Summer time is here and with the break comes family vacations. Whether you camp, visit family, travel to an amusement park, or splash around the beach, there are ways for you to save money this year without sacrificing the fun.
Get the Hotel That is Right for Your Family
I see too many families get nickled and dimed by extra fees or costs associated with not getting the right hotel. Sure, you may see a deal that is 25% off the regular room rates, but if that hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast and internet, are you really saving?
We discovered that for ourselves a few years ago unfortunately when we got a cheap deal. It was a nice place, but not only was breakfast not covered, we also had no internet (unless we wanted to pay). The breakfast was easily covered, but the lack of free wi-fi was more annoying. Not planning ahead costs us money that we could’ve used for other parts of the trip.
Plan Your Meals
Most of us like to eat out and try new things during vacations, but nobody wants to go broke doing it. Besides taking advantage of breakfast at the hotels, having a strategy for your meals can also frugally expand your palate. Dinner is usually more expensive at restaurants even when they are serving the same menu items as lunch. If you and your family are willing to catch the very tail end of the lunch menu, you can grab a great dinner around 4pm for a discounted price. Grabbing dessert later at a different spot can be a fun way to explore a city.
Think Twice about Travel and Rental Insurance
Before you grab that travel insurance offer or take up the rental company’s insurance ‘deal’, go ahead and call your credit card and auto insurance company to see if you already have some protection. There’s no need to pay twice for protection you may already have.
Souvenirs for Loved Ones
If you’re like us and get a kick out of grabbing gifts for family during trips, finding deals on souvenirs can mean big savings. While we were in Orlando checking out all the parks, I noticed some cute gifts that we knew our friends would like at the local Wal-Mart. Not every place has that option, but you can also look outside the tourist zone for gifts. For many beach spots, simply going a few miles out can help you find a great gift at a much lower price.
Thoughts on Family Vacation Savings
I’d love to hear from you about your family trips and tips. How do you maximize your fun and keep your budget? What has been your favorite vacation spot?