Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to Ensure a Fun Family Vacation on a Shoestring Budget

Disclosure: This is a guest post. It was not written by me, but I appreciate & support the content.

How to Ensure a Fun Family Vacation on a Shoestring Budget

Vacations are an important part of functional family life. They take you away from day-to-day pressures and provide the opportunity to spend some quality time together. Despite tough economic times there are still plenty of options for taking a fun, family vacation on a shoestring budget. Here are some ideas of how to save money without compromising on fun.



Virtual Tools

The internet has opened up a host of new opportunities for families when it comes to booking a bargain holiday, from discount hotel rates to money off coupons. These can be valuable to two types of parents:

-The forward planner: if you are someone who works out where you are going and what you want to do several months in advance you have plenty of time to collect online coupons, money-off vouchers and family deals. This can include everything from restaurants and snack bars to hotels and attractions. By taking advantage of early-bird booking deals you could cut costs dramatically. Check in regularly on popular coupon sites and create a stock-pile of money saving offers.

-The last-minute planner: for those who can handle a last-minute decision the internet opens up a host of opportunities. Discount hotel rates and vacation packages are advertised on a number of specialist websites now, and you could bag yourself a bargain deal if you’re willing to wait until the last minute (or a few days before).



Timing is Everything

It’s amazing how much accommodation and attraction prices vary depending on the time of year, so when it comes to saving money on a vacation, timing really is everything.

If you can take a vacation outside of the main school breaks then you will instantly save money. Package holidays and flights are cheaper at these times.

Visiting coastal destinations a little out of season will save you money and can be great fun. Plan walks, bike rides and other activities that don’t necessarily depend on the sun shining. Coastal destinations will be less crowded and you could find that the place has more charm in its off season form. 

So if you are in need of a vacation this year but have limited funds, don’t give up. There are a number of ways to save money without sacrificing one of the most vital aspects of your family's annual schedule. 

63 comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

I am one of those people that wants to go on vacation when I want to go on vacation, so planning last minute isn't really for me. I would rather pay more and go when I want :)

bxcrochet said...

great tips. I try to always take my vavaction after school breaks

knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com

Afina blog said...

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Launna said...

Awesome tips Rosey... I haven't had a real vacation in many years... I think it is time I actually plan something...

Pat Hatt said...

Great tips, I knew timing was a big one. They sure jack up the prices when they can

(Terry) My Journey With Candida said...

Our niece homeschools and they do take vacations outside the normal vacation times. They save a bundle. You have some great ideas here.

Kristi Maloney said...

Great tips here. I agree that timing is everything when it comes to saving a few bucks on vacation. I would love to take the kids to Washington DC. Glad to know that it is one of the cheaper vaca destinations.

Theresa said...

I agree with the timing. Not only good for saving money, but less crowded too. When we went to Disney last November, wait times were pretty much nil and our flights out were pretty cheap too!

Anonymous said...

Hotels.Com - GREAT source for looking for hotel deals...

Mel Cole said...

Nice travel preparation tips! Timing or season also matters as there are usually lots of sale or discount plane and hotel fees during after seasons.

Nicole Adkisson said...

If we take a vacation it will be back to visit family. It's expensive so saving up takes a bit.

HilLesha said...

Fantastic tips! I shared via Twitter.

krystal kesson said...

Great tips! I need a vacay, like yesterday!

Melanie B said...

Great tips! It's hard for us to travel :( or have a vacation, we have a big family so cutting costs help

Growing Up Madison said...

You do save a lot more money that way. I also shop around you'll be surprised how much you can save between airlines as well.

Annemarie said...

Great tips, thanks for posing we love to travel on a budget to and always try to get the best deal!

Lexie Lane said...

Great tips! It's definitely extremely challenging to save money on AND for a vacation!

Kay Adeola said...

Great tips i love to try and get the best deal i can

Rebecca Moree said...

Very good tips :) I definitely need these...if we ever get to go on a dang vacation lol

Pam said...

Good tips on saving some money when traveling. Our kids out grown and so we are no longer confined to certain times of the year that we can travel.

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

Timing is indeed everything! Timing, budgeting and planning, I'd say! Thanks for all these wonderful tips!

mail4rosey said...

I'm like that sometimes too (Spring Break and Christmas come to mind).

mail4rosey said...

Kid schedules def. dictate vacation times (when they're in school).

mail4rosey said...

