It’s All in the Planning: How to Afford the Family Vacation You Want

Fewer families are taking vacations these days. Part of the reason is limited funds yet a vacation for the entire family can be affordable if planned the right way. Why settle for the vacation you don’t want, or even worse, not go on vacation at all? It’s all in the planning. Here’s how to afford the vacation you want.

It's All in the Planning: How to Afford the Family Vacation You Want

Do It Yesterday

Diligent souls start planning a vacation up to a year in advance. Many airlines and hotels will post rates 300 days in advance. Some joke that planning a vacation is much like planning a family. It’s best done in advance. Cruise lines and theme parks may post information even sooner, so you could have more than a year to plan. It seems almost too diligent to start a year before, but it’s a great way to save and get to the places you want to go. Taking things further, placing a deposit places you one foot closer to vacationing.

Sign Up for Newsletters and Savings

It seems like every brand has a newsletter and social media profile these days. It’s easy to find the information to sign up to receive information on special promotions and deals. It’s a bit of a hassle to get even more email, yet if it’s going to save money, it makes sense. You can use your email provider’s filter functions to tuck certain announcements in a folder for later viewing. That way, you can sift through the information and take advantage of what you want when you have the time.

Choose All-Inclusive Accommodations

For some, just getting to the destination could cost a lot. From there, you have to figure in costs for lodging, renting a car, eating, and entertaining the kids at parks, beaches, etc. However, those who choose all-inclusive vacations can save on food, lodging, tickets to the park, etc. Alternatively, some choose to rent a family style home or cottage versus a hotel room. That way, you can save money by cooking at home versus eating out. In some cases, you can find semi-inclusive options. Find out about online signature loans, another way to afford the vacation you really want.

Satiate the Kids’ Want of Souvenirs

Bless the wallets of good-hearted moms and dads. Often, parents pay high rates to get in parks, wait in long lines, and endure hot weather to entertain the kids. As savvy brands and park managers know, kids love toys and souvenirs, hence a barrage of shops throughout amusement parks, boardwalks, etc. However, those souvenirs can quickly drain a vacation budget in mere minutes. It’s suggested to have a plan in store. For instance, giving the kids an allowance which places a cap on how much they can spend while on vacation.

Bring Your Own Beverages

Some parks may place restrictions on what you can bring inside, which limits the ability to take along your own food, yet many places will at least let you bring in your own water. Otherwise, you may be surprised to find that refreshments served under the hot sun are a bit overpriced. However, even if you can’t bring your own drinks, it saves to buy one bottle and then fill it up in bathroom sinks. It may not be an ideal situation, yet it’s an idea that can save you more than a few dollars.

Don’t Go Out to Eat

As mentioned, some rent a place fit with ranges, ovens, etc. to save on eating. It could be tough to find such or too much of an added cost to venture away from hotels, especially if accommodations are on site. Therefore, just avoid eating out while on vacation. Choose takeout or order a pizza, burgers, or other economically priced foods. It may not be your primary choice or not your idea of a totally healthy meal, but it will help keep costs down. Eateries in popular vacation towns are priced strategically. The menu prices are purposely set in hopes that the same families that are splurging on flights and accommodations will follow suit when it’s time eat. Vacation like a tourist, but don’t pay tourist prices to fill your stomachs.

Look for Group Deals

Perhaps you can make the next one an extended family vacation or ask friends and neighbors if they have an interest in going to the same place. In many cases, you can find group rates that apply to airfare, accommodations, restaurants, and more. Plus, as the maxim goes, two heads are better than one, so collectively, all the adults may come up with ingenious ways to save even more money.

Danielle Hunter is a Mom of a 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter, and just found out there’s another one on the way! She writes about money and her life experiences, sharing tips on how to cope, plan and survive no matter what life throws at you!

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