Summer is the time of year when people choose to travel the most often. But when you’re taking the entire family along, understandably, your expenses can really start to add up. Just what it costs for four people to go to dinner and a movie can easily run you a couple of hundred dollars.
That’s why we wanted to provide you with a few frugal family travel tips. That way, you can still go on vacation and have a great time, but you won’t have to go over budget in the process.
Plan ahead. There are a lot of people who end up spending more than they need to on things like plane tickets and hotel accommodations all because they didn’t take the time to do some thorough planning beforehand. If you book travel and lodging 4-5 weeks in advance, you are sure to find some pretty good discounts (sometimes as much as 25-40 percent off).
Go all-inclusive. If you’re planning on going to another state, overseas or take a cruise, look for all-inclusive packages. Although you may be able to find some on your own by going to your favorite search engine and putting “all-inclusive travel packages” in the search field, we recommend that you consider going with a travel agent; they are professionally trained to look for the best deals, plus they tend to have already established relationships with various companies and vendors.
Pack some food. Are you going on a road trip? If so, it will prove to be healthier and cheaper to actually pack up a cooler to put into your vehicle. Sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt, dark chocolate and bottled water and juices are all things that can curb the craving for going through a fast food drive through.
Do some swapping. Sometimes when we travel, we’ll stay at some family members or friends’ homes, at least for a couple of nights to save on expenses. When people decide to do house swapping, it’s for the same reason: to save money. If you’ve never done it before, we certainly understand why you might be a bit apprehensive, but there are actually quite a few websites that come with reputable reviews. Some of them include Home Exchange, Homebase-hols and Homelink.org.
Look for free things to do. Say that you’re headed to Florida and something that you’ve always wanted to do is check out some of the Key West museums. While you’re going to have to pay the cost of admission to get into those, there’s a pretty good chance that there’s also some other things that you can do while you’re in the area. For instance, you can check out Mallory Square, visit the Historical Sculpture Garden and even hang out with your pet at the local dog beach. All you have to do to find out what’s going on, free of charge, in the city where you are headed is go to your favorite search engine and put “free things to do” along with the city and state in the search field. A list of things should come up that will be fun for the family and are of absolutely no cost to you. Happy traveling!