Summer is one of the busiest times for travel, and families can create new and amazing memories together. Before I had kids, my husband and I would travel a lot and I always told myself nothing much would change when we have kids. It was important for me to introduce them to travel at a young age and experience some of the things I didn’t have the opportunity to do at a young age. So far I have managed to keep my word, but at times it can become really costly so I had to figures out ways to keep doing what we enjoy without breaking the bank. Money doesn’t grow on trees people so I ‘ve learned a few tricks for bringing costs down, and because of that, I’ll get to go to places I’ve always dreamed of visiting.
1.Plan ahead and save up!
We usually plan well in advance for our trips, so I’m able to plan for how much money I would need and when I would need to have it by. How much can you contribute to your travel fund every month? Saving even just a little over time can eventually get you to where you need to be. I set aside a pre-determined amount out of each paycheck in addition to my emergency savings, and if I came across anything extra , I add it to my stash.
2. Pick a destination within driving distance
Take advantage of cheap gas prices by visiting a destination within driving distance instead of flyinng. Not only will you save on airfare, you won’t have to rent a car or pay for a cab.
3. Look For Special Offers
Activities and attractions can be another spot that sucks back a lot of vacation cash. Before you leave, look into whether your chosen attractions or activities are offering any sort of special offers or deals you can take part in. I make a special effort to always go online to look for the best deals. I do this several times leading up to our vacation. You can also call the attraction, or contact the local visitor’s center to ask about any special rates or offers too.
4. Take Your Own Food
We’ve all heard that taking your own food is a great way to save money on summer vacation, yet do you actually do it? If not, it really does work. All you need is a small medium sized cooler you can take lunches, snacks, fruit, etc. and avoid spending money on the road. Doing this alone saves us easily several hundred dollars per trip.
Depending on where your summer vacation destination, you can even do the same thing in your arrival city. If you rent a house or stay in a hotel with a kitchen, plan to make your dinner. We usually allow for at least several dinners out while on vacation as it’s a nice treat for the kids and we get to try something we don’t normally at home.
5. Travel during the off-season or during the week instead of weekends. Rates are often the most expensive during high-travel times; it’s common for folks to take a week-long summer vacation or an extended weekend during the rest of the year. Hotels generally have lower rates for Sunday – Thursday stays. Also avoid traveling around holidays, when rates tend to be higher.
6. Can’t afford to get away? “Stay-cations” can be just as fun! Sometimes you just can’t afford to go away for a few days. Schedule some time off and explore what’s close to you, whether it’s a local park, nearby museums, or new restaurants. Staying closer to home eliminates a lot of travel expenses, such as flights and hotel charges. Want to save even more? Be on the lookout for free festivals or discount days/times offered by local attractions.
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