4 Money-Saving Tips for a Memorable Family Vacation
If you have young children, you might feel like you’ll need to wait another few years before hitting the road for a family vacation. Although you may be worried about the potential expense or the possibility of things going wrong, booking an affordable, stress-free family vacation might not be out of reach.
Yes, you’ll need to get creative to stay within your budget, and you’ll have to be patient when plans go awry, but the truth is that traveling with your children can be an amazing experience. Children have a natural sense of wonder, and even the most mundane aspects of traveling can be more fun with your kids around. Follow these guidelines to get the best deals and the most enjoyment out of your time away with your family.
Book Ahead of Time
When you decide that it’s finally time to plan that big family trip, don’t delay when it comes to booking transportation or accommodation. If you’re flying or taking Amtrak, start looking at fares a few months in advance to find reasonably priced tickets.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, you can often find better deals on flights simply by searching for tickets on a Sunday – fares can fluctuate throughout the week, so if you see tickets for a steal, go ahead and book!
Most airlines also have a 24-hour cancellation policy, so if you decide to cancel within 24 hours, they will fully refund you the price of the ticket. If your children are under the age of two, you’re in luck, because according to USA Today, most airlines will let them fly for free on domestic flights!
Pack “Travel Kits”
Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking the train, you will want to make sure that your kids will be entertained while you’re en route to your final destination. But buying food and knick knacks at the airport or rest stops can chip away at your budget, so ensure that you’ve got everything your kids need packed up. Before you leave, create “travel kits” with fun gear, games, headphones, portable snacks, coloring books, and small toys so that they will be occupied during those long hours in transit.
If you have a long flight, pick up comfortable kid-sized neck pillows, which you can find at low-cost stores like Target. To save on supplies for your children’s travel kits, take advantage of a Target coupon code, promo, or cashback offer.
Purchase City Passes
Traveling to a major city? Whether your family is headed to New York City, San Francisco, or somewhere overseas, most cities now offer discounts to popular attractions through city passes.
When you purchase a city pass booklet, you’ll generally pay one initial lump sum for a little book full of tickets to different attractions. If you visit enough of them, you’ll end up saving quite a lot of money. Plus, you won’t have to dig through your wallet each time you get to the front of an admissions line.
Get Off the Beaten Path
If you’re staying in a fairly touristy neighborhood, make it a point to see what else the area has to offer. By venturing off the beaten path, you can discover hidden gems in your destination.
You’ll get to enjoy open spaces without the crowds, and when you go out to eat at laidback, local restaurants with lower prices, your wallet will thank you. Plus, your kids will love feeling like little explorers.
Nowadays, more and more people are traveling on tight budgets, including families with young kids, and the world is opening up. In a few years, you’ll be looking back on the photos from your magical family vacation and feeling grateful that you decided to pack up and head out on an adventure.
Leslie Campos – Owner Well Parents