In our ever increasing cost of living economy taking a family vacation often falls to the bottom of the “must-do” list. However, with some proper planning you can afford to take a family trip. You all know how frugal I am and if I can afford to travel my guess is you can as well.
Here’s my top 10 tips for taking a budget family trip:
1. Travel during the off-season. One of our favorite spots on earth is Hatteras Island, NC. During the summer this island is completely cost prohibitive. However, travel during the should seasons and your prices is reduced substantially. We generally travel here during March or April.
2. Travel with another family. When we go to Hatteras (see tip 1) we often travel with my parents. This cuts the cost of a rental house in half. This saves a lot of cash. I think the last house we rented for a week was $1000. We paid $500 for a 3 story, 5 bedroom, 3 bath house with an awesome ocean view. Not too bad for a week’s lodging.
3. Rent a house. Hands down renting a house is much cheaper than hotel lodging. I often use vrbo.com to find a vacation rental. By renting a house you can prepare many of your meals at home and not eat out as often.
4. If you go the hotel lodging route make sure your hotel offers breakfast as a perk. That is one less meal you will have to eat out. I always tell the kids to fuel up on breakfast because we will only be eating a late lunch/early dinner later that day.
5. Search for coupons online. Alan and I are headed to Fort Myers later this month. I found a coupon online for putt-putt golf that will save us around $5. . $5 isn’t much, but little amounts add up. Check out the tourism websites for the areas you wish to visit. Often times there are coupons you can print and bring with you .I still need to find some other coupons/discounts so if you know of any discounts in the Fort Myers, FL area, please let me know
6. Read blogs about travel hacking. I purchased membership to the travel hacking cartel and within 2 months I have enough miles for 2 free airline tickets. Not too bad for the low cartel free. If you are not interested in paying for a membership check out other blogs like Frugal Travel Guy and Flyer Talk, both sites share all kinds of tips and tricks on how to reduce travel expenses.
7. If you are taking a driving trip stop at a visitors center or travel center near the State line. Often times you can pick up a hotel/motel coupon book and find cheap prices for hotels. We like to do this when we take driving trips and aren’t necessarily looking to stay in one particular place. We use this most often when we decide we need to stop over for the night. It saves us quite a bit of money.
8. Buy a cooler and go to the grocery store. Buy picnic type food and skip the restaurants. It’s much cheaper and a lot more fun to find a park or beach to enjoy your lunch or dinner.
9. If you must go to a restaurant be sure to check out restaurant.com for discount gift certificates. You can often pick up a $25 gift certificate for $2. Watch for codes to use on their site.
10. Ask for advice. Find some mom forums or travel forums and ask for advice on best things to see and do in an area. Ask if anyone is willing to hook you up with cheap tickets to an attraction. My friend recently went to a park in Orlando for free because a friend’s son works there and she was able to use that connection for free tickets. I think most travelers love to help others travel and are willing to help out where they can. See tip 5…if you can help me out I’d really appreciate it 🙂
That’s it. There’s my top 10 tips for some frugal family travel. Do you have a tip you want to share??? Please leave me a comment. I’m always looking for ways to make it cheaper.
disclaimer: â€œI wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.â€