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Planning a family vacation can cost so much these days. And it gets even more expensive if you have a large family. I recently read something that said when kids reflect on their childhood, they remember experiences more than “things” that were bought for them. That made me feel that I should prioritize taking family vacations over buying the latest toys. But, we all know vacations can get pretty costly. So I have compiled a neat little list that will save you hundreds of dollars on your travel.
7 Tricks to save money on travel
1. Go During the Off-Season
Most destinations have a busy season and a non-busy season. The busy season is usually the time of year that’s most desirable for a given location. So, the Smokey Mountains and Disney World wouldn’t have the same busy season.
Visiting a location during the
If you were to go to Disney World during the winter months, you’d escape the heat and the long lines. Not to mention you’d have a better selection of places to stay.
The most important reason for traveling during the off-season is
Let’s see how this plays out in real life.
You want to go on a family vacation in Charleston, SC. This is a beautiful city that people tend to frequent between March and November. Due to its proximity to local attractions, you choose the Vendue Inn as your hotel.
If you stay at the Vendue Inn October 5th- October 8th, it will cost you $432/night. You plan that same trip for December 7th-December 10th and it drops to $209/per night. That’s over 50% cheaper! You can take the savings and put that towards another vacation!!!
2. Check Outlying Airports
It had never occurred to me to check other airports when traveling. I always went for convenience.
Let’s say you live in Charlotte, NC and want to travel to New Orleans, LA the weekend of October 8th. You would assume that your only option is to fly out of the Charlotte Douglas Airport into the New Orleans International Airport.
You could do this and your flight would be $323 round trip. That’s not too bad! But, what if you could fly even cheaper?
Now, keep in mind smaller airports typically do not have a large flight selection. Meaning they may not fly to your chosen location every day or they may only have one flight out per day. Also, they may utilize “budget” airlines.
Budget airlines are able to offer cheaper rates because they tend to be fee heavy. Some of them charge booking fees, a checked baggage fee, carry on luggage fee, and a fee for choosing your own seat. The ancillary charges can add up pretty quickly!
3. Take Advantage of an Infant Lap Child
Did you know that children under the age of 2 (24 months) do not have to have a seat on the airplane? They can sit on your lap coming and going! With most
With international flights, the infant’s ticket fare is normally 10% of the adult fare plus taxes. That’s still not bad.
Keep in mind you can only have one lap child per adult. Said adult has to be over the age of 15. Also, if your child turns two during the course of the trip, you’ll have to purchase a return ticket for them.
4. Utilize Hotels with Kitchens and Kitchenettes
When families travel, one of the largest expenses can be eating. You have to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not to mention, the kids will want snacks too! That can add up pretty quickly.
Let’s go to Orlando the weekend of October 5th.
You can stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Orlando International Drive/Convention Center. This is a 4
Your other option is to stay at the Floridays Resort Orlando. This is another
You can offset your cost even more by utilizing the full kitchen and not eating out for every meal. Sounds like a win-win to me!
5. Check with Wholesale Travel Programs
Both BJ’s and Costco offer discount travel programs for their members. Both offer many different travel options to include:
When comparing prices, also remember to look
We ended up booking our room directly through the resort website
We booked our rental car through the wholesale website. We got our car for 50% cheaper than some of the popular travel sites. It actually was cheaper for us to rent a car than it was to pay for shuttle service to and from our resort.
6. Buy Souvenirs for your Children Ahead of Time
n popular vacation areas, we all know their merchandise is overpriced. Buying souvenirs can take up a large portion of your travel budget. Getting creative and buying items ahead of
Put together a souvenir basket for each child to use while on the trip. Check out
Get creative with the baskets and give the kids a small budget they can use to buy one or two items they may want while on vacation.
Below are two examples of inexpensive themed souvenir baskets.
Beach travel basket:
T-shirt (with the City name)
Sand items (bucket, shovel, etc)
New swim gear
Individual gift card
Disney travel basket:
Disney themed shirts
Autograph book for favorite characters
Special autograph pen
Disney themed toy, stuffed animal, or doll
Book or coloring book
Individual gift card
When comparing destinations and hotels, take advantage of
When booking our resort through the
As you can see, it is quite possible to take a family vacation and not break the bank. You can use all 7 ways to save money on your family vacation or you can pick one or two. Either
Have you used any of these suggestions before? How do you save money on your family vacations?
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Keyona and Tiana
Keyona and Tiana are new mothers that blog over at Professional Momma. They share the real and unfiltered truth about the balance of being a mother, a professional, and a woman.