5 Ways to Have a Great Family Vacation Without Breaking the Bank
Sometimes, the one thing that stands between us and the perfect family vacation is not lacking the right company or a good plan, but limited cash. The state of your wallet will determine your means of travel, where you’ll stay, how long the getaway will last, and more often than not, how much fun you’ll have.
It goes without saying that vacationing with family doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re all aching for a holiday away from home and you didn’t use the last six months to save up as you had planned, don’t fret. You’ll be surprised at just how less you can spend with some flexibility, compromises, opportunism, and of course, smart planning.
Below are five sure ways to have a great family getaway on a budget.
1. Watch Out For Deals
Vacationing during the holidays can be expensive relative to other times of the year, but then again, the holiday season is always time for deals from hotels, airlines and travel agencies all over the country. If you want to spend less on vacation, therefore, keep an eye open for vacation packages and offers. Websites like TripAdvisor and TripSavvy can be reliable sources of information regarding the best holiday deals for your family.
2. Pick The Best Way To Travel
If you’re traveling on a budget, you likely won’t have the most convenient means at your disposal. Nevertheless, you can save a significant amount of money by using Amtrak or Greyhound, instead of buying plane tickets or driving yourself. If you decide to fly, consider purchasing odd-hour tickets instead of flying during the day. Internet sites like Expedia, Travelocity and safair can also help you find cheap rates.
3. Find Affordable But Practical Accommodation
Vacationing with family means factoring in everyone’s comfort. Therefore, while couch-surfing or renting a hostel can save you a good amount of money, neither choice is the best way to go. The key here is to find the perfect balance between cheap and practical.
Small, independent hotels are generally cheaper than large corporate chains, so try to identify some favorably reviewed options online. Renting a furnished apartment can also be a great option, especially if you’re looking for a “home away from home” experience.
4. Minimize Daily Expenses
When on vacation, recurring expenses like food and cell phone services can drain you dry. Therefore, come up with a feasible plan to ensure you keep your daily expenditure as small as possible.
For instance, instead of having all your meals in the hotel, go out and ask the locals what their favorite restaurants are. Also, encourage everyone to use their phones less, as international rates will be more expensive. Lastly, although walking may take you longer to get to the best sites in town, frequent cabs are a no-no when you’re on a budget.
5. Budget, Budget, Budget
Vacationing on the cheap is nothing without a financial blueprint. In addition to helping you manage your fixed and recurring expenses, a well-laid-out budget will let you know if you will have enough for your vacation, or whether you need fast approval for a loan.
When planning for your getaway, determine the maximum amount of money you can spend, and then work down your list of priorities based on that amount. If possible, share your budget with the rest of the family to let them know beforehand the compromises they’ll need to make.
The cost of family vacations may seem overwhelming in today’s world, but with these ideas in mind, it’s entirely possible to plan a fun getaway on a tight budget.