There really are cost efficient ways to plan a family vacation. Are you tired of watching your Facebook feed fill up with families taking countless vacations while you sit at home in your pajamas? While your digital friends may not be saving much money on their cruise there are cost efficient ways to plan a family vacation that you can utilize to help your family have the vacation of their dreams.
Cost Efficient Ways To Plan A Family Vacation
1. Plan Ahead
Vacations typically aren’t something that you should start planning only a month or two ahead of time. It may appear that your friends are spontaneously getting away but the truth of the matter is usually, it’s been a long time coming. If you think that you may get the vacay blues in the middle of July, then start planning for them in January. Going for a big vacation? It’s okay to plan years in advance. Cost efficient ways to plan a family vacation, don’t happen by mistake. Plan ahead.
2. Look Around
Vacations often require a lot of smaller items that most people forget to budget for. Items such as sandboxes, sunblock and hats for the baby. While it’s both easy and tempting to go out and buy all new items it’s more cost efficient to plan a family vacation with these things in mind. Look around your house to see if you already have the smaller items you need and then use the old rather than buying new. If you don’t have everything on your list call up a friend or post on Facebook that you would like to borrow those items. The need for saving money is something everyone can relate to these days.
3. Save Up All Year
Can you afford an extra $15 or $25 at the grocery store each month? If you think that you could afford to do so, then grab a gift card to start a gift card collection in order to help pay for things such as meals or activities while on vacation. Do you come in contact with good old fashion cash? If so then consider a savings jar with the same purpose in mind. Saving money all year really works!
4. Go When Others Don’t
June and July may seem like perfect vacation whether but if you can wait until the week after school starts you’ll find that prices are drastically lower. This may not work for every family but if you are a homeschooling family or if you don’t have young children in school yet this is the ideal time to plan a vacation.
5. Go Where Others Don’t
While going on vacations where others don’t can save you big money, going to locations where others don’t typically go can also save you big bucks. Consider small historic towns instead of popular tourist destinations. Or perhaps be willing to ride up to 30 minutes to your location each day. Staying at hotels outside of the popular destinations areas can be a big money saver as these are often geared towards business men and not families.
6. Skip The Merchandise
Maybe you are planning a vacation to a popular tourist spot and you want the full experience. That’s fine! Just try not to get carried away in buying everything that comes from the gift shop. Even the fancy cups can really bust your budget. Have children and afraid that they will ask for everything they see? Plan ahead and buy some items online or at a dollar store for a discount and then pack them in the suitcase to hand out periodically on vacation. Frugal living means being careful while on vacation too.
7. Eat Frugally
You might feel like you are living the royal dream while on vacation but that can quickly lead to some very costly mistakes. So instead of eating out at restaurants, eat back at your hotel room. Instead of making larger and fancier meals than what you would normally prepare for the family at home go in the opposite direction and eat more simplistic, think sandwiches and cereal. You’ll have so much fun outside of eating that you won’t even notice after the first day. This is one of the best cost efficient ways to plan a family vacation. See our bonus tip for more ways to eat frugally.
8. Be A Tourist
Maybe a hotel room cost more than your family can swing. That’s okay! Staycations are a lot of fun. You won’t get the 24/7 treatment of going away but you may be able to eat out each day since you won’t be using your money for lodging. This may not sound like fun but going to local attractions every day for a week can be a blast and your family is likely to enjoy a week of popular destinations not far from home.
9. Go For The Weekend
Vacations would be a lot cheaper if they weren’t so long. So instead of going for a week pick a destination that you can get to quicker and make a 3 day weekend of it. Even a traditional 2 day weekend can be a great option for many families. You won’t have to worry about nearly as much luggage and better yet, you won’t miss out on any pay while your family plays.
10. Budget Like A Boss
Finally don’t forget to budget. If you can manage to get a good handle on your money year round for everyday items such as entertainment, groceries, and utilities you’ll likely find that spending money on a vacation isn’t nearly as stressful. A coupon today could mean memories tomorrow.
Do you have other ideas for cost efficient ways to plan a family vacation? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Bonus Cost Efficient Ways To Plan A Family Vacation Tip: Bring along a crockpot!
We prepare food ahead of time to bring along, and often travel with a slow cooker in tow.
FREE Recipe Cards and One Week Meal Plan
Recipes in this frugal family meal plan include Creamy Crockpot Chicken, Mexican Posole Soup, Flat-Iron Steak, Cheesy Chicken & Noodles, Chicken & Rice, Crockpot Pork Roast, and Cheesy Buffalo Chicken! They are all simple and delicious and can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the freezer or in the fridge until ready to cook. It’s perfect for the busy mom or homeschool family.
Frugal Family Meal Plan – Download Includes
- 7 Frugal- Printable Recipes
- Recipe Cards
- Shopping List
The frugal recipes on the One Week menu will quickly earn the hearts & stomachs of your family . . . and your wallet. They are simple to prepare, use real food ingredients, and super yummy.
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