Part of the benefit of having a full-time job is paid vacation time; you can keep your salary for a few weeks each year without having to worry about paying the bills. Unfortunately, fewer families are able to travel during their vacations because of the fact that travel can be quite costly. Here are some tips for budgeting money to have a fun and fulfilling family vacation without breaking the bank.
Visit Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations
When you head to a place that tourism is the main industry, you’re likely to encounter more expensive hotels, car rentals, and attractions. Instead, plan to visit someplace that isn’t known for higher prices. You can often stay longer and have a more relaxing vacation when you can save on hotels and give yourself more time to enjoy the sights, rather than rushing to pack everything into just a few days.
Start Investing in a Vacation Fund
One of the best ways to ensure that you have money for vacations is to make saving for them a priority. Send 5 percent of each paycheck to a savings account specifically for your yearly vacation. Contribute any bonuses you get to the fund, and by the time your vacation rolls around, you should have a pretty solid budget in place to finance your trip. You can help grow that fund by investing in Forex Trading or some other type of liquid asset investing, so it’s ready when you need it.
Find Places Where Kids Stay Free
There are hundreds of options for family-friendly lodging, where it costs nothing extra to add your kids to your room. It’s also good to try and find attractions where children under a certain age are admitted free as well. Many restaurants have deals where kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. Take the time to explore these options while planning your trip and you’ll save.
Rent Your House While You’re Away
One of the best ways to find extra cash for vacationing is to rent out your home when you’re out of town. Sites like Airbnb can put your house to work for you; they’re also a great way to save on lodging when you’re traveling with kids. Renting a house with a full kitchen and washer and dryer can save you money on dining and help you pack light, saving on airline baggage fees as well.
Book Early & Look for Flexible Flight Options
Did you know that you can sometimes save hundreds of dollars per ticket on flights by flying on Wednesday instead of Friday? Unless you have to stick to a tight schedule (not recommended when trying to save money) give yourself a range of dates that you can fly, and you may find reduced pricing on slower travel days. The added bonus is that the airport will be less crowded, and security screening and check-in processes will be much easier, especially when traveling with small children.
Look for Low-Cost of Living Destinations
Believe it or not, traveling halfway around the world can wind up being much cheaper than traveling a few states away. Depending on where you go, food and lodging prices can be a fraction of the cost of traveling at home. Feeding your entire family for less than $10 a day and finding housing for $25 to $30 a night can more than make up for the cost of getting there. You’re also more likely to really experience the world when you take yourself out of your comfort zone and travel to an exotic destination.
Whatever your travel budget is, you can always find ways to save by thinking creatively and planning in advance. Remember that last-minute bookings are always significantly more expensive than when you book ahead of time.