Travel is one of the best ways to make memories with your kids. Children learn so much when traveling, it makes golden lifetime memories for kids (and parents too). However, travel can be expensive. A good and specific plan is needed to accomplish family travel goals. I’m excited to provide Top Money Saving Tips for a Family Vacation Fund. I hope these tips help families reach their most desired vacation destinations!
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Traveling as a family provides huge benefits creating perfect bonding moments for families. Some of my favorite vacations are when I was able to really spend time with my husband and kids in a relaxed, less scheduled vacation such as our Disney Cruise, our visit to an All-Inclusive Resort in Riviera Mexico, or our vacation to Arizona. We were able to do what wanted by choosing from the options rather than being highly scheduled. But, these trips could only happen with financial planning and cutting costs when we could.
Here are some Top Money Saving Tips for a Family Vacation Fund.
Look at Your Monthly Budget to See What Can be Cut
- Stop eating out to save money. Making good food at home is easy when using a good cookbook. Plan out time each week to meal plan to make delicious meals at home so it’s less tempting to go out to eat.
- Be smart when eating out. Eat out only when children can eat free at a restaurant (check your local area for such family deals at restaurants). Order takeout so you can get drinks from home. Avoid sit down restaurants that can be more expensive and where you need to leave a server tip.
- Frequent daily shopping trips should be stopped. Shopping more frequently for smaller amounts of food is fun to get fresh produce, but visiting the store daily may bring on more spending because good food is hard to not buy. Strolling through the stores can be hazardous to the budget. Stores are good at placing foods in ways that get us to want to buy them. Genius for them, bad news for the travel budget and vacation fund for us;)
- Refinance college loans to save money on monthly payments.
- Limit credit card use, or don’t use credit cards at all so monthly payments aren’t high.
- Consider cutting cable or switching to a cheaper package.
Create a Budget for the Vacation
This means research. It’s a time commitment to figure out potential travel costs, but super important to do when creating a budget for a vacation fund.
- First, determine how much you are willing to spend on the entire vacation. This goes back to how much you can actually afford.
- Be realistic, yet keep your travel bucket list in mind at the same time. There is a vacation idea out there for every budget, even to a local hotel with a pool for the night. Or, a staycation.
- Write down your ideas to help you create the budget.
Pick Where Your Family Wants to Go
- Determine which locations fit in your budget before deciding how much money is needed for the vacation fund
- Research to find average pricing for popular vacation spots such as amusement parks, a beach vacation, cruise (or Disney Cruise) or winter themed vacations like skiing and/or snowboarding
- Consider taking your vacation in a town where you have family or friends living so you can stay at their house to help cut travel costs (either the whole time or just for a few days of the vacation)
Remember these are averages and there are always ways to make the trip cheaper such as using airline miles, staying at hotels with free breakfast buffets, and staying in hotels with a kitchenette to make food in the hotel room instead of eating out for every meal.
My family loves the hotels that offer the free breakfast buffets. My boys love all the choices that are usually available at such hotels and the fact that they can go back up for more of their favorites. The waffle makers are always a top fave!
Decide How Much Money Will go to Each Aspect off the Trip
- Travel costs to get from point A to point B
- Excursions/Activity admissions
Tips for Reducing Travel Costs:
- Travel costs: meaning airline tickets (use free apps like Hopper to save the most money on flights) and look for deals for rental car fees. Don’t forget to add on airport parking fees. Drive instead of fly.
- Lodging costs: look into rentals by owner for cheaper lodging options with a kitchen, look for coupons for hotels or choose all-inclusive resorts with many activities already included in the package price
- Camp instead of staying in a hotel if driving to your destination. Tips for family camping, a frugal family travel option.
- Meals: sign up for coupons (like Groupon) for the city you will be visiting or search online for coupons for local restaurants, order pizza from a local pizza delivery service to be delivered to your hotel room
- Excursions/Admission pricing: look for coupons for hot spots for fun activities and tourist attractions for the city you will visit
- Souvenirs: Set a limit on how much kids will get to spend on souvenirs before going on vacation, this will hopefully eliminate tantrums or complaints. Allow kids to bring their own money if they want to spend above the designated souvenir budget, bring cash to buy souvenirs and don’t pull out your card to buy more once the cash is gone. Take pictures and once you are home, make a scrapbook (using a coupon) to keep as your souvenir rather than buying an item on the trip. Pictures are better anyway!
- Look for opportunities for Free Souvenirs: Pick up shells or sand in vials as a fun and cheap way to collect a souvenir (following local and airline laws of course)
Other ideas to reduce travel costs:
Another money saving tips for families is to buy a souvenir for a child as an early birthday or holiday present if the vacation is near their birthday or a holiday. This way the child can get something fun and special to keep in memory of the trip and less money can be spent on the upcoming birthday/holiday. I find this only works if it’s very near the special day, however. And, probably only works well for older children, as younger kids might not be able to accept or have the insight to understand that they will get fewer gifts when the day comes.
Watch the trends as travel packages fluctuate and try to book when it seems to be at the lowest price.
Tack family travel plans onto the end of a business trip.
Good luck and enjoy your travels!
I hope these Top Money Saving Tips for a Family Vacation Fund are helpful to you in reaching your family travel goals. Every family has a travel bucket list, good luck in completing yours and have a wonderful trip!
Have other tips? Leave them in the comment section, I’d love to hear them!
Copyright ©2018 Julie Hoag. All Rights Reserved.
Post created in unpaid mutual collaboration with Earnest.