Spring is finally here! That means we can say goodbye to the long, dark days of winter and finally spend some time outside again. There are so many things I can’t wait to do. Picnics in the park, barbeques, and just enjoying the beautiful weather sitting on my front porch. However, there’s nothing my family looks forward to more than our spring vacations. We love to soak up some sun at the beach, visit a big city, or even go on an adventure! However, traveling isn’t cheap. Especially when you’re bringing the whole family along! It’s tough to travel on a budget, but not impossible. Here are some of my go-to tips when it comes to traveling on a budget.
Go Off Season
As difficult as it can be to wait, there are so many advantages to going on vacation during the off-season. Since it’s not the peak season, you’ll be more likely to have several options when it comes to lodging and flights. Not only is there more availability, but prices are significantly reduced. You’ll have more freedom with flights, hotels, and what you want to do while you’re there. Shorter lines and fewer crowds mean you can do more with the time you have! You might even be able to afford to go somewhere for a few more days or stay somewhere a little nicer.
Share a Suitcase
Plane tickets always seem to be one of the most expensive parts of traveling. Especially when you spend a few hundred dollars just to check a few bags! Instead, trade in that huge suitcase for a large carry-on for each person traveling. Try to fit as much in your carry-on as possible, but make sure it will still fit on the plane. Don’t forget about personal items, too! Whatever can’t fit in your carry-on, try to condense in one or two suitcases. Not only will you save money on baggage fees, but you won’t have a bunch of bulky suitcases to carry around.
I will never get used to the frustration of opening my suitcase and seeing shampoo and conditioner all over my clothes and shoes. No matter what I do differently, it seems to happen every single time we fly. So if possible, I use the toiletries provided in our room. If I’m not sure if toiletries are included, I try to bring a few basics that everyone can share. Sharing basics like body wash, shaving cream, and deodorant is a great way to make extra room in your suitcases.
If you’re planning on being out and about for most of the day, make sure you’re prepared! Especially if you have kiddos, it’s important to make sure you don’t waste money on over-priced snacks and water. Grab a few granola bars, some home-made snacks, and some bottled water and throw them in your bag for the day. Buying a few bottles of water for $5 each adds up quick. On the other hand, If there’s something specific near you that you can’t get back home, it’s okay to splurge!
Hotels are great and have always been the most reasonable option. But with the popularity of renting out apartments or homes, hotels may not be the best option if you’re traveling on a budget. It’s a great option to save some money on lodging, but you get additional advantages a hotel can’t offer, like a working kitchen! If you’re able to, try to cook a few meals. Not only can you save some money, you get to relax and spend personal time with your family.
As our families grow and get older, the time you spend together and memories you share become more and more meaningful. There’s a lot of pressure involved in planning a great trip for your loved ones, but remember traveling on a budget doesn’t have to be impossible. Planning the perfect family vacation doesn’t have to be expensive if you have flexibility and a little bit of preparation! What are some of your best tips for traveling on a budget? Leave your comments below!