Family vacation. It is everyone’s dream to take the perfect family vacation. But with prices these days, who can afford one? You can. Just like every purchase you make for your family, you just have to save, budget and shop smart. Here are some tips for shopping smart for your next trip.
- Unless you have to – don’t travel during peak times. Peak times mean peak prices, and you can cut your cost instantly by traveling off peak. Don’t believe me, price the trip out during peak and non-peak. I promise, even if you do nothing else, you will save here.
- Rewards programs – I love them. And as long as they are free to join, why not join them ALL. Obviously, you will save points faster by concentrating on specific chains and not being all over the place, but since rewards programs also offer discounts to members… you never know when your program will pay off.
- Research, research, research. Prices are always on the move. Start your research early so you can compare average prices, and keep researching so you will be ready to pounce when a deal pops up.
- Groupon – If you love Groupon for dinning out in your home town, imagine how much you will love it on vacation. Added bonus, no wondering where you are going to eat tonight. (Restaurant.com also rocks for this.)
- Free food – does the hotel you are staying at offer a free breakfast? Eat it, enough said.
- Consider renting a house. Hotels are great, but if you are traveling with a big party, a house rental can help you save drastically. Bonus – you will have somewhere to go (the living room) when the kids are a sleep.
- Find online discounts and plan ahead. If you will be hitting up local museums or attractions, keep an eye on their websites. You don’t want to miss out on deals/specials they are running. Who knows visiting that museum on Tues instead of Wed could save money big time, but you have to plan ahead.
- Pack snacks, water, etc… If you are driving, load up all of your extra space with bottled water and your families fav snacks. Not only will you keep your family full and happy, you will avoid quick stops at the gas station for pricey refreshments. Flying, hit up the local grocery store when you arrive.
- Set a budget for souvenirs. Souvenirs, gotta have them, but let’s be realistic – are you really going to wear that shirt when you get home? Just like purchases at home, set a budget (one for you and for the kids), and think about each purchase to stay in budget. You’ll be happy when you don’t come home with a closet full of ugly stuff.
- Bring a jacket! I don’t care if you are going to the Caribbean, it could be unseasonably cold. Bring a jacket so you don’t end up having to purchase something god-awful-ugly to stay warm. It will blow your budget and your style! (Bring a bathing suit too… ya never know!)
So there you have it, my tips for saving money on a family vacation. It can be done, but you have to plan, budget and shop smart. So… where are you going?
Disclosure – I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.