Family trips can be some of the most memorable experiences in our lives. They’re an opportunity to really get to know one another, to reconnect in the midst of our harried modern lives. Yet, family travel can become expensive, especially for families with multiple children.
The good news is that, even if you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to skip out on travel altogether. Here are five ways that you may not have thought of that can save your family significantly on travel expenses:
Consider staying in a vacation rental home.
For families with more than four people, finding an affordable hotel can be something of a pain. Unless you want to pay for two separate hotel rooms (and hope that the hotel can provide you with adjacent or adjoining rooms) you’re looking at paying a premium rate. One way around this is to rent a vacation home.
The basic premise is this: someone owns a home or condominium. They don’t live there year-round, but it’s furnished and has all of the amenities you might need (like a kitchen). You will often be able to rent that vacation home for significantly less than a hotel room.
On top of the savings in hotel fees, you’ll also have more space, as well as a kitchen where you can (if you wish) save even more money by not having to eat out.
Many vacation rental homes are located in closed communities with access to a pool, activity center, and more.
Buy your necessities at home.
If you’re traveling to a tourist destination, you’re probably going to pay as much as twice for basic supplies like bug spray or sunscreen. The same goes for snacks and other foodstuffs. If you have the space, consider bringing these items with you.
If you must purchase these kinds of living essentials, it can be worth traveling outside of the tourist area to a surrounding city in order to find more reasonable prices.
Choose a destination with many inexpensive or free activities.
Some of the most popular travel destinations can be the most expensive. Yet, if you look around, you can usually find plenty of free or inexpensive activities for your family.
Take Las Vegas, for example. While you could certainly drop a lot of money in Vegas, there are also dozens of inexpensive and free things to do and see while you’re there.
Alternatively, picking a destination with few expense options – such as a woodland retreat or camping trip – can also reduce your overhead.
Travel off season.
Spring break and the holiday season are the worst times to go to some of the more temperate travel destinations. Not only are all of the popular tourist activities going to be terribly crowded, your travel will come at a premium.
While it can be a little bit tricky in terms of scheduling and logistics, traveling with your family either a few weeks before or a few weeks after most schools have time off can save you significantly.
Check into rates in your destination city, as well as with your airline. Each should be able to show you a rate sheet that notes when their off season dates occur.
Now, we’re not talking about camping as a vacation, although that can be a relatively inexpensive option. We’re talking about providing your own lodging when you travel to your vacation destination.
You can tent camp, even with a large family, for less than $40 a night in most places. State campgrounds often come very reasonably priced , or there are national campground chains that may have frequent customer discounts. You can also make your own food using camp stoves or a campfire. If you have a recreational vehicle already, you can have even more of the amenities of home.
If you choose the right campground, you’ll have sufficient restroom and shower facilities to clean up before you head out to whatever attraction or activity it is you want to see. You can enjoy as little or as much of the outdoor aspect as you want.
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some vacation time together as a family. It comes down to effective planning, and avoiding those travel details that are likely to hike up the cost. Implement one or more of these five methods and you’re guaranteed to save money on your next vacation.
About the Author:
Dave Johnson is Social Media Coordinator at Palms Hotel & Spa, an elegant Las Vegas hotel that offers luxurious hotel rooms and a multitude of gaming options for those who love casinos.