The words family travel budget probably stresses you out and makes you start to sweat. Remember when you were single or married with no kids? You could throw a swimsuit and an outfit into a bag and be gone in 15 minutes on a whim. No issues, no worries, no problems. But now that you have a family and kids to think about it is a little bit harder. Savings. Budget. College accounts. Car payment. School schedules. Volleyball games. Taxes. The list can go on and on.
Family Travel on a Budget
Family schedules and the family travel budget can be stressful. There is absolutely no need to end your social and travel life once you have a family just because of money. There are many ways to get the whole family together for a glorious and enjoyable vacation that is suitable for all ages on the smallest of budgets. Here are some tips and ideas to get you through an amazing and enjoyable vacation without having to empty your bank account or increase your debt. Putting together a family travel budget and SAVING is easier than you might think.
Plan a Vacation With Everyone in Mind
Does your daughter Haley enjoy art while your oldest son Adam likes music? But really all you and your spouse are looking for are nice evening meals outdoors? Book your trip where you can check out some awesome galleries, go to a live music concert and dine in style. If the trick is to make everybody happy, make sure everyone is covered for the same cost. The perfect vacation for this family might be Austin, Texas.
Take Advantage of Free Activities
If there is going be a parade and carnival at the location you are looking to visit next weekend you might as well book your trip to coincide with the events are taking place. If everyone is going to enjoy that activity, take advantage of that free event! Push your trip a week (or plan it for that week) so that you can enjoy not only the location but the free events that take place there. Look up street artists, fairs, free outdoors music festivals, you name it!
I like to plan a stay in Park City, Utah each summer to enjoy the Park Silly events. Art, farmers market, food, live music, and entertainment for the kids! Not to mention if you do your research you can celebrate in Park City for the weekend while Oktoberfest is going on. You can spend a whole day with the family dancing, singing, participating in fun events and trying German food while riding the ski lift up the mountainside and enjoying your beautiful surroundings.
Book Using Frequent Flyer Miles and Hotel Points
Cutting down on the price of the travel for the trip can help you have more fun when you get there. Use your frequent flyer points and fly for cheap or free. Cash in your hotel points and upgrade to a bigger room or even a suite. Many reward programs also have discounted rates and monthly promotions for their members so make sure and check those out BEFORE you book anything.
My husband travels a lot for work and his company always uses Marriott or Hilton so we bank those points all year and then cash them in for a suite when we travel with the kids. More room = happiness when traveling with 6 people.
Cook Meals and Find Free Meals
If you’re not so much into eating out (wwwhhhhaaatttttt????) be sure to book a hotel that has a mini kitchen in the room or to stay somewhere you can prep an easy meal. When you upgrade to a bigger room or a suite (see above) many of them come with kitchens or kitchenettes. Eating is one place that you can save a LOT of cash. By eating one meal in the room you can save easily $60- $100 for a family of 5. Many restaurants have kids eat free programs – just Google it. Cutting down on food expenses can let you have the fun you and your family are looking for.
Capitalize on Your Children’s Young Age
When children are under five or six you won’t have to deal with school schedules and missing work so capitalize on it! You might be worried about traveling with little ones so opt of a road trip where you can go at your own pace. Plane and train tickets can be cheaper or even free depending on age so check that out. Taking a vacation in the middle of school season can save you on the high mid summer rates and large crowds. If you are headed to California, Florida, Texas, or any of the other warmer states don’t wait until June or July. Head out in April when the weather is beautiful (not too hot but not cold) and the crowds are small!
If you’re working from home doing freelance jobs, you can do the same work outside you home, all you need is a computer. It won’t save you money but it helps you keep earning it while you travel. Be sure to have an organized schedule, laptop, and some quiet time each day and you’re good to go. Both my husband and I work from home most days so traveling while working is easy for us. We get organized, make a family travel budget, set a plan and get work done all while visiting a new place and enjoying some amazing adventures!
These are just a few ideas for traveling on a tight budget. When you start to plan your family travel budget make sure to get organized and research – that’s the best way to save money on your trip.