As travel prices have risen, it has become harder and harder for families to go on vacation together. However, that doesn’t mean travel is completely impossible for families. You just need to be more financially savvy when it comes to planning. There are several hacks that can help you stay within budget.
Start Saving Sooner Than You Think You Need
Starting your saving as soon as possible will give you more time so it is not as much of a stretch each time you put something aside. It can also give you more in savings, so you have more options as to where you go and what you do while on vacation. One way to prevent your savings from depleting and eating too much into your paycheck is to refinance your current student loan debt. You can put the savings directly into your vacation fund without affecting the rest of your budget.
Have Some Flexibility With Dates
You might not want to flex on where to travel as a family but perhaps you can flex on when exactly. Even having a little flexibility with your travel dates can give you more leeway than a family that is unable to budget on the date. It’s a good idea to travel during the week, like on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, instead of over the weekend. Consider traveling during times of the year that not as many people want to go. It is common to go during the summer when school is out, but rates tend to be at their highest during the season. See if you can go during the spring or fall instead. The weather may still be nice, but there will not be as many people going.
Get Discounts for Family Members
Some family members might get discounts, especially if they are associated with the military as either a veteran or active duty. AAA members, senior citizens, and students may all get discounts as well. Even if you do not see anything listed on the website, it never hurts to ask if they will give you a few dollars off. If you are polite, you might be able to score hotel upgrades or get a friends and family rate from the hotel you want to travel to. Ask if they can give you an unpublished rate as well. Online travel agencies may have access to the unpublished rates, but you will likely have to speak to the agent over the phone to get it. That is because this is considered a private sales environment.
Re-Evaluate What a Dream Vacation Looks Like
You might feel like the dream family vacation is to go to Disneyland but ask yourself how many family members want to go there as opposed to a cheaper destination. There are plenty of destinations you can travel to that are not too far from your home. Instead of taking an expensive vacation to a top tourist spot, consider going somewhere that does not cost as much money. Florida’s Key West is a popular tourist destination, and the prices reflect that. Consider going somewhere a bit less built up, like an area just outside Pensacola. While the beaches can be just as pretty, they are also less crowded, and the prices are often half or less.
Changing the destination does not have to affect how fun the vacation is because the whole point is to enjoy time spent together as a family. Think back to some of your favorite vacations growing up. Your favorite memories likely did not take place at an expensive restaurant or fancy destination. In fact, when you are not as stressed about your credit card bill, you can kick back and relax even more with your family.