Frugal Family Vacations
Everybody loves a nice, relaxing, vacation. The family vacation gives us a chance to focus on family and spend some quality time together. Unfortunately, sometimes the family vacation can be costly. Especially, if you have a large family.
Including a vacation in your plans can be a challenge on a tight budget. For those of you who want to get in that family quality time, yet don’t have the finances for an extravagant vacation, here are some frugal family vacation tips. Since the goal here is to get the most fun for your money, let’s talk about some frugal and low cost vacation ideas and tips that could be right for your family.
1. Camping: A great low cost option for families that enjoy the outdoors. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sleep in a tent. There are lots of state parks that rent cabins for a very reasonable fee. As an added bonus, when you are registered at a state park, you gain free entrance into all state parks.
2. Beach It: If you want to beach it, be sure to check out all your options for lodging. Sometimes a large family can do better by renting a condo or home for the week rather than staying at a hotel. Remember, you can save a tremendous amount of money if you can prepare your own meals while on vacation. A good portion of a families vacation budget can be literally “eaten up”! Even a little kitchenette in a suite can save you big bucks. If you’re campers, you can almost always find a campground near popular beach areas and get maximum savings on lodging.
3. Low Cost Lodging: Don’t forget your best resources, friends and family. Ask around to see if anyone has visited an area you plan to go. You may get lucky and have a “friend that has a friend” who maybe has a vacation spot they wouldn’t mind renting to you for a lesser fee. Sometimes people won’t rent out their vacation spots for various reasons, but don’t mind doing so if the tenant is a trusted acquaintance of a friend or family member.
4. Visit Friends and Family: Plan to visit friends and family that live far away, or even those that live close, and you rarely find the time to visit. In today’s fast paced society it’s not unusual for family and friends to lose touch. You’ll save money and get to catch up on what’s happening with friends and/or family that you haven’t visited recently. This will be fun for everyone and reinforce family togetherness.
Whatever you decide to do, if you’re traveling a great distance be sure to check all your travel options. With today’s soaring gas prices it’s not unlikely that you may be able to get there faster, and cheaper, in the air. Hey, maybe there’s a conspiracy here?
If all this just doesn’t fall into your category of “fun”, and you just have to have that exotic resort vacation, then at least be sensible about it. There are many great deals on vacation packages and off season rentals. And, oodles of travel agencies just waiting to tell you about them.
This is one area where do-it-yourself isn’t always the most practical advice. Travel agencies are privy to a lot of travel information, especially seasonal discounts, that you and I don’t have knowledge of. Do Your Research at least for goodness sake. You won’t be kicking yourself later when you come across that great deal you missed out on!
Check out your local travel agencies, as well as some of the many online agencies. Don’t forget, if you’re an AAA member you’re eligible for travel discounts. Before finalizing any plans, be sure to know your rights. What happens if you have to cancel? What is the deadline to cancel? Will you loose your deposit or is it refundable? Know your options.
Remember, the most important thing about family vacations is to spend quality time together. Have fun, and have a safe and happy frugal family vacation!