We travel to get out of our comfort zone and interact with nature, immerse ourselves in new cultures, learn new languages, and enjoy local dishes. We also travel to create happy memories that our children will talk about for decades. A family vacation is a great way to strengthen bonds with your kids and partner. It also exposes your children to the world outside their front door and helps them learn new things. But traveling with kids can be costly. Here are 7 tips for how to travel with kids that will help you save money on your next family vacation.
1. Create a Flexible Travel Schedule
A flexible travel schedule allows you to save significantly on both air tickets and lodging. Schedule a family retreat for a mid-week stay, instead of a weekend one. You can also pick your destination and then evaluate the cost of accommodation for the duration of your vacation over several different time frames to identify the cheapest rates. Alternatively, travel off-season to make the most out of bargain pricing. This means you’ll avoid popular travel seasons like spring break, holiday weekends, thanksgiving, and summer. Instead, you’ll travel mid- to late-September, October, or even January.
2. Book Way Ahead of Time
Booking your trip as early as you’ve decided on the dates and destination is the best way to make use of early-bird savings. It also allows you to benefit from more availability options. Apart from better prices, booking in advance increases your chances of getting seats together on an airplane or train, quality car rental options, and spacious vacation rental.
3. Subscribe to Special Deals
Globally known family getaways like Disneyland Resorts, Universal Orlando, The Rockettes, and Walt Disney World have a variety of promotions all year round. The best way to stay updated on these great deals is by subscribing to their newsletters and promotional emails. Some of the special deals you’re likely to score include discounted tickets or an extra night at no cost.
4. Enlist Your Kids in Travel Rewards Programs
You and your partner are perhaps enrolled for airline points, but maybe your kids are not. Ensure you register them before you travel. The goal here is to get the travel attributed to their accounts. Keep in mind that many airline points, especially those you obtain via United Mileage Plus, remain viable for decades. So the earlier your little ones start collecting them, the earlier they can enjoy benefits such as favorite seat selection.
5. Come up with a Comprehensive Travel Budget
Before starting your family trip, develop a detailed budget, and then adhere to it. Make your budget as detailed as possible by including everything, from airfare to rental car to lodging to souvenirs to entry fees to meals and snacks. A detailed budget will help keep surprises away and ensure you remain within the scope of what you had planned to spend.
6. Stay Outside the Heart of the City
Staying outside the heart of a city is another fantastic way to save money during your upcoming family trip. You can then take public transit or drive to the attractions that are within the city center. These sleeping arrangements could also help you secure a calmer spot at night and provide you with an opportunity to explore part of a city that you wouldn’t have otherwise visited. What’s more, taking public transit to the city center adds fun to the whole family vacation experience. Just make sure you choose a family-friendly vacation rental that offers excellent views of the city and neighboring countryside.
7. Opt for Local Attractions and Experiences
Avoiding extremely touristy sights and experiences can add more fun and memories to your vacation. It can also help you save a lot of cash. Highly touristy attractions tend to overcharge visitors due to the high demand they attract. But with a little understanding of local culture or language, you can explore foreign places effortlessly. Exploring local attractions provides your family with a more authentic experience.
Traveling with kids can be pricey, but you don’t have to spend all your savings just to take that much-needed family vacation. Instead, get creative and come up with ways to reduce the cost of your trip. You can start with the above 7 tips.