A vacation is meant to relieve stress, go on an adventure, or take a break from the real world, but many struggle to find ways that they can make these trips financially practical. From hotels and flights to last minute expenses, even a short vacation can quickly move past one’s budget. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that anyone can use to cut down on the cost of their next family trip without cutting down on fun.
1. Plan Vacations During the Off-Peak Season
Few tricks will help to reduce vacation costs as much as traveling off-season. Off-peak prices are typically just a fraction of the full price and money can be saved on everything from flights to tours. For families traveling farther, it is important to check that their final destination is off-peak as it often changes between locations.
2. Plan Eating Expenses in Advance
Grabbing bottled water or fast food while on the go can quickly add up for a family, and planning where to eat can help to assuage these costs. Families can strategically choose which restaurants or landmarks they would like to splurge on and then plan other affordable meals and snacks accordingly. Make a budget before the vacation for how much you want to save and send on food, which can add up quickly if not planned accordingly.
3. Stay Flexible with Lodging
Many families will immediately search for a hotel or motel when vacationing, and lodging is often the single largest expense. For those that plan to stay in a single location for more than 3 or 4 days, there may be better options. A multi-bedroom condo or cabin could dramatically cut costs and even give family members a little more privacy.
4. Book Flights Last Minute
This step is slightly more difficult with larger families, but those that have a bit of flexibility with their flights could save quite a bit. As an airplane gets close to taking off, the airline will attempt to fill up every last seat by dropping prices up to 90 percent of their full value.
5. Paying the Right Way
Utilizing a credit card or checks may seem counterintuitive, but they can be powerful financial tools for travelers. Credit card companies have point systems that count towards flights and hotels. Ordering and using the cheapest checks can cut down on ATM and out-of-area fees in some locations.
Every family deserves a vacation that they will remember for the rest of their lives. These few simple steps are a great way to start saving on the next trip without cutting corners.