Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Survival Guide- Frugal Family Travel Tips!

Frugal Family Travel Tips

With a hurting economy and high gas prices, many families are working hard to stretch every dollar earned. Planning an affordable family vacation can seem unrealistic, however with the right planning it can be done! If you shave off even as little as $100 off your trip, that is $100 you don't have to come up with. Whether you are planning a Hawaii cruise or a family camping trip, here are a few suggestions to help you save on your trip.

  • Skip Lunch- Ok, here me out. I am not telling you to starve your family. Most of us eat out for every meal while traveling. What my family tries to do is eat a large late breakfast, snack for lunch and then eat out once again for dinner. We never go hungry and we save at least $30 by skipping out on lunch.
  • Pack a Cooler- Although this suggestion won't help save you money on Hawaii cruises, it can help save a bundle on family road trips! Bringing enough of your own food to cover 1-2 days can save you at least $100. This also allows your family to enjoy nature by picnicking outside instead of being in a stuffy restaurant. Not to mention you will save on tips!
  • Hotel Coupons- I don't know about you, but I HATE to pay full price for hotel rooms. Every time my family books a room I search for a discount first. We once stayed in a 4 star Double Tree Hotel with 2 queen size feather beds and warm chocolate chip cookies upon arrive and only paid $49 dollars!!! It even included a continental breakfast saving us more money! How did we do it? We used a coupon from RoomSaver.com. You can't usually make reservations with these coupons, however you most always only pay $50 for a pretty dang nice hotel. And like I said, if it includes breakfast you save at least another $20-$30.
  • Book Hotels Online- If you know the days you will be needing a hotel and want to reserve a room, booking a room online can give you a discounted rate without a lot of hassle. Last year when my family went to Washington, I was able to book a room at the 4-star Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle for only $100 through Priceline.com. My family was on the 42nd floor and had amazing views of the city. There are many places to book discount Hotel rooms online, do a little research!
  • Book Your Airfare Online- Again, doing a little research and shopping around online you are sure to take in savings on most anything! Airline tickets are no exception. My family of 6 flew from Denver, Colorado to Portland, Oregon for only $800! Granted, 2 of our kids were free as they were under 2, but that is still only $200 per ticket. We did not have to travel at crazy times either and only had 1 short lay over (about 45 minutes long). We purchased our tickets at Cheaptickets.com.
  • Plan a Trip Close By- You will be amazed at the vacation possibilities right outside your own backyard! Contact your local visitors center for visitor guides of your surrounding area. Most of these guides include coupons on local attractions and inform you of off season specials and fun family friendly festivals & events. Most of my family's vacations have been within a 4 hour perimeter of our home. A mini-vacation can be just what your family needs and every bit as fun!
  • Pay in Cash- One of the best tips I can give you is to pay in cash! Plan a vacation budget and take cash for the expenses. It is so easy to get off focus when you are paying with debit or credit cards. Using cash will help you keep track of where your money is going and save you from overdrafts when you arrive home (we learned the hard way on this one).
I hope these suggestions help you save money on your next family vacation. With Memorial Day right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about these things. My family usually camps every Memorial weekend, however the weather here has been so rainy and cold that we are postponing our trip until Father's Day weekend. We will probably BBQ and hang out at the house or maybe take a family hike somewhere. For tips on what to avoid this holiday weekend. Click here.
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1 comment:

*MeandMineinaSmallTown said...

Good tips we just need to get out!

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