Guest Post: Your Family Vacation on a Budget

This was perfect timing for the following guest post with it being Spring Break.  Do you have any getaway plans in mind?

A family vacation is a time when everyone can gather together without the stresses of work, school and daily life.  If only for a few days, this time away from home should be enjoyable instead of being spent thinking about money. There are several ways to go on a vacation on a budget if you plan ahead.

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Coupons are perhaps one of the best ways to save money on vacation.  Many hotels have booklets in the front office that have coupons for various businesses in the city.  Some of them could be for free admissions to attractions, and there are some for discounts on meals at restaurants.  You can even find coupons for souvenirs so that you can get quality items to remember your trip at a fraction of the price.  There are also coupons online that you can print if you know of any businesses in the area where you will be staying.  All-inclusive vacations sometimes have discounts for attractions, restaurants and other activities included in the price of the package.

If you know the exact date you plan on travelling, calling ahead to different hotels and comparing rates is a great idea.  This way you can find the best price and package ahead of time.  If you are familiar with the hotels and have previously stayed at one, try to book at a lower rate – repeat business is good business and most hotels will honor a returning guest.  You may also find that that if you can make reservations during the off season, when less people tend to travel, you can find a lower/discounted rate.  Another option is to pay in cash.  Some hotels offer a cash option, where you can receive an additional discount for not paying with credit card.

The method of transportation is a factor in your vacation.  If you live near the location you are going, then it would be cheaper to drive.  Some grocery stores now have rewards points that can be used to get discounts on gas.  Start saving your points well in advance if you know when you will leave for your trip.  This can make a huge dent in the price you pay for the amount of gas you will use in at least getting to your destination.  Another option is traveling by train or bus.  These methods of transportation are less expensive than flying, and there are usually more stops for trains and buses than there are for planes so that you can get closer to the location instead of driving a distance from an airport.

Family vacations can be affordable and enjoyable, especially with these basic tips in mind.