In early February, we went to St. Augustine, FL. We stayed there for 3 nights. Since three families went together, we booked a large vacation rental. Total cost including everything except local shopping was $300 for two of us. This is as cheap as it is possible. We didn’t cut out on the fun, though. We ate out, we visited every place St. Augustine had on offer. We grilled, we spent time on the beach, we had lunch at a high scale restaurant. What clicked for us?
There’s plenty that clicked for us. Will explain to you why in a while. Planning a trip for your family can be both an exciting and daunting task. You want to give your family an excellent vacation, one that everyone will enjoy, and create some unforgettable memories along the way. But with all of the costs and decisions to make; planning your down time can be a lot of extra work. But don’t be discouraged! The internet offers many resources for making your vacation planning a simpler and less expensive experience.
Tips for budget vacation travel
Things worked for us were staying in a rental apartment and sharing our cost, we had 3 meals cooked by us which drove the cost down. We mostly took out alcoholic beverages with us so didn’t really ordered too much drink while eating out. We drove to St. Augustine, so no flight ticket expenses we incurred.
While doing your next travel plan, keep the following tips in mind, if you can.
Potential Planning Problems
Choosing a destination that will suit everyone is difficult enough, but when you factor budget restrictions, it gets even tougher. American Express’s most recent statistics shows that the average cost per person on vacation is $1,148, or $4,552 for the average family of four.
A pricey vacation can be a big hit to your yearly budget when you consider, as MyBudget360 explains, that the average American middle-class family earns around $51,100 per year: this means that your vacation can eat up nearly ten percent of your salary. But, it doesn’t have to. By using online resources, you can not only plan where to go and what to do but make the most of your travel budget.
Skip the Travel Agent
Today, you can easily cut out the middle man and skip calling a travel agent. Virtually every airline, hotel, and destination has their own website that offers detailed information about their services. In an evening or two of googling, you can choose a destination that has activities to suit your family’s interests, and plan your travel and lodging specifics.
When planning a trip on your own, Business News notes that you can wait until the last minute to book, a trick which can save you money as many airlines and hotels lower prices the closer you get to your travel date. Flexibility is key when looking to save on travel and hotel reservations.
Taking your trip in the offseason will get you better prices and a fewer crowds when you arrive. It also helps to be flexible in what time of day you fly as some time frames are more popular, and thus more expensive, than others.
(Read Also – How to spend your travel money)
Looking for package deals can be a great way to save money. Many companies offer special flight, hotel, and rental car packages specifically to online shoppers.
Various price comparison sites can help reduce the cost of airfare, car rentals and hotel stays. Using these resources, you get e-mail confirmations, printable tickets and additional information, all of which will help save you time, letting you relax and enjoy your trip.
Parents.com notes that many hotels offer free amenities that go beyond a continental breakfast: everything from free Wi-Fi to parking and shuttles to and from the airport are common complimentary services. Resorts offering package deals may cost more per night, but you could save money in the long run as you’ll save on meals and entertainment.
(See Also – Getting financially ready for vacation)
What To Do When You Get There
If you aren’t keen on booking a trip to an all-inclusive resort, you’ll need to plan your own itinerary. Most popular destinations have their own tourist traps. Business News suggests avoiding these locations and saving money by scoping out free local tours. Almost every major city has a list of local landmarks that are free to visit and tour as well as many free or low-cost museums and parks that highlight the local culture and history.
(Related – How to reduce international travel expenses)
Family vacations are a great way to spend time together, relax, and explore new and interesting locations. The biggest factor preventing families from enjoying a yearly vacation is the cost. Once you’ve selected a destination, prepare to be flexible with your dates and times and do a little web surfing and you’ll find a great deal. A combination of savvy shopping and knowing when and where to look can help make your dream vacation a reality.
Readers, how you save on vacation travel expenses usually?