Don't let costs keep your family from enjoying some well-deserved time off. When you're budgeting, put a little money each month into a savings account specifically earmarked for your getaway. Plus getting a credit card with rewards can help offset the cost of a flight or hotel stay by allowing you to redeem your points on flights, hotel rooms, gift cards, cash back, and more.
Make the most of your travel dollars with these strategies for planning your family vacation on a budget:
1. Consider a "staycation"
If you're looking to cut costs but still have a fun and memorable experience, a staycation is a great option. Plan it like you would any other vacation. Look up activities and events in your local area and create a fun itinerary. Reserve a table at that new restaurant in town you've wanted to try. If you're staying at home and taking day trips, make an effort to avoid your routine chores and fully embrace vacation mode.
2. Enjoy free activities
Just because it's free doesn't mean it's not fun. If you're traveling during warmer months, take advantage of the weather and get outside. Try a hike, take a walk on the beach, or pack a picnic and head to a local park. Search for other free activities in the area like live music, free walking tours, or admission-free days at museums.
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 Tonight, Last 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.
Important Disclosure Information
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.
Bankrate, “Best Travel Credit Cards of 2019," https://www.bankrate.com/credit-cards/travel/#summersurvey, accessed April 28, 2019
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
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