It’s hard to plan a great family vacation while living on a budget. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and just making ends meet, a long vacation may seem out of the question, but, it doesn’t have to be. Careful planning can help you create a nice family vacation without breaking the bank.
1) Plan In Advance
If you plan to take a long trip next Summer, start planning in the Winter. Put a little bit of money away each week and you’ll find that saving for a vacation isn’t as hard as you thought. If you wait until the last minute to save, you may not have enough each week to reach your goal.
Look for money saving coupons to your favorite chain restaurants. Most chain restaurants will honor coupons from anywhere. Saving money on meals is a great way to reduce costs. Almost all Sunday newspapers will carry coupons, and if you start ahead of time, you can stock up.
Research the area you will be vacationing and gather a list of motels and hotels in the area. Remember that you will not be staying in your hotel most of the time and may only need a meager list of amenities – such as an indoor pool for those rainy days. Another reason to plan ahead is that many times smaller motels will give you a better price on your room if you book it well in advance. Also, check the internet for travel websites that may offer deals on airfare, hotels and even car rentals. These deals are sometimes very good.
2) Let the Children Know You Are on a Budget
Children often don’t realize the value of a dollar. They believe that you can just go into a store and buy whatever you like. Letting your children know that you are on a budget will help them understand why you must sometimes say no. Have them participate in budgeting by telling them that they can only bring back one souvenir with them. This makes them responsible for picking out that one special item, and it will save you from the tears when they don’t get more than that.
3) Drive, Don’t Fly
While air travel will get you to your destination faster, if it is at all possible, you should try to plan your trip by car. Airfare is constantly changing and the prices are skyrocketing. Traveling with children by air could push your vacation budget over the edge. Car travel is relatively inexpensive compared to air travel, and a great car ride can be a memorable part of your trip.
Budget travel can be easy and enjoyable, if you plan properly. Poor, last minute planning will cost you greatly.