There are many families today that have nixed the idea of a family vacation because of the expense. Those living from one paycheck to the next are often hard-pressed to justify time away from home but with the stressors of everyday life, families need a break from reality to recharge their batteries if only for a few days.
There are many ways to make a family vacation both fun and affordable. Even if you plan a weekend road trip to locations close by, you can still benefit from getting away from it all and spending quality time with your spouse and kids.
Here are 5 tips for a more cost-effective, family-friendly road trip…
5 Tips to Spending Less on Family Trips 1 of 6
Get the most out of your time away with these tips!
Drive There 2 of 6
There are likely many locations within a 2-3 hour drive of your home you can plan to visit. If traveling with young children, that length of time may be all they can reasonably handle. Plus you can save on gas by staying relatively close to home. Don't overlook off-the-beaten path locations either. You don't have to go with a high-priced travel agency to find a great place to go. Consider state parks, historical landmarks, or kid-oriented activities as a starting point and build your itinerary from there.
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Accommodations 3 of 6
Don't start your search for lodging at the 5-star resorts. Consider less expensive choices especially if you don't plan to spend much time in your room. There are home rentals that are very affordable, campgrounds to explore, or find a relative or friend in the area that are willing to share their home for a weekend.
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Pack Healthy 4 of 6
One of the bigger expenses for families hitting the road is food. Whenever fast food places appear on the open road, there is bound to be begging for a stopover. Pack a cooler filled with healthy snacks that are ready to be eaten. Individual baggies of snacks will help reduce fighting between siblings and the nutritional goodies will help curb cravings for junk food. Tell kids upfront about the plans to only stop for bathroom breaks but give them something to look forward to at the end of the journey such as a round of mini-golf and ice cream. If you find a place to stay that has a refrigerator, you can pack additional food supplies you need or stop at a local grocery store rather than eating out at restaurants every night.
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Explore Your Town 5 of 6
Don't forget to explore the local area around your home you may have previously ignored. Just getting into a different environment with the family can certainly strengthen the bond and make for a lot of great, lifetime memories.
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Save Now for Big Trips 6 of 6
A weekend road trip every now and then is a good way to get a break. But you can also plan ahead for a more involved family trip if you stay organized and do some homework. If you are interested in a family vacation that is more involved and expensive, speak with a local travel agent.
Many vacations can be done on a payment plan. You need to have enough cash to pay for airline tickets upfront but many agencies allow you plenty of time to pay the trip off in smaller increments. You'll need to be proactive with budgeting your money allocations to save up for the initial trip costs and for spending money on the trip. With dedication and focus, your family can certainly take a big vacation together and enjoy the fun and time off from real life.
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