(Today’s great guest post is from financial writer Patricia Sanders. Enjoy!)
Family vacations are a must for me since they give me an opportunity to recharge my batteries. They give me a chance to have unlimited fun without any worries about business meetings and deadlines.
Usually, I save money every month so as to have enough money to have family vacations at least twice a year. But nowadays, even vacations have become quite expensive, and this worries me a lot. No matter how much I love family vacations, there is no point in sinking in an ocean of debt after an expensive trip. This is why I try to have budget-friendly family vacations nowadays. I try to save as much as possible during family vacations.
My dad is a very budget-conscious person. Plus, he has to travel a lot for his professional life. It is from him that I have learned tips to spare the wallet and have unlimited fun during family vacations.
Here are a few tips that I use to save money on a family vacation. I’m sure these tips will help you avoid a debt hangover after a fun-filled family vacation.
Read this if you are looking to get out of debt fast?
Take advantage of early-bird incentives:
Try to plan your next family trip 6 months in advance. Some hotels give heavy discounts when you book hotels and resorts early. So, if you book hotels 6 months in advance, then you can get heavy discounts and save hundreds. Also, you’ll get an opportunity to book a hotel of your choice. You’ll have loads of options.
Carry snacks from home
No matter where we go, I make it a point to carry a basket full of snacks. It’s a simply a waste of money to pay an exorbitant price for the same snacks at restaurants. Your kids can eat beef jerky, cookies, chips, pretzels, fruits, cakes, sandwich, etc. I make it a point to carry lots of fruit drinks as well since kids love to have them.
Travel by bus or train
Public transport can help to slash the cost of taking a cab. You can easily reach your hotel from the airport by a bus or train. Surely, a bus or train won’t drop you off on the doorstep, but you can at least get closer to the spot.
Watch out for “kids eat free” deals
I always look for hotels that offer “kids eat free” deals. Just imagine how much you can save on 3 meals when staying in a hotel for 4-5 days. If you can’t book a hotel where these deals are available, then do one thing. Try to book a hotel where you can get a room that includes microwaves and small refrigerator. You can cook some food in the refrigerator or keep them in the refrigerator. You can also even keep the leftover food in the refrigerator and reheat it in the microwave later.
Say ‘no’ to souvenirs
I don’t buy key chains or decorative spoons simply because they don’t serve any purpose. My idea is simple. If you really want to have a memory of that place, then take pictures as many as you want. You have your smartphone. Take pictures, share in your social media profiles and discuss the places. It’s cheap and fun too.
Carry a big Thermos
I love coffee. In fact, I’m addicted to it. So, whenever I’m on a long road trip, I carry a big thermos. Most gas station shops allow me to fill the thermos to the brim with coffee. And, the good thing is I have to only spend a dollar for it. This helps to save a lot on coffee.
The final tip
Well, this is an age old tip but an effective one. The best way to save money on family vacations is to have a smart budget and follow it. Just buy a jar and label it as “family vacation fund”. Whenever you’re shopping or buying something, pay in cash. This would stop you from making impulsive purchases. Keep the spare change in the jar. After a few months, you would be able to save a substantial amount for your vacation.
The idea is to be less depended upon credit cards since you need to pay interest on the outstanding balance. A lot of people think ‘what’s the big deal? We can use credit cards for having a wonderful vacation.” What they don’t realize is the fact that they have to pay a huge credit card bill after returning from vacation. They’re just inviting a big financial disaster.
Author bio: Patricia Sanders is a social animal. She loves to connect with others through social networking. But her biggest passion is writing content on different subjects.
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