Taking a break from your everyday life and traveling with your family is something to look forward to. However, if you find that you can’t enjoy yourself because all you see are dollar signs at every turn, know that you are not alone. Here are some ways you can travel with your loved ones and cut some costs.
Book Tickets Before You Need Them
If you book your tickets months in advance, the prices will be cheaper. Some people postpone buying their tickets while hoping to catch last-minute deals. Try to avoid this. You’ll do yourself a big favor by spending a few weeks searching and comparing prices, then booking when you see a good deal. You’ll also want to book tickets when most people don’t want to travel, such as during the week.
Search Airports in Nearby Cities
Your local airport might cost you twice as much to book the same flight as the airport that’s an hour drive away. Although it might be convenient to book a flight that’s closer to your home and destination, you might be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars if you book your flight at nearby airports. But to guarantee that you’re really saving on your trip, make sure that the cost of transportation to get to and from the airport is worth it.
Compare Airline Hidden Fees
Found a ticket that’s too good to be true? It just might be. Some airlines make the tickets cheap so they can offset the cost of carry-on luggage, seating arrangements, and other necessities. Depending on where you’re flying, you might not all of the extras. Compare airline fees for what you consider a necessity for your family so you can be prepared for added costs.
Set Up Alerts
If you don’t have a few months to plan your trip or the time to constantly check ticket prices, sign up for alerts from sites such as Kayak or Skyscanner. As soon as the price drops, you’ll be notified.
Get a Travel Rewards Credit Card
When used right, credit cards can be immensely beneficial. When you sign up for one of the best credit cards for travel options, you can transfer your points to one of that card’s loyalty partner programs and get airline miles.
You can even get more airline miles by getting a card that fits your lifestyle. For instance, credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One Venture let you earn points by shopping at certain grocery stores or eating out at restaurants. These cards also usually have sign-up bonuses that give you tens of thousands of points or miles if you spend a certain amount of money in the first few months of opening the account.
Sign Your Kids Up For a Frequent Flyer Account
Enroll your kids in a frequent flyer’s program so that they can earn their own points and eventually fly for free. While this is a long-term saving method, earning these points for a flight you are already taking may come with benefits, depending on the airline.
Have a Souvenir Budget
To prevent mindless spending, create a souvenir budget for each of your family members before you leave. You also need to set expectations and let them know how much they have to spend.
If you only want to spend $150 on souvenirs for a family of four, everyone gets to spend $37.50. To break it down more, divide that by the number of days you’re going on vacation to allocate a daily spending budget. It’ll also help your kids to think about what they really want and teach them how to budget and save.
Opt Out of Renting a Car
If you’re traveling to highly populated areas, you can use public transportation or even walk, depending on the area. If you do decide to walk some places, it’ll give your family time to bond and check out the scenery of that city’s neighborhoods. You might even find some hidden gems on your walks like a local ice cream stand or food truck.
Lyft and Uber are also cost-effective ways to get a ride somewhere only when you need it. You can schedule a private car for the whole family that picks you up and drops you off at convenient locations. Plus, you won’t have to worry about parking.
However, if you do need a rental, then look at options that are away from the airport. Rental places that are close to the airport may or may not be more expensive than the ones you’ll find in a different portion of the city.
Rent a House
You can rent an apartment or house on sites like Airbnb or Booking and get more space and amenities for your money than if you were booking a hotel room.
You can save even more money by cooking meals in the kitchen. Go to a local grocery store and buy snacks and foods you can cook and make it a family activity. Consider buying products like almond butter and fruit to keep energy levels up.
Take Advantage of Free Attractions
Kids normally aren’t too picky when it comes to how they have a good time. They just want to have fun and spend some time with their family. Look on sites like Yelp, Living Social, and Groupon for tips and extra savings.
Spending tons of money isn’t a requirement to have an enjoyable vacation or even a staycation. You don’t have to go on a white sand beach for your kids to enjoy themselves. They’ll be happy with a swimming pool and a tub of ice cream, as long as they have water to play in and snacks to eat.
Don’t think you have to go above and beyond financially to have a trip that everyone enjoys. With a little planning and research, you can save money and have an incredible time too!
This was a guest post from Johnny Jet. Check them out for all of the latest ways to save money on travel.