Families make lasting memories on vacations that become stories they tell for years to come. They’re the perfect opportunity to break out of day to day life and experience new things with those you love the most.
The importance of regular family trips can’t be understated, but they aren’t always easy to fund, and saving for vacation can be intimidating. If you have a large family, finding ways to afford fun trips every year can get especially tricky.
But don’t lose hope. There are some easy ways you can save money for your next trip so your whole family can have the time of their life. There are also plenty of great vacation hacks you can use to make things more affordable.
8 Great Tips To Fund Your Big Family Trips
Dreaming up your next family vacation is the fun part of the planning process, and there are plenty of great options to choose from. You could do a week at a theme park, go skiing, go to the beach, road trip across the country, go on a cruise, and more.
The difficult part is figuring out how to budget for a big trip and saving enough money for fun activities that your whole family will love. Let’s look at ways you can make your family vacation budget more manageable.
1. Start Saving Early
If you know that you want to take a yearly big family vacation, start saving a year in advance. Basically, as soon as you get home from your last vacation, you should set up your savings plan for the next one and get started right away.
The longer you give yourself to save, the more you can splurge on your trip later. Set a weekly savings goal that you can set aside without thinking about it, which leads us to our next trip.
2. Automate Your Savings
Most banks have systems in place so that you can automatically move money from your checking to savings account on a weekly basis. If your money moves on its own, you don’t have to think about it, and you never miss it.
With this method, your savings will start to accumulate in the background of your life without you having to adjust your budget too much.
3. Set a Budget
Once you decide where you’re going for your next family vacation, research the average costs per person for your destination. Factor in food, accommodations, plane or car travel, and the cost of any activities you plan to do.
With an idea of what the per-person cost will be for the trip, you can set a clearer savings goal. However, vacations usually end up being more expensive than expected, so make sure you pad your budget to allow for any shopping, changed plans, emergencies, or other extra expenses that could come up.
4. Book Early
You can get the best deals on flights and accommodations if you book well in advance. As soon as you know where and when your next family vacation will be, start booking it.
Booking early also lets you get some of the major costs out of the way so you can focus the rest of your savings goals on the fun added adventures.
5. Hunt Down Deals
If you have a big family, you can usually find deals on ticket prices for activities and excursions. Search sites like Groupon, Expedia, and Priceline for travel deals that will skim some money off of your budget.
You can also join travel clubs that offer exclusive savings. For instance, save on a trip to a Disney theme park or resort with a Disney Vacation Club package. You can find great savings on the Disney Vacation Club cost by purchasing them resale.
6. Go at off-Peak Times
For better deals on flights and accommodations, go on your trip during off-season. If your schedule is flexible, you’ll be able to save money and enjoy having fewer crowds to deal with.
For instance, try going to the beach in April instead of June. If you can’t make an off-season trip work with your work schedule or your kids’ school calendars, book your trip during the week, when flights and hotels are usually cheaper, instead of on a weekend.
7. Tighten Your Regular Budget
Look for ways you can save money at home during the year so you can add more to your family vacation budget. Pack your work lunches and your kid’s school lunches, cut down on shopping, and cook dinners at home instead of getting takeout.
You can get the kids involved and make saving money fun instead of a sacrifice. Once you know where you’re going, you can talk about each specific thing you’re saving for the vacation, like a snorkeling excursion, yo get them excited about saving for so instead of being disappointed about not ordering in pizza.
8. Reserve Accommodations With a Kitchen To Save on Food
To cut costs on your trip, book a place to stay that has a kitchen so you can make meals at your temporary home instead of eating out for every meal. As soon as you arrive, hit up the grocery store so your place is stocked. Include snacks to carry with you during the day so you don’t have to stop to buy any overpriced junk food while you’re out.
Plan a couple of fun meals out during your trip that you can all look forward to so that eating at home the rest of the time isn’t a big deal. To find places with kitchens, look on Airbnb.
Saving for Vacation: Start Now
The most important factor in saving for vacation is to start planning now. You’ll avoid stress and unexpected expenses that come up with family travel and hopefully find some deals in the planning process.
Getting your whole family excited about your next trip will help them all get on board with saving, and having a goal to accomplish together will bring you closer throughout the year.
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