Good Day Lovely followers. This wonderful blog post was written by our Guest Blogger, Daniel from over at https://dadsolo.com/ . We’re thankful he took the opportunity to give such amazing advice just in time for Spring Break Family Trips and all the wonderful travel you have in mind for your summer vacation.
6 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Next Family Vacation
Family vacations are worth every penny, but when you’re traveling as a family of four or more, affording travel can be a real challenge. On one hand, traveling with your kids means watching them discover the world for the first time. On the other hand, it means more airline tickets to buy and more mouths to feed at overpriced restaurants. However, while family travel may never be quite the same as the carefree trips you took as a couple, there’s a lot you can do to save money while enjoying yourselves on family vacation.
At $30 or more per bag, airline baggage fees add up quickly when you’re traveling as a family. Skip the extra fees (and wrangling kids at the luggage carousel!) by traveling carry-on only. With smart packing and a carry-on and personal item allotted to each person, you can easily avoid bulky luggage. Remember, most airlines check carseats and strollers free of charge. Alternatively, fly Southwest to take advantage of free checked baggage and pay for Early Bird Check-in or use free family boarding if your kids are six and under.
Rent a car for road trips
Every big family knows that unless you’re logging thousands of miles, driving is always cheaper and less stressful than flying. What you might not realize is that driving someone else’s car is even cheaper than driving your own.
Think of the wear and tear that all those added miles put on your car or the extra fees if you lease. Or think about the stress and expense of breaking down hundreds of miles from your destination and needing to shack up in a hotel while waiting for repairs. Now, imagine if you could avoid all of that for the low cost of $36 a day. That’s what you’ll spend on the average car rental from a major company like Enterprise, and savvy shoppers can spend even less using deals and promotions. The best part? When you rent a car, you can choose a model with better fuel economy, more space, and more high-tech features than your daily driver.
Download a gas app
Few things are worse than spotting the first gas station in a hundred miles only to discover prices double the norm. To avoid overpaying for gas on a family road trip, download a gas finder app to locate the cheapest fill stations along your route.
Stock up on snacks
Whether you’re driving or flying, there’s one thing you can’t travel without: snacks, and lots of them. Instead of turning to overpriced and unhealthy convenience foods every time the kids get hungry, stock up on travel-friendly snacks like trail mix, jerky, cheese sticks, and fresh fruit. If flying, pack a reusable water bottle so you can fill up after going through airport security.
Book a vacation rental
Eating out three times a day with toddlers in tow isn’t many parents’ idea of a good time. Spare yourself the stress and save money by booking a vacation rental rather than a hotel room. With a little bit of planning, you can cook breakfast in your rental and prep portable foods for lunch so you only have to dine out when everyone is up to it.
Save on pet sitting
Unless your vacation is pet-friendly, you’ll have to leave your four-legged friends behind when you go. Boarding at a kennel can be costly — not to mention stressful for some dogs and cats. For a more affordable, home-like option, use sites like Rover and Care.com to hire a local pet sitter who can pet sit in your home or theirs. Neighbors and your veterinarian are also great sources of pet sitter recommendations.
There are lots of ways to save money on family vacation, from skipping the souvenir shops to looking for discounts on popular attractions. However, when you want to take a big bite out of your travel budget, focus on big-ticket items like travel and food. By making little changes that save big, you can save money without sacrificing fun on your next family trip.