Family vacations on a budget!
If your budget is tight, but you want to get away with your loved ones for some well deserved rest and recuperation, the first thing to do is to remind yourself that money is not important!
A little creativity will help you plan a great holiday that everyone can enjoy. The first thing to do is to figure out what methods of transportation are at your disposal. Likely, you’re thinking about taking a plane, a train, a bus or a car to your destination. If you consider taking an in-town vacation, you could also include riding your bicycles and walking. The last two options will free up your budget considerably and not constrain you to a public transportation schedule.
While selecting your lodgings, you should also keep in mind that money and size are not important! How much time will you be spending in the hotel room anyway? You’ll need something that will fit everyone comfortably, that is air conditioned and ideally quiet. There are plenty of low budget hotels. A little research on sites like booking.com, kayak.com and Expedia.com will give you a good idea of what’s out there in your price range. There’s also a site called hotwire.com, through which you can get deals on hotels as long as you’re okay with not knowing which hotel you’ll be staying at until after you’ve paid. Some hotels offer fuller kitchens in their bedrooms. Having a kitchen can help you save a lot of money, so keep that in mind when searching for a hotel room!
As for food, bring as much as you can from home if you’re taking a short distance trip in which the food won’t spoil by the time you reach your destination. Do some research and find out where the nearest grocery store to your hotel is and make a point to stalk your family up on fruits, veggies and and snacks to satisfy your family’s cravings when they arise and save on money you would have spent on food downtown on in tourist-laden areas where prices tend to be much higher. Cook your own food to limit the amount of times you head out to the restaurant. Remind yourself that eating out is not important to a happy family vacation.
Having some planned family activities will help keep your family entertained and keep your money in your pocket. Here are some ideas:
– Plan to explore your surroundings for half a day to a day. Bring a camera. Make it your ”photo album day”;
– Plan ahead and research community and cultural events. These tend to be free to attend (or they might ask for a small donation);
– Take public transportation around town if you have to. At all times, avoid taxis;
– At restaurants, order water;
– If you can, plan a scavenger hunt that you can do all together or split into small groups;
– A day at the beach is never wasted. As long as you bring your own food and refreshments, you’ll spend little.