Anyone with children knows that raising a family is expensive. Food, clothing, school supplies, and extra-curricular activities all add up quickly. And, for many, this recession lingers. When summer rolls around and you start thinking about your family vacation, budgeting can seem daunting. However, with a little planning, you can still have a great get-away without breaking the bank.
1. Plan your meals
When travelling with a family, food can be the biggest expense. It is also a big headache if traveling with fussy eaters who balk at new and different foods. Finding a place to stay with a kitchen can easily solve these problems. By preparing some of your meals yourself can greatly reduce your costs.
Even if you don’t have access to cooking facilities, you can still save money. Most vacation rental places – even hotels – have at least a fridge for you to use. Bring milk, fruit and cereal to serve fast and easy breakfasts. However, don’t expect a hotel to have dishes. Plan ahead by visiting a dollar store to bring along some basic dishes and cutlery.
If taking a vacation from cooking is part of the appeal of getting away, you can still save money on food. Most grocery stores have a deli counter where you can buy salads and sandwiches for much less than a restaurant meal. Pick up food and drinks for an inexpensive picnic lunch while you’re out and about.
2. Take a Shorter Trip
There’s no law that says you need to get away for two weeks. Plan a long weekend or a mid-week getaway. You’ll still come home refreshed but won’t need the same budget as a longer vacation. Mini-vacations have the added benefit of being easier to pack for and less stressful on toddlers.
3. Off-season rates
If you’ve got a tight budget, check to see if your vacation rental or hotel has off-season times. Often these will be cheaper than peak season.
4. Bring Toys, Games and Sporting Equipment
Packing balls, bats, kites and water toys allows you to plan a no-cost day at a park or beach near your hotel. Create a (more…)