Feel like a family vacation is out of reach financially? You don’t have to break the bank to get a great vacation your family will enjoy, you just need to use these tips for planning a family vacation on a budget. It doesn’t matter your destination; with a little planning, you should be able to make that vacation a reality!
10 Tips for Planning a Family Vacation on a Budget
1. Travel in the off season. One of the easiest ways to plan a family vacation on a budget is to travel off season. Want to go to the beach? Go after Labor Day when the kids go back to school. Want a family trip to the mountains? Go in the spring or summer months. The family wants to vacation in Europe? Go any time other than the summer months! You will save at least 10-30% just by booking your accommodations for a family vacation in the off-season!
2. Consider Home Away if you are traveling with a large family. If you plan on staying a week or more on your family vacation, why stay in a small hotel room when you can get an entire condo or town home? Not only can you save money on your accommodations long-term, you can also save money by being able to cook instead of going out.
3. Purchase an Entertainment Book for the city in which you are travelling to for your family vacation. Entertainment books are dirt cheap this time of year and can provide coupons for local entertainment, shopping and restaurants. It will more than pay for itself probably with just one use!
4. Purchase a CityPass if you are going to a big city. It will give you free admission into many local museums and tourist attractions (like aquariums and parks). Some will even get you free public transportation. It is one of the main ways we travel as a family on a budget!
5. Grab brochures at the hotel or at the welcome center. When you get to your destination, look for brochures in the lobby. Often there are money saving coupons inside! You can also take advantage of using the hotel concierge if you have one. Hotels often work with local restaurants and area attractions in providing discount coupons and the concierge can point you to deals you may otherwise not be aware of.
6. If you are staying at a hotel, look for one that offers free breakfast. A breakfast for a family of 4 can easily reach $30. Feeding a family on vacation is one of the biggest budget killers. If you can score a free breakfast, you are eliminating the cost of breakfast for each day of your vacation!
7. Check to see if you can get discounts for hotels and attractions through AAA or your credit card company. If you have one, bring your student or military ID because some places will offer discounts as well. These little discounts can add up to big savings.
8. Skip the taxi and rely on public transportation. Enough said.
9. Book flights with smaller airlines, opt out of direct flights and or use a service like Expedia. This is a huge family vacation budget tip! Many times you can save up to 30% when you take a non-direct flight on a low-budget airline. You may not get a bag or peanuts or bottle or water, but you will save money! Check out the deals on Expedia and you’ll see what I mean.
10. Buy attraction & tour tickets through a third party vendor or a trusted discount ticket broker instead of the direct website of the attraction. If you are planning a family vacation on a budget, you will want to find ways to still hit popular destinations like Disney and Universal Studios without having to pay full price for tickets. We have a few companies that we trust and one of our favorites is Undercover Tourist. They will get you the best deal possible for popular theme parks!
Do you have any other tips for planning a family vacation on a budget?