Tips to Save on Family Trips

Use these tips to have a great vacation on a budget.

There are several ways to have an affordable family vacation without having to sacrifice fun:

  • Set a budget for your trip.Do your homework; investigate how much you will be spending on the family vacation. Divide your trip into several categories—meals, lodging, entertainment , transportation, and so on. Allot enough money for each category.
  • Save up and pay cash!The best way to save money on a family getaway is by making a budget—and stick to it! If the trip will be several months away, divide the total budget by the number of weeks; set aside an amount every week, put that as the savings for the trip. Use credit cards only for emergencies.
  • Shop around for the best gas prices.Your smartphone has several price-tracking applications. Each can identify the best prices for gas nearby. Use them to get the lowest fuel costs. There are websites, such as the AAA Fuel Cost Calculator and GasBuddy that can help you find bargains.
  • Avoid convenience stores.For meals eaten from convenient stores, the prices are always higher than grocery stores. Shop for snacks and drinks before you leave.
  • Bring a cooler. Stock up before you go, drinks and meals are always cheaper in quantities—a two-liter soft drink is certainly cheaper than individual 32 oz. fountain drinks.
  • Consider renting a car.Renting a car for the trip can be less than the wear-and-tear on the family car, especially on long road trips. Find deals on the internet, through either rental sites, Hotwire or
  • Purchase some meals from grocery stores.Eating out can be expensive! Try to have several meals from the local grocery store. It can also be healthier than hitting fast food for every meal.
  • Look for hotel promotions.Check the websites for promotions and specials. If you have not already, become a member of clubs offering discounts for frequent visits.
  • Find cheap—or free—entertainment options.
  • See if there is a National Park near your destination. Discover free (or extremely inexpensive) activities in the area you are going. If you can first search for them online, great—if not, just get a local newspaper when you arrive.


Comments are now closed.