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February 19, 2020

A trip to Disney World, a week on the beach, a wildlife safari — these are the types of family vacations you’ve dreamed of taking as long as you’ve been parents. While dreaming is fun, figuring out how to make a big family vacation work financially can be tough. The average family spends over $2,000 on vacation. And if you have to fly, that number could double (or worse).

 

Even when you know the memories will be worth it, spending several weeks’ worth of pay on vacation is a hard pill to swallow. But you don’t have to choose between your dream vacation and your frugal side. With these tips, you can plan a family vacation and save money doing it.

5 Ways to Save on Family Travel

Travel During Off-Peak Season

Peak travel times like school holidays come with peak airline and hotel prices. If you can afford the time away, book your family trip during an off-season period like President’s Day or Columbus Day to take advantage of a long weekend without the crowds.

Book an All-Inclusive Trip

Don’t assume that all-inclusive vacations are the purview of the well-to-do. All-inclusive trips can be surprisingly affordable, especially when you’re traveling with kids. That’s because not only can you easily find deals on all-inclusive vacations using travel package sites, but with perks such as kids’ clubs, food, and on-site activities included in the cost, all-inclusive trips are also logistically simple for families on a budget.

Take Advantage of Travel Deals

Speaking of deal sites: Websites like Priceline are also the place to find deals on flights, car rentals, and hotels even if you’re not buying a travel package. However, don’t stop with Priceline’s bargains. With a little extra digging, you can find Priceline coupons and cashback deals that offer an extra 5 percent back on your travel buys.

Choose Your Destination Wisely

You’ll save more on travel deals when you stay flexible with your destination. Instead of setting your heart on a single destination, go into travel shopping with a few options and an open mind. You may discover a budget-friendly travel destination you’ve never heard of or find a great deal to a locale you thought you could never afford.

Pack Light

The last thing you want to do after a long flight is to wait at the baggage carousel for your luggage to arrive. Get out of the airport faster and save money on baggage fees by traveling carry-on only when you fly. While it requires some clever packing and for your kids to haul their own carry-ons, it’s well worth saving $30-plus per bag on baggage fees.

More Ways to Make Your Family Trip a Breeze

These tips cover the big stuff, but there are a lot of little things you can do to save money on family travel too! During planning and on the go, use these tips to simplify your family vacation:

 

  • Always be prepared with snacks, diapers, toys, and whatever else you need to keep your kids clean, fed, and happy on the go. Make a checklist and stick it in your purse so you don’t forget something crucial in the scramble to get out the door.
  • Whenever possible, try to eat simply. Dining out is fun, but not three times a day with kids in tow. Stock up on sandwich supplies, fresh fruit, crackers, and other simple crowd-pleasing foods for the hotel room.
  • Find free things to do. Public parks are a great place to take a breather and absorb the scenery. Many museums also offer free admission days.
  • Get kids involved in the planning. You can help avoid complaints of boredom by getting your kids involved in the planning process, but avoid overly lofty goals by choosing some options within your budget first.

 

The most important thing you can do to prepare for a family vacation? Save up! Your dream trip may seem out of reach right now, but with a little bit of planning and saving, you can take an amazing family vacation at a price you can afford. When it comes to taking the stress out of your family vacation, nothing’s better than that!

 

Image via Unsplash


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*All babies are different, so please use these guidelines as a point of reference.