Last Updated on January 4, 2023
Planning on booking that next family vacation to travel in the USA or internationally? If so, make sure you bookmark this post. I will be sharing a dozen great ways to save money on your travels to avoid breaking the bank on a nice vacay.
Whether you’re planning a fun-filled family vacation in Florida, traveling to another one of the 50 states, or leaving the country, the tips I have included below will definitely ease the blow on your pockets. So lets get to it.
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Money-Saving Tips for Your Next Family Vacation
Again, don’t forget to bookmark this post to return to later. And feel free to share it with others so they too can enjoy the savings.
Unless you’re waiting until the verrrrrry last minute (when you could also possibly score a great deal), it is best to book as early as possible to get the best deals.
Often times resorts, hotels, airlines, and cruise lines offer special incentives (like discounts) to travelers who book before a certain date. You may even receive exclusive upgrades.
Again, booking at the last minute can yield some savings as well but this isn’t guaranteed. And honestly, when booking a family trip, it’s a lot less stressful to have your plans mapped out early. It’s a lot different than traveling solo, so keep this in mind.
Visit Popular Destinations During Off-Season
Another money-saving tip is to travel to popular destinations during their off-season. Of course, since there isn’t as much traffic to these places during a certain season, it makes sense that they’d be offloading tickets at a lower price to encourage more sales.
For example, visiting Disney in September when most kids are back in school and fewer people are traveling to Disney World may be an ideal time to book. You will often find that tickets are priced lower during this time. (And who wouldn’t want to take advantage of shorter lines for rides??)
You can take advantage of apps such as Groupon to find deals on activities you would like to do in the area. I know people who have used Groupon to book their entire trip. I personally haven’t used Groupon to book an entire vacation or accommodations, but we definitely use it to save money on meals and activities.
Utilize Hopper to Track Pricing on Airfare
Find the best deals on flights, hotels, and more by using the Hopper app.
We use Hopper primarily for airfare, but they do offer exclusive deals for hotels and more. With Hopper, I love that you can set up flight watches and it’ll alert you when it’s the best time to buy your tickets.
Fly at Less Than Ideal Times
From flying early in the morning to booking a midweek flight or traveling on major holidays, these are all tactics you can use to try scoring a better deal on your plane tickets. There are no guarantees that ticket prices will drop during less than ideal flying times, but it’s always worth looking into.
Skip the Hotel, Check out an Airbnb
Get more bang for your buck by booking a rental home or budget-friendly Airbnb for your family. Not only will you typically have more space for the fam, but you can also save some extra money.
Use These Packing Hacks
You can use these packing hacks to cut back on checked baggage fees, unnecessary luggage, and snacks/entertainment.
Take Advantage of Free Entertainment
Speaking of entertainment, you do know that you can get in on the action without spending a ton of money, right? Look at free events in the area to attend with your family. We have attended free festivals and community events plenty of times during our vacations.
Cook Your Own Food
I always recommend booking a hotel or rental that has a kitchen so you can purchase groceries and cook your own food.
You don’t necessarily have to cook all of your meals. But cooking the majority of your own meals will definitely help cut back on food costs during your travels. This also makes it easier to stick to a particular diet or ensure that you’re getting proper nutrients while on vacay.
Hunt for Reduced Rates (Like a City Pass)
I talked about how we used a City Pass during our visit to Houston, Texas in this article. We seriously saved so much money by purchasing the City Pass which allowed us to enjoy several awesome attractions all at a discounted rate. So I always encourage my fellow traveling families to seek out reduced rates on attractions in the areas you’re visiting by seeking out offers similar to a city pass.
Look for Alternatives to Renting a Car
If the area you’re traveling to has a cost-effective (and safe) public transportation system, or if you’re able to rent a bike for a small fee and travel the area, or if everything is within walking distance, skip the rental car.
Use Kid Pricing to Your Advantage
Many restaurants and attractions offer discounted rates for babies and children. So whenever you have the opportunity to take advantage of these rates, do not hesitate!