How to Save Money on Your Next Family Vacation

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Today’s guest post comes to us from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes about home insurance quotes and related topics for www.homeinsurance.org.

How to Save Money on Your Next Family Vacation


In today’s economy, a vacation may seem way out of reach. But here’s the good news: there are many ways to save money and still enjoy a fabulous vacation. You and your family can plan a great vacation and spend less money than you think. Here’s how!

Plan Ahead


A great way to spend less money on a vacation is to plan ahead. After you’ve decided where you want to go, do some research online. For example, if you plan to fly to your destination, you can save money by booking your flight, hotel, and car rental in one bundle. You can also find valuable coupons and discounts online for various attractions, theme parks, and restaurants. Taking the time to search for these discounts will save you time and money.


Ways to Save if You Fly


Let’s face it: flying can be very pricey for an entire family. If you decide it’s the best method of transportation for your vacation, there are a few ways you can save. First of all, if you have frequent flyer miles, use them. It’s worth it to get a frequent flyer number if you don’t already have one. You can also inquire at your local bank to see if you can get a debit or credit card that earns frequent flyer miles. 

Another way to save if you are flying is to try and get by with less baggage. Baggage fees can add up fast, so plan to stay somewhere with laundry facilities. You won’t need to pack as much which will cut down on extra fees.


Plan a Road Trip


Driving on your vacation can make for a much cheaper adventure! You don’t have to worry about how much luggage you bring along, and you can make lots of exciting stops along the way to your destination. By driving, you avoid spending high ticket prices that you would have if you were flying, and you don’t need to worry about renting a car, either.


Accommodations


Instead of staying in a hotel on your vacation, why not stay in a vacation rental? For a family of 4 or more it can be much cheaper–you can sometimes save as much as 70 percent by going this route. If you stay in a vacation rental, you will most likely have a kitchen in which you can cook some of your own meals, allowing you to save money on food. Another way to save money is to camp. A family camping trip can be a lot of fun and it is one of the biggest ways to cut down on costs.


Food


Eating out three meals a day while on vacation is very expensive, especially if you have a large family. If you are driving, bring some food with you. You can easily pack a cooler with sandwiches, healthy snacks, and beverages. Food purchased at gas stations or convenience stores adds up. Look for grocery stores to purchase snacks and groceries instead. If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen or kitchenette, try and cook some of your own meals. If you cook breakfast and lunch, you and your family will be able to afford lots of nice dinners out.


Take a Cruise!


A family cruise can actually turn out to be quite cheap. Food and accommodations are included, and there’s plenty of entertainment provided for you and your family. Some cruise-lines offer deals as low as $199 per person.


Other Ways to Save


While on vacation, use your debit or credit card instead of withdrawing money from an ATM. Most ATMs charge a fee, and those fees can add up fast. Almost all places now accept plastic, so you can save a lot by avoiding ATMs. Or, if you travel to a particular foreign country very frequently, try out a foreign currency account to save on conversion fees. 

If you and your family decide to visit a theme park or large attraction, be aware that a lot of these places charge for parking. Look for free places to park even if it means you have to walk a little bit more. It’s cheaper and it’s great exercise.


If you need to rent a car for your vacation, check with your insurance agent to see if your car insurance policy covers rental cars. Some policies do and this will prevent you from purchasing car insurance you don’t need from the place where you rent the car.


As you can see, family vacations don’t have to break your piggy bank. There are lots of ways to save money and give your family a fun and memorable vacation!

How about you all? How do you save money by traveling? Have you used any of the tips above? Share your experiences by commenting below!


Jacob’s Thoughts on Various Article Points – 

  • @Frequent flyer miles – These are great to use for trips! One thing that I find frequently is that when I take a plane trip, the miles from the trip do not get added in to the system officially. This can occur when you have to do a lot of manipulation with your original ticket due to cancelled flights, etc. However, you can go in to the airline’s online system and request that the miles be back added.
  • @Saving money by carrying less luggage – This is a great tip as well! What I have been doing recently that works really well is to carry-on a large backpacking backpack that I gate check so that I don’t have to have it inside the fuselage with me. And, the folks at security don’t catch on that it is a big bag because it is “just a backpack.”
  • @Going on a car trip – I would just make sure to check that the total charge for gas will not be more than airfare!
  • @Going on a cruise to save money – While it is true that it looks like taking a cruise is cheap at first glance, it very important to know that the price of the cruise does not include alcoholic drinks or excursions at ports. Be sure to factor in those things when doing your financial planning!
  • @Using debit/credit cards when travelling – While it is true that ATMs do charge fees if you are not in provider bank’s network, watch out for foreign currency fees that credit cards charge you if you use them while out of the country. This is typically around 3%, and can add up to more than an ATM charge if you are not careful.
  • @Car rental insurance saving – Along with your car insurance company generally already providing rental car coverage, many CREDIT CARDS offer the perk of providing rental car insurance! Don’t get suckered in to paying more for insurance if you don’t have to!

***Photo courtesy of http://www.rezhub.com/Portals/2/Blog/Files/1/1038/WLW-10TipsForSavingMoneyWhileTravelingGreen_B734-stockvault_16011_20090404_9.jpg

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