Pregnancy and Parenting Features

5 Frugal Family Vacation Tips You Haven’t Considered

A family vacation can be an expensive proposition. Driving several hundred miles across country, paying for hotel rooms and attractions, and even dining itself can be major expenses. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Souvenirs, snacks, emergency supplies and other incidentals can add up, too.

The Internet is full of frugal travel advice, but much of that advice is simply common sense. Here are five tips for having a frugal family vacation that aren’t necessarily obvious.

  1. Plan multiple vacations or trips at once. For example, if you know that you’re planning a business trip to New York, a getaway with your spouse to Las Vegas and a family vacation to Disney World, you can book much of your travel all at the same time. Do it in one sitting as opposed to several. This will also allow you to compare rates among airline and hotel brands, and potentially earn more airline miles.
  2. Rethink souvenirs. The fact of the matter is that you can buy a lamp from Tahiti on eBay. Instad of bringing grandma a T-shirt that says “My kids went to Dollywood and all I got was this lousy T-shirt,” consider creating a digital record of your trip with personalized messages to grandma. She can then view them on YouTube, even while you’re still traveling.
  3. Understand that you get what you pay for. Convenience has a price. If you can leave for your flight at 4 AM, chances are you’re going to save a few bucks. On the other hand, you might leave for your vacation already exhausted. Decide whether the extra money is worth the convenience. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.
  4. You don’t have to fly. If you’re not going to cross an ocean, there are other ways to get there. You can drive, of course, but the train is also an option. Trains are often more comfortable than busses, and you’ll still get to see much of the country.
  5. Keep credit card charges in mind. If you need to pay for part of your vacation with credit, remember that there’s a cost associated with it. Vacation shouldn’t be a reason to accumulate a large amount of debt, so avoid it if you can.


So, what do you think? Do you have any vacation advice for families that you’d like to share with others?