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5 tips for planning a family vacation on a budget

How to budget for vacation
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Did you know? Some restaurants offer deals where kids can eat for free. Look for these when planning your family vacation.

3. Look for cheaper activities

You may not be able to fill your whole vacation with free activities, but there are other ways to save money. Swap high-priced activities with lower-priced alternatives. Skip the amusement park and try zip lining or a ropes course. Instead of a day at the zoo, head to a museum or go on a bike tour.

Don't forget to look for deals. Search for activities on sites like Groupon and Living Social for discounts.

4. Be strategic with meals

Food costs on a vacation can add up quickly, so focus on finding balance. If you're renting a house or condo while you're away, cook dinner in but head out for ice cream afterwards. Really want to try a certain restaurant? Go during lunch. You may find restaurants offering better deals for the lunch crowd. And if you're traveling with young kids, try restaurants where they dine free.2

5. Ditch expensive hotel costs

There are so many alternatives to hotels. Try looking for rental homes or condos on sites like VRBO or Airbnb that will give you access to a kitchen. Or consider fully embracing the outdoors and go camping.

If you're absolutely set on staying in a hotel, look for deals outside the city or town center. If you don't mind making last-minute plans, sites like Hotel TonightLast Minute Travel, and Hotwire offer last-minute travel deals.

Ready to commit to vacation savings? Learn more about creating your family budget so you can set money aside for some deserved time away.

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This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Bankrate, “Best Travel Credit Cards of 2019," https://www.bankrate.com/credit-cards/travel/#summersurvey, accessed April 28, 2019 Back
  2. The Penny Hoarder, “Save Money on Family Dinner: 7 Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free," https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/deals/restaurants-where-kids-eat-free/, accessed April 28, 2019 Back