Are you looking to try traveling on a budget the next time you hit the road with your family? We all know that traveling with kids can break the bank, but there’s no need to spend all your savings on your next trip. From timing your trips to sharing expenses with other families, you can have a great adventure with these money-saving tips.
Time your trips
Most families with kids choose to travel over spring, summer or winter vacations. However, if you want to save some money, consider allowing your kids to miss a few school days—it will make a huge difference for your budget. Booking weekday tickets can save you hundreds of dollars on airfare, especially right before winter and spring breaks. The same goes for accommodation and attraction prices, so time your trips well.
If your kids are a little older, you can ditch hotels and Airbnbs and spend time in nature. Camping is a great way to have a family-friendly adventure, connect with each other and learn a lot about nature. Additionally, there are very affordable campsites for rent no matter if you choose to camp in a tent, RV or a cabin. Also, many campsites have free-of-charge activities for kids like arcades, sporting events and organized family activities. Don’t have anything from the necessary camping gear? Don’t worry, you probably have a friend who will be happy to lend you their gear for a few days (repay them with a nice dinner or a bottle of wine when you come back home).
Rent a car
If you want to have a lot of freedom on your trip, you can stop relying on expensive cabs and uncomfortable buses and rent a car. Today, you can find a reliable and cheap car hire agency with big and versatile fleets of vehicles perfect for any family. Make sure to dig around for deals and you can even get away with free days. Having a road trip is a great way to explore your destination without sacrificing comfort. Usually, family road trips are always full of adventure and you can come back with a bunch of amazing memories and a full wallet.
Invest in passes
Most of the time, day or week passes for attractions like museums, amusement parks, water parks and ski spots will cost you much more than season-long or year-long passes. These passes give you access to everything included in your attraction and they usually pay for themselves after just two trips. Additionally, you can reap other benefits like freebies, coupons and special-event entries. Keep an eye on these passes and make sure to grab them when you see a good chance. Booking tickets online can also result in lower prices in certain cases.
Bring things from home
While all attractions have their own rules, make sure to check them and stock up on things you can bring in from home. For instance, food and drinks at amusement parks, resorts and similar spots are super expensive, so you might want to bring refillable water bottles and fill your beach tote with plenty of sunscreen. Prices of these necessities always go up once you get in a theme park or land at your island resort.
Create a daily allowance
This might not seem logical at first, but it’s a trick that works like a charm. Give each kid a daily allowance of a few dollars and allow them to spend it as they wish. If you add up all the things your kids ask for, you’ll see that you spend much more without a daily allowance. This way, they will learn how to spend responsibly and eliminate impulse buys—they will think long and hard on how they wish to spend the money. Most of the time, they will seek out treats at lower prices.
Travel with other families
If you really want to save money, why not invite other families to join you on your trip? This will be especially cost-effective when it comes to accommodation since you’ll have someone to split the costs. Rent a house or an Airbnb with friends with kids and you’ll save money on lodging and your kids will have some play companions. You can also split babysitting costs and have an adult night out together with cocktails and dancing. When you’re alone, you might never have a chance to afford these luxuries or have some time just for yourselves.
As you can see, if you’re strategic with your trip, you can have a fun family adventure without wasting money on unnecessary expenses. Keep these tips in mind and make your next family trip magical yet cost-effective.