Family trips allow us to spend quality time with our family and make memories for the lifetime. However, going on a vacation like that also means thinking of the word ‘extra’ for everything: attraction tickets, food, entertainment, lodging etc. But skipping the family trip due to a tight budget is not a great idea. There are some simple ways of planning a trip without winning a lottery or going into debt. Make sure you know how to get the most out of every dollar and enjoy the vacation without sacrificing fun.
1. Go for a Staycation
Visiting a national forest or a historical site without going too far from your home could help you get the best of both the worlds. You can easily reduce the expense to travel and get a vacation experience. Some hotels also offer discounts for local residents, ask them alongside cheap tours and attractions. A few best online places to search for staycation deals are- Groupon, TravelZoo, and LivingSocial. These sites also offer discounts on food and other activities.
The best part is you don’t need to fly or drive a long way to search for a vacation spot, even if it’s close to home, you can enjoy an atmosphere without being on an extravagant trip.
2. Indulge in Activities
Going to movies, catching a baseball game, wandering around the theme park, these activities cost a lot of money and are not ideal for creating good bonding among the family members. Hence, choose to do some activities that cost low as well as give you a chance to talk and connect with your family. For example, hiking, cycling, camping etc.
3. Grab a Package
Booking a full package often fulfill the purpose of cost-effectiveness rather than booking the air tickets, lodging and car rentals etc all separately. Some online travel sites like HolidayMe offer some great vacation deals, but in the meantime don’t forget to check for package deals with your travel agent too.
4. Visit less crowded places
Beach vacations are considered to be the Holy Grail of family trips. Memory-making experience, sun, sand, relaxation and stress reducing quality time are spent with family members. But, if you choose places referred as the most popular vacation destinations then that might cost you a lot. However, this doesn’t require you to skip the beach trip, rather consider the shore of Alabama than Southern Carolina. In July, a beachfront hotel in San Diego costs around $234 for each night, while at the same time a beachfront hotel in the Oregon Coast charges around $100.
If you are living somewhere distant from any beach, then give a try around the lakes nearby. It’s both affordable and fun, for example, a visit to Lake Powell in Utah costs only $30 as an entrance fee along with free camping on the shore facility. Other expenses like fuel and food cost is about $400 a week. You could also include places like Lake Havasu in Arizona, Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin and Lake Tahoe in Nevada in your travel list.
5. Club Stores for Booking
It might sound a little unusual at first, but club stores like Costco often offer holiday trip-planning services with profitable deals. For example, a Costco member could book a Disneyland vacation package including passes and lodging costing $2,603. Again, the members also receive various benefits like Disney gift card and a character dining experience.
6. Go for Upgrades
Ask for getting upgrades even though they are available for qualifying guests only. There are stories of getting upgrades on from airfare to hotel rooms all you need to do is simply ask for it. Even if the staff says no, there is no harm in giving your luck a chance.
7. Flexibility is the Key
Vacation and travel sales go on every now and then. If dates are kept flexible, a person is bound to find a better deal than someone who has a tight schedule. Whether it be a hotel room or a deal for river rafting, you could easily grasp a cheap Groupon deal during the off-season or week. However, its not always possible to drop everything and set out for a trip but an open mind could definitely help you select the best deals.
Family trips are a great source of peace for your busy outworked mind, however, remember the fact that it is just a mere luxury, not a necessity. It is nice to spend a summer around the beach but it’s definitely not worth racking up debt. Thus, widen your resources and be innovative while planning a family vacation. If you stay within your budget, with a peaceful debt-free mind you could enjoy your vacation optimally.