Inexpensive Options For Your Next Family Vacation

by Guest on January 11, 2013

This may not be the ideal time to plan your next family vacation, with the massive spending of the holiday season still burning holes through your credit cards. But taking time away from the hustle and bustle of life to reconnect with the people you care about is one of the most important things you can do. It’s why you work so hard the rest of the year, and a great family vacation is worth more than all of the presents and elaborate meals money can buy. Luckily, even when your finances are at their tightest it is possible to enjoy a relaxing trip with the family. Here are just a couple of inexpensive options to help you plan your next family vacation.

First of all, consider alternate forms of transportation. You’ll never tire of first class airfare, but if that’s what stands in the way of affording the trip it’s time to get creative. Consider a closer destination you can drive to. With a full car of family members the car ride will always be cheaper than the flight, and significantly greener as well. You can cut costs further by taking a bus or a train to your vacation destination. They may not be glamorous forms of transportation, but they’ll save you the stress of driving in traffic and navigating through unknown territory. And you’ll have plenty left over in your budget to enjoy the trip itself.

Although everyone loves those resort vacations, with unlimited food and days spent lounging by the pool, they aren’t exactly the most affordable trips. So think outside the box and maintain your budget. One great option is a camping vacation. If your family enjoys nature and isn’t afraid of braving a few mosquito bites, camping can be a phenomenal choice. Hiking through the woods, kayaking on rivers, and melting s’mores by the night’s fire will create far more lasting memories than a night in a five-star hotel. Also consider alternative destinations for the type of vacation you love. If the family needs beach time for it to really be considered a vacation, try skipping out on Miami or Hawaii and look at the beaches of South Carolina instead. It’s just as gorgeous, but not nearly as expensive a region.

Also consider booking your trip on a different vacation schedule. This may not be possible if your kids are stuck inside a tight school schedule. But if they have a flexible school year or aren’t in school at the moment, try to plan your trip in off-peak seasons. This is a great way to travel internationally. Any country that has a rainy season will offer reduced rates to encourage tourism. The same goes for beach towns outside of the holiday breaks, or places that are a bit chilly in the winter.

Regardless of the vacation you plan, don’t be afraid to ask for discounts. Any time you make reservations you should request coupons or group rates. With the economy stuck in this downturn hotels and restaurants may offer reduced rates in order to win your business. This is especially true in busy tourist areas where there are a ton of options to choose from. When you find a service you want to book, make sure you look for discounts online before jumping on the first rate you are quoted. Sites such as CouponLoco and the various budget travel blogs will help you save big if you book far enough in advance. The key is shopping around, and you must always be willing to walk away from one option if the price isn’t right.

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