Many families take vacation while their kids are on summer break. So in the essence of vacation season coming up, I thought I would write some tips on how to save money on vacation and how to prepare yourself for your upcoming vacation.
If you are on a tight budget you can still plan time away with your family. There are plenty of activities that constitute a vacation that don’t have to cost a bunch of money. If your budget doesn’t allow for a beach vacation this year, consider a camping trip or local amusement park vacation. It is so much fun for the whole family just to spend time together.
Kids generally don’t need to have their time occupied 24/7. Remember to just let them enjoy having some time off without a schedule of activities to adhere to. There are tons of activities for kids to do all summer long that are fun and cheap.
If you are planning for a vacation away to a more expensive destination, this post may help you plan for and save money on vacation.
Here is a list of ways to save money on vacation:
- Plan ahead. Plan your attack as far as vacation goes. Make sure you plan ahead in every aspect. Hotel, food, snacks for the car/plane ride, activities, etc. The more you plan, the more money you can save. If you plan ahead, you can cut your expenses ahead of time to save for your vacation. Discuss vacation at one of budget meetings ahead of time to create a game plan of how you are going to pay for it.
- Look for deals ahead of time. Look at Groupon or Living Social for vacation ideas when you are in the planning stages. This may help you get some vacation ideas and also help you save money on airfare and hotel costs.
- Consider vacation in the off season. If you are thinking beach vacation, the off season will be cheaper. Look up when would be considered the off season and price match for those times versus peak season. Most likely the off season will give you the most bang for your buck.
- See if you can book activities ahead of time. Especially for a beach vacation or getaway. It may be cheaper to book activities ahead of time.
- Consider a local vacation. Campgrounds can be fun for kids. You can also do a local amusement park but make it more of a weekend getaway/mini vacation.
- Consider putting your house up on Airbnb. This is a site where you can advertise your home for others to rent while you are away. Not sure who would want to stay at our house is Ohio, but who knows.
- Split the cost with another family. If you are thinking beach vacation, is it possible to rent a house with 1,2 or 3 other families if there is enough space? If you are renting a beach house, you will also be able to bring your own food. Money saver!
- If you find a home rental, consider packing your own food. Planning your meals will help you save money in the long run. If you are able to rent a place with a kitchen on vacation, plan what meals you will make and go grocery shopping when you get there. If will be much cheaper to have snacks and meals that you can prepare instead of buy.
- Make meals ahead of time. If you have a kitchen in the place you are staying, consider making some freezer meals ahead of time and taking them with you in a cooler. This is depending on how far you are traveling but it would be reasonable to have some stuff made up ahead of time.
- Create a budget for the vacation. Sticking to a vacation budget will help keep you in check with your spending. You can use the cash method or just keep yourself accountable with receipts. Just find some way to stick to the budget that way when you get home you don’t panic.
- Figure out the top 3 things you want to do on this vacation. Prioritize what means the most to you on this particular vacation. What are 3 things you definitely want to do? Making a list of the things that matter the most will help you do what you want to do and feel fulfilled with getting those top 3 activities in.
- Take stuff to do for the kids. Take some toys from home. If you buy toys from a gift shop, they will be more expensive.
- Plan ahead for the travel part of the trip. Are you driving or flying? How long is the trip? Keep those factors in mind when planning. Make sure your kids have enough to do while in transit to your destination. Make sure you have planned enough cheap and healthy snacks for the family while traveling. If you buy stuff at the airport, it will cost you.
Summer vacation is a great time to get away with the kids. However, It doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of your long term goals. Just plan ahead and create a budget for the vacation you are going to take. Planning ahead will definitely help you save money on vacation. Think about every possibility of what you will be doing while you are going to vacation, while you are there and when you are coming home to make sure you have everything you need. If you follow a few of these tips, you will be sure to save money on vacation.
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