A family vacation is an incredible opportunity to get quality time with your loved ones. However, when you’re the parent of multiple kids, it can often seem like traveling is just too expensive. This doesn’t have to be the case! A family getaway on a budget is totally possible; it just takes some thoughtful planning and a little resourcefulness. Read on for our 5 tips to plan your next budget-friendly vacation.
Download an app to get organized
If you’re new to travel planning or working with a specific budget, it may be hard to figure out how to get started. Using a budgeting app or a travel planning app can help you get organized and reduce your stress in the process. This can also give you a clear idea of what you need to plan and exactly how much money you have to plan with, which can help guide your choices.
Check for deals
Finding a deal on either your transportation or accommodations can mean huge savings for a family. Because those tend to be the biggest line items for your trip, it really adds up! Scan the internet for deals, especially if you’re hoping to travel during an “off-season” time. Even flights to Miami and other major tourist destinations go up for sale pretty often, so make it a point to hunt for deals. Trust us; it’s worth it.
Driving vs. Flying and Camping vs. Hotels
Like we mentioned before, transportation and accommodations are typically the most expensive parts of any travel trip. As a traveler on a budget, this means you have some choices to make. How do you want to travel? On average, driving is cheaper than flying, especially if you can take your own car. However, it takes much longer to go shorter distances. If you choose to go the driving route, invest in some car games or audiobooks to keep everyone entertained.
Similarly, camping is generally much cheaper than staying in hotels or vacation rentals. This does require some up front investment in camping gear but offers the benefit of being able to be used for all your future trips too. Plus, while hotels may be comfy, there’s really nothing like sleeping under a sky full of stars.
Make your own meals
If you decide that hotel accommodations are the right choice for you, one way to save additional money is meal planning. Yes, even on vacation! Stocking up on lunch staples and coffee or bringing along some hearty breakfast baked treats will help cut down on expensive restaurant bills. Be sure to look for rentals with kitchens and refrigerators so that none of your meal prep goes to waste. It might seem less fun, but this doesn’t mean that you have to deny yourself yummy food on vacation. In fact, by cutting spending for most of your meals, you can have enough money to spend at local restaurants.
Reconnect in nature
When it comes to planning a vacation that won’t break the bank, the great outdoors is always a safe bet. With over 400 national parks in the US alone, not to mention countless beaches along the coasts, there are no shortage of amazing destinations to explore. Not only do these spots feature stunning natural beauty, but they also tend to be much cheaper to visit. However, staying by the beach can be pricey, but spending a day there is absolutely free. By that same token, some nature parks have entrance and camping fees, but hiking doesn’t cost a thing. Just grab your phone and sunscreen, and don’t forget to have fun!
Planning a trip on a budget does not mean sacrificing quality when it comes to travel. Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be well on your way to making memories with your loved ones.