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How to Travel on a Budget as a Family

It’s one thing to go on a trip as a single but now, you have a family. How does one go on a trip with the little ones in tow, while traveling on a budget? While the extra humans will mean higher costs, there are ways to save while traveling as a family. 

The idea that you can’t travel after you have kids is a myth, as these tips below will show. We’ve put together the best ways for you to travel on a budget as a family and have a great time doing so:

  • Consider traveling by car (or van, or RV). Depending on your destination, it may be much more affordable for you to travel by car or RV rental than to try to find cheap flights to a departure city for all of you. With an RV or your trusty vehicle, your only transportation expense will be gas and if you’re renting the car, a daily fee for the van or motorhome. Keep in mind that if you are booking flights, sometimes kids travel cheaper or for no fee at all, under a certain age. 
  • Check out free activities to do. Much of the time, people spend a lot of money on activities or destinations, when there are plenty of fun things to do. From hiking to playing at the lake or beach, sometimes all you need to have fun on a trip is right in front of you, without costing a dime. This is when planning ahead can be highly beneficial, as it allows you to map out fun, free things to do, as well as budget-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. Have you ever booked an expensive show or experience for the kids, only to find they fell asleep or cried the whole time? Talk with your kids about what they’d like to do while keeping your travel budget in mind

  • Don’t rush; take your time. Rushing from one place to the next and trying to see everything you can may have worked as a single adult but with children, it could end up being costly. Rushing could mean you take an expensive taxi instead of going on public transport. When it comes to lodging, you may try to find something quickly without taking time to perhaps get a better deal by staying longer at a location. This can be more beneficial for all of you, as it gives you time to rest, enjoy, and get to know the place you’re visiting. Traveling with children does take more planning and often results in unexpected situations, such as a tired toddler who needs a nap or a cranky teenager who would rather stay at home than rush around one evening. Don’t rush—your trip will be more affordable and more enjoyable. 
  • Eat at local spots or buy groceries. Food tends to be a high cost on many trips. While it’s fun to eat out and is definitely a good idea when visiting a new country or destination, be careful about trying to visit restaurants in areas with high tourist traffic as they tend to be overpriced and not that great. While it’s important to exercise caution about where you are eating while traveling with children, consider trying out street food to get a real taste of the local cuisine or consider shopping at the grocery store and cooking your meals at home. This will definitely cut down on costs when you’re traveling as a family with a lot of mouths to feed.

In Conclusion

The best way to travel on a budget as a family is to plan ahead. From the restaurants you’ll eat at to your lodging, there are plenty of ways to cut down on costs, but it’s good to have an action plan when traveling as a family instead of just winging it. Traveling with children requires flexibility so while planning ahead make sure you allow for down times and relaxed moments, making it more enjoyable and less expensive for all.