Making Memories: 5 Tips for Planning a Family Vacation on a Budget

Planning a family vacation involves some seriously creative budgeting to make sure you all have a great time.

The average family vacation costs almost $5,000 for a family of four. If that’s beyond your reach, you might think a vacation is off the cards for you this year.

That’s not true! A budget-friendly vacation is possible with a little bit of planning. Keep reading to find out how to have the best family trip possible without going broke. 

5 Ideas to Make Your Vacation Budget Stretch Further

You don’t have to cut back on regular luxuries to save for your vacation (although that’ll help). Here’s how to make a tight budget go the extra (air) mile…

1. Go Wild With Camping

Camping is a low-cost way to get away with your family. There are great national parks across the country – you’ll find one within a few hours’ drive from your home.

Slash the cost further: your friends and family may have tents, sleeping bags, and other essentials they’re willing to lend you.

2. Try a Family Cruise

An all-inclusive cruise is easy to budget: once you’ve paid the final sum for the cruise, you won’t have to spend extra for meals and activities. 

Go ahead and try an all inclusive cruise for your next vacation – your family will love it!

3. Plan Ahead for Discount Fares

Sign up to email newsletters from airlines and travel operators: you can often snag great deals and discounts this way.

Flying midweek reduces the cost of airfares, too. Keep an eye out for extra fares like checked luggage fees: sometimes it’s cheaper to fly a more expensive airline with all fees included!

4. Find Free Activities to Do

Many factories offer a ‘how it’s made’ tour for free and come with great freebies, too. The Jelly Belly Beans tour, for example, is free and has lots for children of all ages to do.

Many cities offer free walking tours, too – an educational experience that also fills several hours with fun city sightseeing. 

5. Change Up Your Food Routine

Food is the most expensive part of most vacations. Going out for dinner every night soon gets costly – so change up your routine!

Have your main meal at lunch instead of in the evening. You’ll eat at the same great places but on a cheaper menu. Also, think about visiting a grocery store to pack lots of snacks and even a picnic for longer outings. 

Consider Planning a Family Vacation With Friends

Get even better group discounts by vacationing with other friends with families. Hiring a vacation villa, for example, is much cheaper when you split the cost with another family.

Going away with friends you trust also gives you free childcare: each couple can look after all of the kids while the other couple takes a few hours to enjoy themselves. The childcare favor can be returned the next day!

More Budget-Boosting Tips to Help You Save for Your Vacation

Being a savvy spender is just one part of planning a family vacation. If you take a look at your household budget, you’ll find little ways you can save throughout the year, too.

Check out our blog for more family-friendly budgeting ideas that’ll help you turn those saved cents into a bigger, better vacation next year!

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