How to plan affordable family vacations

Taking affordable family vacations without breaking the bank

Summer is almost here and you’re probably thinking about taking a summer vacation with the family. However, if you’re not careful, the cost of a vacation can very quickly spiral out of control. With travel, lodging, food and entertainment, you can end up spending a lot of money very quickly.It doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s possible to plan affordable  family vacations without breaking the bank.

You can enjoy yourself and have a memorable trip with your family without putting yourself in debt. How? Here are a few tips.

Getting There Affordably

Sure, flying is often the quickest and most convenient way to travel, but it’s also often the most expensive. Instead of flying to your vacation destination, consider some more affordable options. Many people drive instead of fly, but high gas prices can make this option pretty expensive as well, especially if you’re planning on travelling a far distance.

If flying and driving both seem a little too pricey, you may want to consider travelling by train or coach. Both of these options are often quite affordable and the journey can be part of the vacation experience. There’s nothing quite like crossing the country by train! It’s something the whole family can enjoy.

Affordable Lodging

When it comes to where you’re going to stay, some of the best advice is to check the rates of hotels and motels at least a few months in advance of your trip. Last minute bookings are frequently more expensive and there’s often less selection, so you may end up paying more than you’d like to. You also won’t have as much choice when it comes to picking your room if you wait too long.

It’s also a good idea to do some price comparisons online to find out which hotels in the area have the cheapest rates. Remember that different websites often have different costs, so do your research, look around and you might be able to find a great deal!

Try to book off-season. For example, rather than taking your vacation on a long weekend, consider taking it during a less busy period. Many hotels have cheaper rates when there is less demand.

Plan Ahead

Remember to plan ahead when it comes to packing. The costs of having to buy shampoo, razor blades, deodorant, an umbrella or any other item that you’ve forgotten can quickly add up. Make a list of everything you’ll need before you start packing and follow it closely. This will limit the number of things you’ll need to buy on your trip.

Planning ahead also helps when you’re visiting attractions. Sometimes you’ll discover that there are different discounts on certain days of the week. For example, a museum or an art gallery might offer discounted entrance fares on Tuesdays. If you plan your trip properly, you can take advantage of those deals.

Save Money on Food

Rather than eating all of your meals at restaurants, visit a nearby grocery store. It’s often cheaper to shop at a grocery store and to prepare simple meals (such as sandwiches) yourself. You don’t have to do this every day, but it can certainly save you some money, even if you only do it once in a while.

If you’re going on a shorter trip, pack a cooler with food and take it with you. This will help you avoid buying expensive meals on your vacation.

Consider a “Staycation”

You don’t need to travel very far to have a good time. Consider taking a day trip to a location that is within driving distance. This way, you won’t have to stay overnight which can save you a lot of money.

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