No matter how you spin it, the fact remains that vacations are expensive. This is especially true when we’re talking about family vacations that involve entertaining, feeding and wrangling your kids in addition to trying to have a good time.
Oftentimes, all it takes is some attention to detail to bring the price tag of your trip down significantly. In fact, consider the following pieces of planning to be cornerstones of taking a family vacation that doesn’t totally break the bank.
Become a Better Bargain Hunter
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly frugal, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the endless variety of deals and opportunities to save on vacations. For starters, coupon codes are all the rage for slashing costs on travel must-haves such as hotels and airfare. In fact, this Expedia coupon code is a prime example of how the modern web can help you save.
While you’re still in the planning phases of your trip, scour the web for codes and deals. Rather than jump on the first offer you see, don’t be afraid to shop around for the sake of even greater potential savings.
Keep Your Amenities in Mind
In short, you need to assess whether or not your potential hotel’s amenities match up with your budget and family’s needs.
For example, let’s say you’re thinking about a hotel that’s a bit out of your price range but offers a free shuttle to take you to and from the airport along with nearby attractions. Paying a bit extra for that hotel might actually save you money and stressful situations in the long run as you then don’t have to worry about renting a car. This same rule applies to other amenities such as a complimentary breakfast, keeping you and your family fed for absolutely free.
Timing is Everything
This tip is rather obvious but still incredibly overlooked: the best deals for travel are oftentimes found during the offseason. If you can find the opportunity to avoid holiday and summer crowds, you can reap the rewards of cheaper travel accommodations and fewer people to deal with in terms of travel traffic.
Traveling during the offseason does require additional planning and sometimes the stars need to align in terms of your schedule, but it’s definitely a solid option for budget travelers.
Location, Location, Location
Don’t make the mistake of booking a hotel that’s off the beat and path solely for the sake of savings. Unless you know the area you’ll be traveling well and have access to easy transportation, you could eat up hours of your time just sitting in traffic or otherwise doing nothing because you stayed on the outskirts of your destination. As such, staying too far away could ultimately lose you money in fuel costs or a constant need to Uber your way around town.
Beware of “Too Good to Be True”
If a booking or accommodation seems too good to be true, it very well could be. Such is the case with many recent AirBNB scams and nightmares that tend to overwhelm and surprise travelers out of the blue. Sometimes it just plain makes more sense to seek out a sensible hotel versus potentially wasting money on sketchy lodging.
Saving money on your next family vacation isn’t all about penny-pinching. Instead, think about how smart planning in advance can help set you on the path toward your next trip sooner rather than later.