Paying overpriced airfare to take your family kicking and screaming to destination they don’t really want to see – that is the definition of an unsuccessful family vacation. Unfortunately, for many families, a lack of planning and forethought can wind up turning a family vacation into a slog for all involved.
Obviously, family vacations would be different if you had endless stores of money – imagine if you won the lottery and didn’t have to worry about a single thing. But as it is, planning a family trip takes some savvy cost analysis, some inclusive idea generation, and a few tips and tricks. Let’s look at a few ways that you can make your next family outing a memorable, cost-effective and successful one.
Involve the Whole Family in Planning
The only sure fire way to please everyone is to let the whole family in on the planning process. Too often, parents just hand down a decree, saying ‘this is where the family is going, end of discussion’. That can be a recipe for some seriously unhappy kids. It is far better to give your kids a voice – it makes them feel like it is “their” vacation too.
Consider an Off-Peak Time of Year
Summer is obviously a convenient time of year for family travel, given that the kids are not in school, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest. This year, consider going somewhere over the Christmas holidays, instead, or see if you can extend a long weekend. Your dollar will go further in the off-peak months, as everything from flights, car rentals and accommodation will be less expensive.
Set an Alert for Cheap Tickets Online
Flying somewhere? Don’t just jump at the first flight amount you see. Sky scanner has a good introductory article on how to set 2019 cheap flight alerts, detailing the process of price tracking. This one small decision alone could wind up saving you hundreds of dollars on your family vacation. That’s money that can otherwise be spent of more fun activities.
Draw Up a Daily Budget
Don’t just have a budget for the entire trip; make a daily budget. With a daily budget, it is much easier to track spending, and curb overspending and debt. Again, if you somehow win the Powerball lottery before your trip, you can forget about this step, but for everyone else this kind of planning is helpful. Not only will it save you money, but you will enjoy yourself more if you remove the stress of worrying about budget.
Eat Some Meals Inside
It is easy to eat out whilst on vacation, but a meal out can easily be quadruple the cost of a meal in. To that end, try booking a room with a stove or fridge, and have a few meals inside; or, you can grab some prepared foods from a local store and have a picnic outside.
Remember, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that everyone is together. But to make things just a little more special, follow these tips and your next family vacation is sure to be a memorable one.