Time, travel together: Planning the ultimate family vacation.
A family vacation allows loved ones to spend quality time and travel together, creating wonderful memories they will remember fondly in years to come.
A holiday is often anything but cheap, as you will have to pay for accommodation, food and attractions for multiple members.
To maximize your budget, and ensure that a family vacation doesn’t break the bank, read these simple tips for planning the ultimate family vacation and making your money stretch further.
Set a vacation budget.
Before you start looking at destinations, transport or accommodation, set a budget to know exactly how much you can spend on a vacation.
Ensure you stick to any budget you set, as you should only spend money you can afford, otherwise the holiday will not be enjoyable.
Consider extra fees.
It’s wise to consider any unexpected fees when creating a vacation budget, such as baggage, parking or tax fees.
To ensure you are not stuck for cash, add a little rainy-day money into a budget so that you won’t spend your holiday worrying about your finances.
Visit a website such as TripAdvisor to find out if a hotel or attraction has any hidden fees that they have not listed on their website.
Create a vacation email account.
Never miss a vacation deal again by creating an email account that receives the latest deals. From family-friendly cruises to fun days out with the kids, create an email that will send the internet’s best bargains directly to your inbox.
It’s a great way to spoil the kids with an exciting holiday at a fraction of the recommended retail price.
Be flexible with your vacation dates.
The date you choose to travel will determine the cost of the holiday.
Try to be a little flexible with your dates to secure a better deal for your price range. For instance, you could take advantage of voucher codes for select dates or fly in the middle of the week for more affordable flights.
Also, night-time flights can also be much cheaper than choosing to travel during the day, so change your dates and times to find a vacation bargain. Flying during off-peak times will also ensure the whole family avoids a congested airport so that you can have a more enjoyable travel experience.
Take advantage of free attractions.
Many destinations offer free attractions that can provide fun for all the family. For instance, you can tackle a hiking trail, go on a cycling tour, or visit free or inexpensive attractions such as museums, local festivals, etc.
It’s a great way to entertain the children, while saving your money for costly attractions.
Ask for an upgrade.
It never hurts to be a little cheeky during a vacation, as many hotels, airlines and attractions are often happy to provide an upgrade upon request.
Also, if there is a problem with a room, hotel or service, ask for a room upgrade as compensation for the inconvenience.
You have nothing to lose and a better vacation experience to gain.
Camping offers an affordable holiday that all the family will love.
There’s nothing better than pitching a tent and building a campfire, before spending the evening laughing, chatting and singing songs.
It’s a great way to disconnect from the stresses of daily life or modern technology, as you can all focus on spending time with one another.
What’s more, you can prepare all your food at home ahead of the trip, which you can store inside a cooler.
There are also some easy recipes for campfire cooking you can try to add authenticity to the experience.
Buy off-site souvenirs.
Commercial areas and big attractions will often charge an extortionate amount for souvenirs, which are often much cheaper when you head a little bit off the beaten track.
Don’t give into your child’s demands and wait a few hours to buy the same souvenir at a cheaper rate elsewhere.
The money saved can then be used towards different attractions.
Ask for contributions.
Does an upcoming vacation coincide with your child’s birthday or graduation?
If so, ask family members to contribute to a child’s spending money instead of buying them a gift.
Measures such as this can help to reduce the costs of a family vacation, and allow your son or daughter to have their own money to buy souvenirs, candy or gifts for family members.
Consider a package holiday.
It can often be far more expensive to pay individual payments for accommodation, airfare and car rentals.
While it never hurts to browse the market, don’t rule out buying a package deal for a family vacation, as you can save a significant amount of money.
Do your homework to find the best deal online from a reputable holiday company.
Set sail on an older, smaller cruise ship.
New cruises are routinely advertised to attract customers in their droves, and they are also often much more expensive than older ships.
If you want to grab a vacation deal, consider stepping aboard an older cruise ship, which will provide passengers with an unforgettable experience but at a much lower price.
You’ll wonder why you hadn’t booked a cruise for the family sooner, as it is a wonderful way to see the world.
Remove the minibar.
Children will fall in love with a minibar the moment they lay eyes on it.
Don’t allow your little ones to develop expensive, unhealthy habits during a holiday and ask for it to be emptied by hotel staff.
It will also free up space for much less expensive, store-bought juice or milk for your children.
Buy travel insurance.
When travelling as a family, it is crucial that you buy proper travel insurance for everybody.
While the last thing you will want is for your partner or child to experience an illness or injury, accidents can and do happen on vacation.
Plan for the worst and hope for the best, but be sure to do your research and find a reputable insurer. So, if your child or partner does need medical attention, you can protect their health while saving a considerable amount of money.
Going on holiday doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little bit of research, resourcefulness and shrewdness, you can ensure you enjoy an unforgettable vacation the whole family will talk about for many years to come.