You and your family deserve a fun vacation, but finding something within your budget takes time and good planning. With these practical tips and helpful ideas, you can enjoy a great family vacation that won’t break the bank.
1. Fly Frugally
Book your airfare about six weeks before your trip to get the best price. The cheapest days to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday. Follow your airline on Twitter to track any last-minute deals. Also, look on sites like Kayak, Cheapflights, Orbitz and Expedia to compare prices. Be sure to check your airline’s policy on baggage fees and consider packing less to save on the extra costs.
2. Camp to Cut Costs
Today’s camping resorts offer more than tents. In fact, some offer accommodations that are downright luxurious. The glamping (glamorous camping) trend has changed how people camp by offering the upscale amenities typically not associated with roughing it. Today’s camping resorts may also offer swimming pools, game rooms, mini-golf courses and more recreational options on the cheap. For more information, visit websites like Reserveamerica.com, GoCampingAmerica.com and glampinghub.com.
Or, camp at a national or state park, where Mother Nature offers splendid views, wildlife, plants and flowers, and all kinds of family activities, like hiking and swimming. For more information visit nationalparks.org.
3. Rent a House
On average, the price per square foot of a U.S. hotel room can be more than twice the price per square foot for a vacation rental, according to HomeAway.com. Rentals are great options if you have a large family, because a house offers more bedrooms, bathrooms and overall space. Another benefit of renting is the money you’ll save on meals. Even if you don’t cook every meal, you’ll spend considerably less than going to restaurants. Plus, cooking gives your family a chance to reconnect over a meal at a leisurely pace.
4. Use Membership Discounts
Do you belong to a warehouse club? Are you a member of an organization like AARP? You likely qualify for a discount on travel, hotels, rental cars and more. Students, military members and seniors get discounts on fares and entrance fees at museums, theme parks and other attractions. Check your membership benefits, and you may be surprised at how much you can save.
More ways to save:
• When visiting a city, use public transportation rather than renting a car.
• Look for lodging where kids stay free.
• Look for restaurants where kids eat free.
• Check your apps for discount food and the best prices on meals.
• Ask the locals about the best places and best deals in town.