Traveling with my sons and husband is one of the most fun and rewarding things I do. It is something that has allowed us all to grow as individuals and as a family. I am amazed to see how independent both of my boys are and how much they know already. That’s why I want us to keep traveling with them as often as I can.
The only down side is that it can be extremely expensive. Doing it more than once every year can represent a ton of spending. But after doing it for years I am proud to say that I have developed a system that allows me to save money on family travel. That way we can either travel without going broke or spend our money on attractions and exploring.
There are tons of little things that you can do but there are three that have proven to be the ones that I save the most with.
3 Ways to Save Money on Family Travel
1. Let’s start with accommodations
If you have read my articles and reviews before you know that for the last couple of years vacation rentals have been my accommodation of choice. One of my main reasons is that my two boys are growing. Staying at a hotel room with two large beds feels too crowded, no matter how spacious it is. Plus, we all appreciate some privacy and being able to take a nap or work while the others go on with their life is essential to recoup. This means that at this point we would have to get two hotel rooms to be comfortable, and that is way out of our travel budget.
Then there is the fact that you don’t get a fully equipped kitchen. This means that whenever you and your kids get hungry you need to go out to restaurants that offer all sorts of tasty dishes, drinks and desserts. Can you imagine how much it would cost for a family of four to go to a restaurant three or four times per day for over a week?
Having an apartment or house with a kitchen allows me to go out to the nearest store or market and cook most of the meals. We still go out to restaurants because we love trying the local food but not every time one of us gets hungry.
This is a huge part of my planning process. I literally go to every website I know. This includes websites for airlines and third party booking sites such as Just fly. It might take a lot of time and effort. But it has also allowed me to find some great deals on flights.
At first I wasn’t a big fan of those sites where you book flights. But I kept finding great reviews about them and decided to try it. But before I even booked my flights I started to play around with this sort of search engine for flights and started finding some great deals for different destinations. Since I had already been doing research for many airlines I was able to notice immediately that most of the prices were on the lower end.
I ended up using the service for a recent trip to Spain and was able to save on our flights. I will definitely give it another chance for my next family trip to the US.
I guess what I am trying to say here is “Keep looking!” don’t be lazy on your research. It might be the difference between saving or spending too much on your flight.
Years ago, before I got married and had kids, public transportation was always my best choice. The second resource I turned to were taxis. I also know that there are some other similar services where you get a car and a driver with just a call.
However, now that I have kids I discovered that renting a small car, nothing luxurious but still comfortable is my best bet. In a lot of places paying for a week’s worth of car rental ends up being cheaper than paying for public transportation for four people multiple times every day.
Taxis are still a decent option but I prefer the privacy and convenience of having your own car.
As you were able to see, these are all things that are done even before the trip starts. This also takes a lot of pressure off of you because there is no need to be constantly thinking about saving.
This article is a collaboration with Justfly. As always all opinions are mine.