If you had an indispensable amount of money, planning the perfect family vacation wouldn’t be so hard. You’d have the funds on hand to go wherever you wanted and do anything you want without having to worry about how much it’s going to cost. However, when you’re the average income earning family, you have to be mindful of your spending. Fortunately, not having a ton of cash doesn’t mean you can’t have fun when you’re traveling as a family. Below are some suggestions on how to plan the perfect family vacation – even if money is tight.
Choose a Date
The time of year that you choose to travel can greatly impact how much you’re going to pay for your family vacation. If you want to save money, you should travel during times that it’s not so popular to travel to that destination. For instance, during the summer, everyone thinks of traveling to beaches and far-off tropical islands. If you and your family want to get great deals on traveling to somewhere where there’s warmer climates, try going during the fall or winter. The off season travel costs can be so much less than traveling when everyone else does.
Choose Your Destination
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the destination for your family trip. First, you’ll need to consider your budget. How far can you afford to go? Can you go somewhere that would require you to purchase plane tickets, or do you need to travel somewhere you can go by car? Next, consider the age of your children, their interests, and the tourist attractions you want to see. If you have toddlers, for instance, going to the Grand Canyon might not interest them too much. However, a trip to California to a San Diego resort and spa might be more interesting to tiny tots who’d love to see the animals at the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Select the Right Accommodations
Most would assume that the cheapest hotel is the way to go when you’re looking to save money on a family trip, however, that is not always the case. In many instances, the cheaper a hotel is, the fewer amenities they have, and the more money you spend. Instead, it is best to look for a hotel that has money saving accommodations. For instance, a resort that offers all-inclusive pricing for meals would save you money on dining out. A hotel with a pool, gym, and play area for kids can save you money on entertainment. Amenities like mini kitchens of course allow you to purchase grocery items and save on meals while you’re vacationing.
Choose a Comfortable Rental Car
Whether you plan on driving to your destination or grabbing a rental once you’ve arrived you should be sure to choose a comfortable rental car. You’ll want to select a vehicle that can properly fit you and all of your children without an issue – along with some room for luggage and/or shopping bags. Some of the more modern rentals even have capabilities that can keep the kids entertained as you drive including DVD players, headphones, and plugs for devices like tablets, laptops, and portable televisions. To ensure that you don’t waste money on a rental you should be sure to bring the rental back in good condition, on time, and filled with gas.
Saving Money While You’re There
Not only can you save money while planning your family vacation, but you can save money while you’re on vacation. There are no shortages on money saving opportunities as most companies who cater to the tourist population know that having a good time at a price they can afford is the key to getting repeat business. Take advantage of the options out there. For instance, you may be able to find city passes for the destination you’re traveling to. You pay one price for the tickets and it provides you with discounted admission to some of the area’s top attractions. You should also look for coupons online to places you want to eat, play, or explore.
These are just a few travel tips to helping you plan the perfect family vacation without breaking the bank. As you’re making your plans, check to see if there are other ways you can save money on your trip. With companies offering great deals every day, you may be able to find a way to get a discount on everything from your hotel room to your rental car and meals. Remember, you don’t have to go bankrupt to enjoy time with your family. Having fun with the ones you love and knowing you didn’t have to go into debt to do it, is priceless.