Families looking for budget-friendly vacation ideas have a world of opportunities at their fingertips. From beach vacations to camping adventures and everything in the middle, no matter what kind of family vacation your group is game for, there are more than a few ways to save money without scrimping or sacrificing a good time for all. Here are four general tips on how to save money no matter how you decide to spend your spring break, summer vacation or anything in between.
1. Drive, don’t fly. Skip the plane and drive to your vacation destination instead. Even if you have to rent a $300 minivan or larger vehicle for the trip, it is still cheaper than flights for the entire family, which could cost upwards of $300 each depending on when and where you fly. And in lieu of layovers, plan out fun rest stops or overnight adventures if it’s a longer ride. Driving also gives you the flexibility to stop when you need to run around or stretch your legs, as well as the freedom to make as much noise as you’d like without the worry of bothering other passengers on a plane. And if you’re in the market for a new car before your next trip, discover auto loans that will help you save money with attractive rates and flexible terms. Used auto loans are also available if you’re looking to purchase a used car before your next road trip too.
2. House crash, instead of crashing at a hotel. Another way to save money is to stay with family or friends instead of staying at a hotel, condo or resort during your family vacation. Think about where you can go to turn a trip to visit loved ones into a fun getaway without having to spend money on lodging. Does grandma live in Florida during the winter or does your cousin have a cabin on the lake for summer camping trips? If so, they’d likely love some visitors who they can show off their favorite spots to. This alone is sure to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars during a week away.
3. Dine in, not out. Skip the restaurants and eat in when possible. Plan a menu and grocery shop as a family once you’ve reached your family vacation destination. You can also take turns cooking while on vacation so that one person isn’t stuck on cooking and dish duty the entire time. One dinner out for a family can easily cost $50 (or more), but spending that much in groceries can feed a family for a few days at least.
4. Make memories, don’t buy mementos. Your kids will most likely remember the adventures and fun you had as a family more than the trinkets they took home. So, create memories and make a family movie about your trip instead of thinking about what memento you can buy to help your kids remember your family vacation. And if you do spend some money on a theme park or other big ticket experience, remember to take lots of family pictures instead of buying a bunch of souvenirs. In years to come your kids won’t remember what you bought them, but they’ll cherish the family photos and home movies you’ve saved to watch with them years down the road.
These are just a few ways to save money when planning your family vacation. Another way to save money all year round is to refinance your auto loan to secure a lower interest rate or change your terms to save up enough money for the next family vacation. There are always ways to save when thinking about saving for a family vacation!
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