Many of us are on tight budgets these days, but that shouldn’t mean that your family couldn’t have a summer vacation filled with fun and memorable experiences.
I’ve been on quite a few vacations and have saved a tremendous amount. With what I’ve learned I’m going to give you money saving tips, along with low-cost destinations you can find across the US that will help you plan a family vacation worth its weight in gold, without the hefty price tag.
Money saving tips 101:
Drive, don’t fly: Gas prices are high, no doubt, but if you are looking to save money on gas driving to your destination may be a good option. Pack light and stick to the highway so you get the best gas mileage. Make use of apps such as gas buddy or fuel binder, to help you find the best gas prices along your route.
Picnic: Pack your meals for your trip and stop at rest stops, and have a picnic with your family. Stopping for fast food or at the restaurant I’m not only cost you money, but will also cost you gas mileage, because you will have to get off the highway to stop. Not only that, but picnicking gives you a chance to stretch your legs and engage with your family.
Bed, bargain, bid again: I have had nothing but positive experiences bidding for hotel rooms on Priceline.com. I always get a quality hotel and room and usually at between $35-$50 a night. The trick is to bid as close to your arrival day as possible, even the day of. Choose all of the surrounded locations of your destination, and choose three stars in down. Start bidding at your lowest preferable price and go up by five dollars each time. Sometimes Priceline won’t let you bed with the same search results in a 24-hour period, I get around this one of two ways. The first is to bid once a day starting 3 days prior to my arrival date, the next is only good if you’re traveling to a semi major or major location, this is because you are given choices to the location, such as center, West, etc. Choose one then bid and go from there choosing a different option for your location each time. Another site you can use is hotwire, again, the closest to your arrival date, the better deal you’re going to get.
Ditch the room service, embrace the outdoors: camping can save you a bundle. Campsites, especially at National parks and state parks cost anywhere between $15-$30 a night. They often have restrooms, showers and grills for campers to use as well. Some parks even have nature trails, horseback riding and other events.
To find a low-priced destination by state, all you need to do is search online for local campgrounds or national and state parks. Most of these will be under $100, and some even offer lodging such as villas and cabins. You really can’t go wrong with a national park or a state park.
What are some of your family vacation budget tips?