Under such circumstances, it’s inevitable that you might find yourself tightening your belt and having to make sacrifices. Many might feel that the family vacation is one such expensive luxury that you may have to do without for the foreseeable future.
Personally my family has had to sacrifice our vacations over the last few years to make ends meet. This doesn’t go to say that we haven’t at least taken some time off but we have managed to find ways to still to take in a vacation.
However, there’s an equally strong case for the family vacation being an essential safety valve from the pressures of modern working life, and this is especially true when you’re struggling to make ends meet. What’s more, the family vacation can still be affordable even on a tight budget, with just a little bit of planning, foresight and flexibility.
Start With The Internet
You’d be surprised at the great deals you can find online these days. With the internet you’re in control, browsing a vast amount of websites offering the best deals on hotel rooms, flights, hire cars and all-in vacation packages.
Check out Blue Green Resorts on Twitter for up-to-the-minute bargains, all from the comfort of your own home. Sometimes you can get the best price by booking well in advance, but you can also secure great deals with a last minute booking.
Shop around; often you can get wildly different prices on the same hotel room from different websites. Be flexible, look for a cheap deal and go for that, rather than searching rigidly for a certain date and destination.
Vacationing out of season can save you hundreds of dollars; even going just a few days before or after the official high season can get you a dramatic saving. Going off the beaten track to a less obvious destination can also save you money. Here’s a great article I wrote about a vacation I took that I was able to save a lot of money on.
Weigh up the costs of driving versus airfares. Gas is expensive on a long drive but can still be cheaper than plane tickets for all the family. Plus you’ve got your own car at your disposal for getting around once you’re there, which will be cheaper than hiring. On the other hand, some airlines let kids under a certain age travel free.
Thorough research can also help you find free, family-friendly activities such as local parks, city museums and historical sites. Booking online in advance can also get you cheaper entry to paid attractions. Look out for local entertainment discount coupon books at your hotel.
Another option to consider if you don’t have the money to travel far is to consider a staycation. This is were you travel to places in your local area maybe only a few hours away. This way you can travel back home and not have to deal with things like hotel expenses.
I did this a few years back were able to travel to several destination over a 5 day period and actually see more stuff in my area than if I were to rent a cabin or hotel.
In the end this all comes done to what you really prefer. Maybe you like going to the beach, skiing in the snow, or renting a cabin in the mountains. Whatever the option you may be able to make a staycation a part of that option.
Vacations can still be affordable if you plan and stay flexible. Set yourself a budget and put money aside throughout the year. Treating your family vacation as a priority rather than an expendable luxury is the key to keeping it within your means.