Going on a family holiday can be stressful, and one of the most stressful things about it is worry about the cost. In this article, you will find a short list of simple ideas that can help you save money when traveling with your family.
- Visit scenic locations rather than tourist traps
Some destinations are a lot better than others, but that's never truer than when you're travelling with family, and especially with young children. While you may be getting nagged to visit the obvious places that families tend to go, the thing to keep in mind is that many of them are designed to get you spending as much as possible, and they're not above exploiting the easily targeted minds of kids to encourage you to spend even more.
Consider destinations that are just naturally beautiful, like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Yosemite, etc. These are peaceful, beautiful, and enjoyable destinations that offer a fantastic experience without the high price tag. Just imagine, with the money you save by not visiting a theme park, you could find a Fallsview hotel at Niagara Falls and enjoy a much better stay, or you could enjoy better dining experiences than that bland, over-priced, and usually unhealthy theme park food.
- Choose to fly at less popular times
Flights that arrive or depart late at night or early in the morning may be less expensive than other flights on the same route. While arriving with your family in a strange destination late at night may cause you to worry, it shouldn't, because you’ll have already researched and organised exactly how you will get from the airport to your hotel well in advance. You can also find that some days of the week may offer lower costs than others. So, if you have some flexibility about what days you can travel, try to travel on the less expensive days.
- Don't forget about the time of year either
Seasonal changes can have a huge impact on travel costs, as this report from The Telegraph shows that even if parents had to pay nearly £1,000 in fines and court costs for taking their children on holidays during term time, they'd still sometimes pay less than if they went during normal school holiday times!
- When booking your accommodation, consider a family suite
Yes, big rooms are expensive and maybe sometimes even more expensive than booking two smaller rooms, but they can save you money and trouble. If your kids have a whole hotel room to themselves, you won't really know what they're getting up to, and that is not just a safety risk, but can also prove to be very costly.
- Consider mailing souvenirs and gifts home rather than carrying them
If you're flying, the cost of carrying all those knick-knacks you picked up while on holiday could be quite a lot. It's also a massive pain to struggle around with extra bags and cases (and of course you may have to purchase an extra bag or case to carry it all in). You could avoid all that by mailing things home.
If you send by surface mail, which takes much longer to arrive, you could save even more. Just make sure you don't send very expensive items by surface mail as they may go missing or you might have to pay exorbitant duties to collect them.