Taking the whole family on a vacation can really drain your wallet and when you are worried about money, it takes some of the enjoyment out of your trip. One of the keys to saving money on a trip is to have the entire thing planned out before you even leave the house. There are many things you can do to ensure that you don’t break the bank and get left wondering ‘where did it all go?’
Try and choose a destination you can drive to. Car travel is still one of the most inexpensive ways to go, you can carry all your luggage with you, access it at any time and set your own schedule. When you drive, you can stop anywhere you like along the way and see things you would have missed if you were jetting over at ten thousand feet. You can bring your own snacks and drinks with you in the car in a cooler and you don’t have to worry about the food being gross. Mom and Dad can take turns driving so they can get some rest and the kids can play games without disturbing anyone but the family.
When you choose a destination, try to avoid tourist traps. Trips to landmarks and natural wonders are the best kind as it usually doesn’t cost anything to look at them. Things like Disney World are fun but not when you are looking for inexpensive travel. Amusement parks and the like are going to drain the money out of your wallet like a sieve. Look for state parks, especially when going to the beach. State parks have the best deals and lowest admission prices. If you do go to an amusement park, bring your own lunch.
Amusement park food is usually double the cost of food in the real world. Most parks allow you to picnic and have areas designated for it as well. Even if you have to leave the park to drive up the road to a local fast food restaurant you can save yourself a good deal of money and still return to the park afterwards.
You may want to consider camping as an alternative to getting a hotel room. Camping is always cheaper than a hotel and camp grounds usually have many activities and attractions for their patrons to enjoy including swimming, fishing, hiking and even bike rentals. There are usually campgrounds next to the major attractions and reservations are recommended.
A family vacation doesn’t have to break the bank and if you give the kids a budget before you leave, they will be wise with their money and probably spend a lot less than if you just went off the cuff. Planning your trip out carefully will save you a lot of money in the long run.