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5 Tips to Plan a Family Vacation on a Budget

Family vacation

As your family grows, so does the cost of vacationing. However, with a little forethought and planning it is possible to plan a family vacation without breaking the bank.

Here are five tips to help you plan your family vacation, while still sticking to your budget.

  1. Pick your timing

Whether it’s because it’s school break or the Christmas season, everyone wants to vacation at the same time—and no one knows this better than airlines, hotels and travel companies.

If you plan your vacation during peak travel season, you can guarantee you’ll pay premium prices for your flights, accommodation, transport and activities. If you do have some flexibility in when you vacation (whether it’s because your children aren’t yet school-aged or your work needs you around during the holidays), try to do it during the down season.

It’s also worthwhile considering which days you travel on. While it’s not an exact science, most airlines will offer cheaper flights on less-popular days (usually a Tuesday or Wednesday), so make sure you check the price difference on each day of the week you plan travel to see if you can snag yourself a better price.

  1. Consider alternative accommodation options

If you’re not averse to the idea, staying with family or friends can be a very affordable alternative to staying in a hotel, as can vacationing with a group of friends or families, because you can share the cost of accommodation, food and transport.

However, if you’re not a fan of vacationing with others, try looking into home rental options like AirBNB, Tripping, FlipKey or HomeAway, as you may be able to find some more affordable (and even more suitable) accommodation options rather than staying in a hotel. You could even opt to rent out your own home while you’re away to cover some of the costs of your vacation!

  1. Hunt around for discounted family passes

Activities are often one of the largest costs when travelling with a family, but there are a couple of ways you can still visit all your favourite attractions without paying full-price.

A lot of tourism companies offer multi-attraction passes where you can get a discounted price if you pre-purchase tickets to several attractions up-front, so this could be a great way to save some cash if you know what you want to see while on vacation.

It’s also worthwhile searching for any discounted attraction tickets on coupon sites like Groupon, just make sure you check if there are any special conditions for use that you need to be aware of. It could also be worthwhile checking if any of your various memberships offer perks like discounted travel promotions, as you could be eligible for some savings you weren’t aware of.

  1. Pack plenty of snacks

Food is another cost that adds up quickly when travelling as a family. While it’s nice to eat out or get a sweet treat here and there, you can save a bucket-load by making a trip to the grocery store when you first arrive at your destination to stock up on some affordable snacks and meals so you don’t find yourself forking out a wad of cash in overpriced tourist traps. It’s also a great way to keep the kids occupied while waiting in queues!

  1. Pre-arrange your transport

Transportation is another big expense, so it’s worth doing some prior research to find out if you can get around without relying on cabs.

When choosing your accommodation, make sure you look closely at their inclusions, as a lot of hotels will provide free airport transfers with your booking which can represent a significant cost saving.

It’s also a good idea to research your public transport options, as this is usually the most affordable way to get around. Make sure you also choose accommodation where you can easily access the public transport network by foot.

If you have a large family or are travelling with others, you could also consider hiring a minibus from somewhere like this Sydney van hire company as a simple and affordable way to get around to all the attractions.