Thanks, I loved the floral blouse you showcased today!

mail4rosey said...

I vote for yes yes yes!! :)

mail4rosey said...

It gets ugly, doesn't it!

mail4rosey said...

That is such a great pro to homeschooling!

mail4rosey said...

DC does have a lot of free or inexpensive stuff (that is cool!) but watch the parking if you don't ride the line in. They have weird times outside of some of the popular museums...you can park there until a certain time and then they tow. And boy are they right on schedule with coming around.

mail4rosey said...

I love visiting a tourist trap at an off time, no lines, free run of the place... very nice!

mail4rosey said...

Thanks for the tip, Andrea. :)

mail4rosey said...

And thank goodness for them (when we get to utilize them). :) Thanks for stopping by!

mail4rosey said...

I start saving as soon as one vacation ends, for the next one. :)

mail4rosey said...

Thanks for the share. :)

mail4rosey said...

Me too (and I'd say it at most any day or time of the year, lol).

mail4rosey said...

You've upped the odds having a big family that the kids will grow up and treat you! :) :) :)

mail4rosey said...

Agreed!!

mail4rosey said...

Good travel deals make me very happy. :)

mail4rosey said...

We're all nodding our heads with this one, I'm sure!! :)

mail4rosey said...

Thanks for the visit, Kay. :)

mail4rosey said...

Crossing my fingers for you. :)

StacieinAtlanta said...

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. We are always looking for ways to save money!

mail4rosey said...

I hope you get to take advantage of it in full. :)

mail4rosey said...

Thanks for reading!

mail4rosey said...

You and me too! Thanks for stopping over.

Rachel Hirst said...

I don't think my budget will stretch to anything this year!

http://umeandthekids.com/

Dawn Bedingfield said...

We plan ahead for vacations and I scour the internet for deals. The last minute thing is not me but if I do, it is a day trip.

Melanie S said...

thanks for the great tips! we are planning on taking our first vacation as a family hopefully next year.

Sarah-Louise Bailey said...

What some great tips - its amazing the things you can do when you look around enough x

Taylor Gilmore said...

Saving money without sacrificing a great time works for me! Great tips.

AMBER EDWARDS said...

these are great tips. We are hopefully going to get a little vacation in January. I am looking forward to the discounted rates we will find.

Megan Chamberlin said...

As much as I want to be the forward planner, I inevitably end up as the last minute scrambler!! Even when I KNOW we're taking a vacation in advance!! Ugh, at least there are those great deals you mentioned for the procrastinators like me!

Grandma Bonnie said...

Great information. I am the planner in our family. I do all the trip planning for our vacations. Thanks for the tips.

Pam said...

I have found you can also save money by planning vacations far in advance.

Casey Lindberg-Coghill said...

These are great tips. My husband was able to book us in 5-star, high-class hotels every night of our honeymoon because he used these tips and planned far in advance. We stayed at the Westin in Los Angeles for $40 one night! I made him show me the receipts because I was convinced he had gone and spent all of our money on hotels we couldn't afford. ;) LOL

Unknown said...

From BabsProjects: I agree timing is everything. When we go on vacation we take an extra day off during long weekends and leave on maybe thursday instead of friday

Melinda Dunne said...

I am working on vacation plans for Christmas. I have gotten somethings at a discount but I am still trying to iron our finances and plans. It is challenging trying to plan something with a tight budget but I am trying.

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

This is a great post because most families would love to take a vacation but can't always afford to do so.

Amanda McMahon said...

we love family vacations. this year we made a big move so we may need to do something more local.

Kyle Wiley said...

Thank you for the tips! It is such a problem for us to not go crazy with money while on vacation. :-)

Jenny said...

I wish we could pull money together and do a holiday... but with no car that's kinda hard. and barely any money either. will have to remember this tho when things start getting better and can actually do this kinda thing :)

Elisebet F said...

I agree, timing is everything! It definitely does make a difference on prices. I wish we could take a family holiday, but my husband can't get time off from his job.

Vague said...

If you have kids, timing sucks. School gets in the way and we don't want them to miss school. We do try to reserve ahead of time, when schedules finally aline in order to save some money, though! Great tips!

~ Noelle said...

I keep saying i want to plan a vacation... but it gets expensive for 6 of us.. maybe we need to try very last minute ;)