Ten Ways to Enjoy an Affordable Family Vacation

family picnicking at the beach

Looking for the perfect family getaway at a budget friendly price? You have options outside of residence or ancestral home for vacation. With a little creativity and planning, you can cut vacation costs without missing out on any of the fun. Here are some ideas for planning a family vacation on a budget.

1. Subscribe to Online Price Alerts

Start planning your vacation with a long perspective, and you can really develop an eye for good deals. Subscribe to price alerts on websites like Kayak, TravelZoo, or DealBase to get a feel for your price range. Sometimes airlines offer promotional details that you won't find on comparison travel sites.

Airline fares usually rise with holidays approaching and other travelers snatching the best deals. Early birds are also more likely to find seats on non-stop flights.

2. Look for Discounted Vacation Packages

Look at family vacation packages offered on discount sites like Groupon and Living Social, which can lead to into real savings if you have some flexibility in your schedule. Here are a few places you can look for an affordable vacation package.

3. Search a weekday

Travel professionals say the best time to find a travel deal: Tuesday at 3 PM ET, Which is apparently when airlines sell flights. This may not always be the case when looking for flights on the holidays, but the point is that prices and availability change throughout the week. It helps to compare prices at different times to find the best flight prices.

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4. Take advantage of off-peak rates

Have you been to a ski resort in summer? Or to a beach resort too early or too late in the season? Some vacation destinations can be more charming, more relaxing, and certainly less expensive at times when there are fewer fellow tourists.

5. Book Midweek Tours

If you have some flexibility in your plans, see what the date change will do to the bottom line. Even changing the day of the week you're traveling can cut costs – you can travel midweek instead of a Friday or Saturday to get better fares. However, around the holidays, your best bet is to travel on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Eve.

6. Double Check Online Travel Sites

When you use travel sites like the ones above, check their sources. Aggregators are great at helping you find general prices for flights, hotels, and car rentals. But before you book a family vacation with one of these sites, first check with your airline, hotel, or car rental company directly to make sure you get the lowest price.

7. Cut down on the little extras

Often times, just cutting a few extra expenses will ease your vacation budget. Staying in a hotel with free breakfast is great to get rid of the cost of one meal a day. Or, you can save more money on meals by exploring hotels or resorts where kids eat or stay free, or book a room with a kitchen and cook some of your own meals.

Publishers can sign up for the Frequent Flyer Program to receive a baggage fee waiver. Drivers can cut their gas costs with the Gas Buddy app that finds the cheapest fuels near you. Wherever you travel, remember to take advantage of any potential discounts – including discounts, student, military, and of course AAA.

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If you are traveling internationally, be sure to check the passport requirements so you have enough time to apply or renew without having to pay a fee to speed up the process. Skip the taxi or shared ride to the airport in favor of less expensive public transportation. YOUR BUDGET WILL THANK YOU

8. THINK OUTSIDE THE TRADITIONAL HOTEL ROOM

Adventurous families can find plenty of convenient, low-cost travel alternatives that will make you enjoy a fun vacation. Large families may consider renting a vacation home, which can accommodate large groups at a much lower cost, especially for longer stays.

Check out HomeAway.com or Airbnb for a list of nearly half a million homes to rent worldwide. If you live somewhere interesting, search HomeExchange.com, where homeowners in 154 countries list homes available for short-term exchange if they are interested in your home. If you prefer a room but don't need a lot of frills, there are some great hostels to be found if you know where to look. Get started at Hostelz.com, where travelers browse thousands of places.

And nothing really says a family vacation like a campground. If you love the outdoors, you can find some great campgrounds (including sites with beaches/water activities, fishing, golf, horseback riding, and more) at ReserveAmerica.com. It is always useful to keep an eye on the free activities in your hotel or around your destination.

9. Avoid Checked Baggage Fees

Many airlines charge you $25 to $75 per checked baggage, and can add baggage The whole family. Try to pack light and efficient packaging to avoid fees and reduce the risk of something being lost or stolen. If you plan to arrive at your destination with gifts, consider saving costs for shipping them up front or shipping directly for free using online sellers.

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10. PLAN FOOD IN ADVANCE

Traditional restaurants can put a huge impact on your travel budget, and gas station convenience stores and fast food restaurants are not known for their food. nourishing; Visit a grocery store when you reach your destination and stock up on items for quick breakfasts and lunches, such as cereal, fruit, bread, and peanut butter. If there are nice restaurants you want to visit, consider going for lunch instead of dinner. You can often order the same meal for a lower price.