways to save money on a family vacation

Family vacation

Family vacations, for most families, are such a huge part of the memories of everyone involved that it is so important to not only choose the right destination, but to do everything possible to make the most out of every minute. One of the best ways to ensure that a vacation is filled with the best of everything, is to make sure that there is enough money available to pay for all of the events and attractions that a family may want to experience. To accomplish this, it sometimes is necessary to cut corners in other areas. Whether saving money on accommodations or food, any money saved is then available to be used to pay for either gas to get to the next destination or admission into yet another attraction, or anything else for that matter. There are a number of ways that families can save money while they are on a vacation, and most are relatively painless.

Pack Snacks

Sometimes buying snacks while on vacation can be quite expensive. Even affordable snacks can add up over time. A great way to save money on snacks is to purchase them ahead of time and pack them in with either carry-on luggage or in a backpack all their own. This is also a great way to ensure that everyone along on the trip has access to their favorite snacks. Many times when traveling it is difficult to find the exact thing that the traveler is looking for, and that includes snack foods.

Take Advantage Of The Internet

While the specials on the billboards and signs at travel agencies are enticing, many of the best deals on vacation packages and airline travel can be found on the internet. Finding the best prices on elements of a vacation online is an easy way for a family to save money on a vacation. Mastering the task of searching for vacation deals online is easy and fun, plus it comes with the added bonus of the family getting the exact vacation that they want.

Enjoy The Hotel

Often when on a trip to a new location, vacationers become so fixated on all of the local attractions that they fail to take time for themselves. One of the main purposes of going on a vacation is to relax and get refreshed, but when a family is running from one attraction to the next, how much relaxation is really taking place? A great idea for a family experiencing this type of feeling is to take a day, or at least half of a day, sometime in the middle of the trip to enjoy the many features of the hotel they are staying in. Many hotels have a swimming pool, hot tub, exercise room, library, lounge, or many other extra features that are great ways to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the popular attractions no matter where the guest is staying. This is also a great way to save money, as usually most of the things that can be done at the hotel are included in the price of the hotel.

Don’t Follow The Herd

While attractions like Hawaii and Disneyland receive a great deal of attention, they also come with a more expensive price. There are a number of vacation destinations that offer some of the best attractions, weather, and things to do and see, but aren’t overly publicized so they are less crowded and a little less expensive. Taking advantage of these types of locations often means that the members of the family end up with better and more unique experiences than they would have gotten had they gone to the more popular destination.

Rent A Car

How can renting a car be a money saving idea? Depending on what the vacation plans entail, renting a car can often save money in one of two ways. When flying to a location, if there are going to be numerous trips away from the hotel, sometimes more money will be spent on shuttles and taxis than would be spent on a modest car rental. When on a driving vacation, depending on what type of vehicle is owned by the travelers, gas and maintenance money could be saved by renting an economical vehicle. Though it is an expense itself, there are situations when renting a car can actually save money when compared to what would be spent had no car been rented.

Kid Money

Another expense that adds up surprisingly fast is the cost of all the little things that kids continually ask for. Often parents feel it is easier to fulfill these requests than it is to argue about each purchase. A nice idea that works with older kids is to give them their own money to spend on pretty much what they want. This gives them a sense of responsibility and control and also alleviates the added stress and expense on the parents since they are no longer responsible for each and every purchase. This way of saving money on vacation also can teach children to be responsible with their money.

Eat Out Responsibly

Many restaurants offer specials where kids eat free when the parents purchase their meals there. By taking advantage of these offers, parents are able to save sometimes up to half of the money they would normally be spending on food. Other restaurants allow for the splitting of meals between children or between parents and children. Many children are unable to eat an entire order, even off the children’s menu, by splitting one order for two kids or by having the parents share their order with the kids, more money can be saved for other attractions and expenses.

Embrace The Outdoors

One affordable way to have a great family vacation is to enjoy the great outdoors by going on a family camping trip. Camping trips, when not over planned, can be a very affordable vacation idea. There are a number of other benefits to a camping trip including a chance to get away from the modern world, a chance to bond with other family members in a better way, and a chance to learn about and experience nature. Camping is often a different enough activity that it will more than satisfy the wants and needs of both the children and parents alike.

Occasionally Eat In

While it often is hard to come up with another way of feeding a family on vacation than eating out, travelers do have the option of eating in. Instead of going to a restaurant for a meal, a family can go to a grocery store and purchase something as simple as peanut butter and bread for a quick but filling in-room lunch. These meals can be surprisingly satisfying, very fun, and amazingly economical.

One of the best ways for a family to be able to afford to do all the extras and see everything they desire while on a vacation is to save money where it is possible on other expenses. In doing so, these extra funds can then be spent on the attractions or the means of travel that will make the trip that more memorable. Family vacations are some of the most looked back on moments in the life of a family. They not only offer a great chance for the members of a family to bond, they also create memories that will last a lifetime. Anything that can be done to make a family vacation better, within reason, should be done. Making each family vacation the best that it can be is well worth the effort.

6 thoughts to “Nine ways to save money on a family vacation”

  1. I used to eat out every day while on holidays abroad and it used to be so expensive. Now I always eat in a day or two out of the vacation, it’s fun for a family and buying food from a foreign supermarket it always an interesting experience.

  2. It is well-nigh impossible to travel in Italy without finding something historic – Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the planet, and there are tons of things that UNESCO doesn’t trouble listing that are most likely more ancient than whatever you’ve encountered before. Italy is a nation with history.

  3. I like the “don’t follow the herd” tip. Most folks think of the obvious spots like Disney but many other locations can be cheaper and offer other attractions. Our family likes Martha’s Vineyard. It’s close to us but is an island so it feels like we’re “getting away”. It has fabulous scenery and beaches.

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