No matter where you go on your family holiday, there are tons of other money saving tips that you must know. And we’re here to tell you about them!
Be sure to join travel clubs like the AA or search online travel clubs. They can be huge sources of savings not only when talking about your holidays, but also year-round. Make sure you’re using these memberships to their fullest potential. You’re paying for the privilege of being a member, take advantage of all they have to offer.
Stay alert to the little things that siphon off money. It really adds up. If you have to pay for parking, look for parking a few blocks away and get some extra exercise. If you are tempted to buy souvenirs, just stay out of the shops! If that seems too severe, give yourself a small budget and stick with it.
Take food into parks and attractions so you aren’t tempted to spend the exorbitant rates charged at concession stands. If you are a more mature person or taking the grandparents, always ask if senior discounts are available.
Keep a journal of expenses on each trip. This gives you an idea how much to budget for future holidays. Keep a record of the money you save as well. You’ll discover that it will inspire you to find more ways to save. Create a special fund to deposit the extra savings and use it toward something you’ve been wishing for – this will provide you with additional incentive.
Set your itinerary. Agreeing on an itinerary is important because adults and children have different ideas of “fun.” Adults may want to do things that they can’t do at home like drive through the mountains, visit historical sights, go horseback riding, etc.
Children basically want to do what they can do at home: watch TV, visit a man-made attraction like Six Flags, or swim in the hotel pool. You’ve got to compromise. If they agree to give you a day in the mountains, reciprocate with them by taking them to the run-of-the-mill theme park that seems like a waste of time to you, but heaven to them! After all, holidays are for the whole family.
As we’ve said time and time again, be flexible. Not every one of your days has to be planned. This can be risky, but sometimes the memories are worth it. You may happen upon a music festival that wasn’t in the brochures and be able to share your love of 80’s music with your children even if they are rolling their eyes the whole time!
If you are driving to your holiday destination, it’s a great idea to stay in one place for a majority of the time. Admittedly, this is from Dad’s perspective because he is the one who packs the trunk. For at least part of your holiday, pick a place (like a family camp or the beach) where you are not packing and unpacking the car every day. Having five kids and your spouse packing and pointing toward a scheduled departure time begins to take on aspects of a cattle drive. Staying in one place allows you to relax for awhile.
Since prices usually are 30 to 50 percent less in off-peak times, you may need to take school-age children out of school to realize your holiday dreams. This isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be, so save the guilt and focus on the rewards.
As soon as you have your trip tentatively scheduled, inform the teacher. Ask for the work ahead of time and suggestions of how your children can share the experience with their classmates. Perhaps they can give an oral report when they return or present a photo journal. This is a great way to keep your child interested in the trip and let them get the maximum value out of what you’ve planned so hard to make a reality.
Set aside “homework time” every day so they don’t fall behind, and bring some goodies back to share with the class from the region you’re visiting. The teacher will appreciate it and the kids will be excited to have one of their classmates share the experiences they got to have first-hand!
Because you want to save as much money as you can without sacrificing fun or memorable experiences, you need to do research and shop around. What’s the best way to do this? Online, of course!