The following post is from Melissa Batai
Ah, summer is here! With it comes a more relaxed schedule, more time with the family, and hopefully, a summer vacation or two. However, if you’re traveling with kids, summer vacation can quickly become very expensive. Luckily, there are many strategies to lower the expense of summer vacation.
Travel in the Off Season. If your schedule is flexible, consider traveling in the off season. If you want to travel in the summer, consider visiting hotter locales such as Arizona or Florida. These places are bustling in the fall through spring with tourists, snow birds, and college students, but most travels don’t want to come in the summer because of the intense heat. This could mean cheaper rates for you. Colorado ski resorts are another location where you can see great deals in the summer.
If you want to take a trip to the beach, why not wait until after Labor Day? You’ll still likely have warm summer days to enjoy the beach, but you’ll probably get a much lower rate because the tourists will have gone home.
Consider Staying at a VRBO. VRBO stands for vacation rental by owner. Basically, a VRBO is a house, condo, townhouse, or sometimes even private boat (popular in Boston) that you stay in instead of a hotel. If you’re traveling with a family, many VRBOs offer you more room and a cheaper price than a hotel. Plus, you’ll have amenities like a full kitchen and often a washer and dryer.
Cook Your Own Food. If you do stay in a VRBO, take advantage of the kitchen and cook a few meals yourself. This can save you a significant amount of money. If you don’t want to cook (understandable!), consider buying ready-made food at the grocery store, which is cheaper than taking the whole family out to eat. You should still enjoy a meal out, but only do it once a day, or a few times during the trip to enjoy maximum savings.
Get Groupons. Before you travel, subscribe to the Groupon site for the location your visiting. Then, check daily what deals are being offered. You could snag significant discounts on restaurants, tourist attractions, museums, etc.
Order Tickets Online in Advance. Many events and places you want to visit offer small discounts if you purchase your tickets in advance online. The savings is usually just a few dollars, but if you are visiting several sites with a family, the savings can add up. You just want to make sure your plans are firm before buying the tickets in advance online.
Order Tickets Grouped for Multiple Sites You Want to See. Some larger cities offer tourist packages. You can buy a ticket package for three to seven sites that you’ll want to visit. Because you buy the tickets in a package, you’ll get a cheaper price on every single ticket. Some cities also offer passes which give you the ability to visit several places during a certain number of days. You get to choose which locations you want to visit.
Family vacations can be a great way to bond and see new sites. With these strategies, vacations don’t have to cost as much.
What are your favorite strategies for saving money on vacation?