vacation on a budgetTaking a family vacation can be a fun way to bond, and escape from the challenges of everyday life. Though vacations can be costly, there are many ways to save money on these fun trips when working with a budget.  The following tips will help keep your vacation in line with your budget without sacrificing a good time.

Drive

Taking a road trip, as opposed to flying, can save you hundreds of dollars, especially when traveling with a larger family.  Plane tickets can be quite expensive, and the added costs of airport transportation, airport meals/snacks, and rental cars can certainly bust your budget. A long trip in the car can be surprisingly fun with car games, frequent sightseeing stops, music, and great snacks.

Pack Light

If your only option is to fly, than make sure to pack light.  Some airlines allow one bag with your ticket, where others charge for every bag you bring.  Extra charges are tacked on for bags exceeding the weight limit. These baggage charges can quickly skyrocket your plane tickets to a price outside of your budget.

Pack Food

Bringing full meals along might not be worth the hassle, but packing snacks is a great idea.  Gas station snacks, hotel mini-bars, and vending machine goodies can be overpriced, tacking on more money to your trip than necessary.  Before leaving, make a quick trip to Walgreens or your local grocery to pick up packable snacks like microwave popcorn, Pringles, licorice, and bottled drinks.

Plan Ahead

Before leaving, decide what attractions and sites you might visit. There are oftentimes special coupons and deals that can be found online, through travel agencies, or even from your local library.  Some places offer special rates and admission on specific days. Do your research and be prepared do you don’t end up paying full cost.

Alternative Lodging

Hotels are the popular option when traveling, but aren’t the only option.  Consider staying with a friend or relative, or enjoying the outdoor experience with camping.  Vacation rental sites also offer condos, cabins, houses, and townhouses for great prices.

About Robert Farrington

Robert Farrington has written 77 articles on this site..

Robert Farrington is the founder and editor of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to young adult and college student finances.

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