How to Plan a Cost-Effective Vacation for the Whole Family

Bee Maternal Organics family holding hands

Choose a destination.

Family vacations are the perfect opportunity to bust up your routines, relax, and enjoy each other’s company in a different setting. However, for many families, taking a trip can end up costing so much money that the stress puts a damper on the whole experience. Fortunately, a great vacation doesn’t have to drain your life savings. With a little planning, you can set the stage for an amazing trip without losing sleep over finances. Here are some budget-friendly tips to get you started:

First of all, you want to pick the right destination for your family. Are you OK with flying, or do you want somewhere within a reasonable driving distance? What kind of activities are you looking to do—swimming in the ocean, boating on the lake, hiking in the mountains? Fortunately, implementing the tips in this article will give you plenty of options when it comes to destinations for your budget-friendly vacation. 

Create a packing list. 

Once you’ve decided where you’re going, you will want to make a list of all the things that everyone in the family might need for the trip. This includes everything from clothing and toiletries to water bottles and electronics. Also, be sure to bring along things for the road, such as hand sanitizer and towels to clean up potential messes. Start creating the list months ahead of time so that you can add things as they come to mind. Also, you can see how the list works on this trip and modify it as needed for future trips.

Use online coupons for everything

For pretty much any items you need for your vacation—whether it’s luggage, clothing, shoes or anything else—you can save serious money by looking for discounts. For example, Kohl’s or Macys coupon code or promotion can save you extra money if you do a little digging, and you might even score some cash back. 

Stay in a vacation rental. 

We all know how expensive it can be to spend the night in a hotel, and when your vacation is a week or longer, that adds up really quickly. Nowadays, vacation rentals are the way to go. Here are a few reasons why:

  • They are typically much less expensive than staying in a hotel.
  • You can find any size of vacation rental you need.
  • You will enjoy more privacy and independence.
  • Large families can all stay together.
  • You typically have access to free laundry facilities.
  • You can cook from home.

Choosing to stay in a vacation rental will perhaps help you save more money than anything else you do. 

Dine in. 

After lodging, dining out is often the expense that drains a vacation budget the fastest. Rather than dining out every meal, consider cooking in for two meals a day and dining out for one. You can make it exciting by creating a list of new recipes to try out. Then you can strategize your grocery shopping so that you don’t buy anything you don’t need. That way, you still get to experience new cuisine while also saving money—it’s a win-win!

Use public transportation.

Public transportation is usually the most economical way to travel, so take advantage of it if your destination offers it. Some cities even have bike sharing programs that will allow you to rent out bicycles for certain amounts of time, which can be fun for families. If you have a large family, compare your transportation options with renting a van, and weigh the costs with your preferences to make the best decision. 

Going on a vacation with your family should be exciting and relaxing; it shouldn’t drain your bank account and cause stress. Remember to consider what you want when choosing a destination, develop a packing list, and use online coupons for everything you purchase. Also, look into vacation rentals, consider dining in twice a day, and take advantage of public transportation if your destination offers it. Most of all, have fun and enjoy each other’s company!

Photo Credit: Burst

Check out more of Emily Graham‘s awesome tips at: