Family vacations are a great way to get away and relax, but many families don’t travel as often as they’d like. Depending on the size of your family and the location of your favorite vacation destination, travel expenses can add up quickly. Here are four simple ways to get the most out of your travel budget
Make travel plans in advance
Many travel expenses, especially plane tickets and hotel rooms, become more expensive as the trip draws nearer. Plan to buy plane tickets and hotel rooms at least three months before your family vacation to ensure you get the best prices available. A hotel’s prices generally won’t fluctuate drastically, but if you don’t reserve a room in advance, you may be stuck staying at a more expensive hotel if there are no vacancies anywhere else
Find alternatives to eating out
When you’re away from the home on a family vacation, cooking a meal can seem almost impossible. But you’ll quickly exhaust your travel budget if your family eats out at restaurants for every meal, so consider alternatives. Even if your hotel doesn’t have a fully furnished kitchen, you can still prepare great food. Take note of local grocery stores and markets, and pick up items that can be carried around as snacks or be made into a quick, satisfying family meal. Cold foods such as sandwiches and salads can provide a majority of the meals on your family vacation and save you a lot of money. Use the savings for family travel activities, or treat yourself to meals at a few nice restaurants rather than several mediocre ones.
Sign up for online coupons and local deals
Sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com are revitalizing the coupon industry. Sign up for daily newsletters to learn about deals on everything from restaurants to jet ski tours. Most of these sites are organized by city, so be sure to browse the deals in your family vacation destination.
Drive, don’t fly
Why not make it a road trip? Depending on how far your family travel takes you, it may be more economical to travel by car. Not only will you save money on airfare, but you’ll also find lots of interesting and inexpensive attractions on your way to your destination. For multi-day road trips, try camping for a night or two rather than getting a hotel. Camping is a family vacation in itself, and much less expensive than a hotel. If you do decide to drive, make sure you’re covered by vehicle insurance in case something happens. And don’t let the saving stop with your vacation; compare several automobile insurance quotes when deciding on a provider to make sure you find the best deal.