Money-Saving Strategies for Making Family Trips Fun for Everyone


Photo by Jove Duero via Unsplash

Traveling with your whole family is a great way to make memories together, and it turns out that along the way, it can also be an important tool in the development of children. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it easy, financially or otherwise. If you’re a mom or dad trying to figure out not only how to afford family vacations, but also how to survive them with your nerves intact, read on.
Flying vs. Driving
Flying and driving both offer their own pros and cons. Flying can get you there quicker, but Forbes points out that when you have multiple tickets to buy, it can quickly become more expensive. On top of that, you will most likely need to rent a vehicle once you land so you and your children can go exploring.
On the other hand, road trips with your kids mean more hours getting to and from your destination, which can lead to added exhaustion and angst for all aboard. The best way around that is to make the journey part of your vacation, planning entertaining stops along the way.
Building more stops into your itinerary is an easy way to make the journey truly fun, and it can even be part of your economizing. You can pack picnic meals and lounge in parks, allowing everyone to fill their bellies and burn off pent up energy for a song.
Wheels for Less
You might cringe at the thought of everyone piling into your vehicle for hours on end, and not just because of the time you’re cooped up together. If the thought of wear and tear on your vehicle gives you cold feet, good news: Allianz Travel says renting for your road trip can actually save you money in the grand scheme of things. What’s more, if your normal ride is on the cozy side, it’s a chance to get a vehicle with more space for everyone to spread out.
Take to the Skies
Sometimes flying is an unavoidable expense. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to stretch your funds. For example, leaving midweek or on a Saturday is often less costly, and Family Vacation Critic points out some airlines let kids fly free. If you can get by with just carry on luggage, you’ll save on baggage fees as well.
If you and the kids are heading abroad, keep in mind you have a few extra hoops to jump through. If you have children under the age of 15, be forewarned that getting a passport is a time-consuming and complex process these days. This is due to the surge in child trafficking. Also, make sure everyone is vaccinated appropriately, since nobody wants their getaway to be tainted by illnesses and medical expenses.
Swap Lodging
Whether stateside or abroad, to make your costs more palatable, consider doing a house-swap with other travelers. It’s a fun way to get up close and personal with your destination, and it’s a smart way to save money. Accommodations might even be a wash cost-wise, and you can put the kitchen to use for meals.
On top of all that, the homeowner you make the exchange with might be able to supply things like toys and play equipment. They can also give you insights into your destination so you can catch all the must-see attractions, like tickets to watch the Houston Astros, and be selective on what meals and restaurants you decide to indulge in. Having insider information on your vacation destination can make a huge difference in your experience.
Rather than a vacation that eats away at your nerves and your budget, make sure your next family getaway is memorable in all the right ways. Consider your transportation carefully and think outside the box for both the journey and lodging. You and the kids will be able to enjoy the benefits of getting away from it all without spending beyond your means.
Amanda Henderson is a valued contributor to our OMB Blog. Please visit her website where she provides awesome resources on keeping your children safe!
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