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How to Keep Your Family Vacation on Budget!

Getting that itch to travel, to relax and take a break? After the crazy year we’ve had, who isn’t? But what about the cost? It can be so stressful going on vacation if you’re worried about your budget. Let me help you come up with ways to keep that family vacation within budget.

Tips to have a frugal family vacation

  • Pick a close destination
  • Find accommodations with a free breakfast
  • Stay with family or friends
  • Look on sites like Groupon 
  • Use Airbnb or VRBO 
  • Pack snacks 
  • Consider a House Swap
  • Visit historical and scenic landmarks
  • Find family roadside attractions 
  • Create a family bucket list (for the vacation)
  • One must-do (per family member)
  • Balance your days
  •  

    Pick a close destination

    Think about a place you can drive, too. Save on airfare by driving to your next family vacation.  

    Find accommodations with a free breakfast

    By eating breakfast at your hotel for free, you will cut your eating out budget significantly. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast, with all its variety!

    Stay with family or friends

    One thing I love about road trips is seeing people you haven’t seen in a while. Instead of spending money on a hotel, maybe spend a few days with an old college roommate. Remember to not overstay your welcome!

    Look on sites like Groupon

    If your travel destination is flexible, go somewhere that is offering discounts. Use sites like Groupon to see your options. Groupon even has a page devoted to family fun vacations.

    Use AirBnB or VRBO

    If you’re traveling with a large group, it can be cheaper to look for accommodations on Airbnb or VRBO. Using a house instead of a hotel gives you the option to cook more meals instead of eating out. 

    Pack Snacks

    A big expense can be getting snacks at roadside gas stations. I’m not saying don’t snack, because that’s half the fun of road trips, but be smart about it. Buy your snacks and drinks ahead of time and save yourself the cash when filling up the tank.

    Consider a House Swap

    Like the movie “The Holiday” you can sign up to exchange houses with other members. HomeExchange is the leading website, but there are many more out there. Try Love Home Swap. There is a membership fee to both of these sites, but that gives you peace of mind in booking. Think of it as a reservation fee.

    Visit Historical or Scenic Landmarks

    Many of these places are free to visit. Ask locals where they like to go for fun. Do a little online research before you go. The National Geographic website has a great article on free landmarks, just know you have to sign up for their email list if you want to read it!

    Find Fun Family Roadside Attractions (the quirkier the better!)

    Have some fun before you even get to your final destination. Stop off at some roadside attractions along the way. From gum walls to Cadallics in the ground, you never know what you’re going to find.

    Create a Family Bucket List

    Have fun creating the list of things you can’t miss. Museums, restaurants, or something as simple as a family picture somewhere special. 

    One Must-do

    Like the bucket list, this one gives each family member one Must-Do on the trip. So maybe you don’t get to do everything you wanted to do, but everyone gets one thing that is most important to them

    Balance your Spending Days

    Day one you went to this awesome theme park, day two could be a picnic in a local park. Have days where you plan to spend nothing, except for food. By balancing your days you won’t feel guilty spending a lot at the souvenir shop. You know the next day you’re going to stay poolside at the hotel and leave the wallet in the room!

    Hit the Road Jack

    Who knew there were so many fun options to take a trip but stay on budget? From how you travel, to what you do, you can have a fun time without the stress of messing up all your hard work! So what are you waiting for? Pack those bags and hit the road!


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