Budget Travel with a Family

Traveling with a Family on a Budget
Traveling with a Family on a Budget

Budget Travel with a Family

Every cent counts these days. When it comes to organizing a family vacation, a little research goes a long way. Proper investigation may save you hundreds of dollars on the overall cost of travel and make the trip less stressful.

As someone who enjoys traveling with my four family members, I’ve had to devise novel methods to conserve money while still providing my family with rich experiences. Here are some of the ways I maximized my trip budget.


I usually check inexpensive airlines such as JetBlue or Southwest for one-way tickets to my location to get a sense of how much flights would cost before visiting a travel site such as Orbitz or Expedia. Because convenience and affordability are the two most important factors, I avoid flights with stops unless they are the only flights available. It’s worth a few more bucks to prevent running through airports or waiting in terminals with two children.

Once I have a fair notion of how many nonstop flights cost, I scan travel websites for any special deals. I’ve discovered that there are occasions when purchasing two one-way tickets is much less expensive than buying a round trip ticket (and I was surprised by that too). I tend to avoid using a “name your price” airline ticket website unless I travel alone for business since they do not always utilize the airlines I like, but that is a personal preference. If you are less picky about whatever airline you travel, you may save a significant amount of money.


It is another area where a little research can go a long way toward ensuring that you receive the most satisfactory experience at the lowest possible expense. Several websites provide hotel reviews and reduced prices on stays. It is essential to read all of the research, both positive and negative, before deciding since different individuals might respond differently to the same service or lodging. Sure guests anticipate a 5-star hotel for a 3-star fee, and when they do not get it, they vent in a review.

Once you’ve chosen a hotel, check to see whether the hotel is advertised at a discounted cost on one of the major travel websites. At times, the quality may be lacking in certain places, but you can always do a Web search for the websites’ “promo codes” or “discount coupons.” When traveling with my family, I often utilize the more prominent websites and avoid the “name your own price” websites, simply because you do not get to choose the details, and not every “3 stars,” “4 stars,” or even “5-star” hotel is the same.

Another way to look for hotel specials is the airline’s website. Numerous significant airlines are now selling “travel packages” that bundle tickets and hotel stay into one ticket, which may be a crucial savings opportunity.

Automobile Rentals

Rental automobiles are rare instances in which I deviate from the “name your own price” guideline. I almost exclusively hire vehicles from “name your own price” websites since the larger ones indicate which rental vehicle companies they partner with. There are sometimes excellent savings to be discovered. I’ve rented vehicles for between $15 and $20 a day the past several times I traveled, whether on work or with family. It is around 60% less than the amount charged directly by rental vehicle businesses. I also strive to select the most affordable vehicles possible so that when the time comes to fill the tank on the way back to return the vehicle, the financial hit is not as severe.


When I travel with my family on vacation, I make a point of staying in hotels with kitchens or even “kitchenettes.” It makes traveling with children a lot simpler if you can carry food with you everywhere you go, and having breakfast in your hotel room before heading out for the day is an excellent way to save money. A brief stop at the supermarket on your way from the airport to the hotel may save you a bundle of snacks, beverages, and breakfasts. Of course, there are times when you want to treat yourself to an excellent supper or grab a quick lunch on the fly, and with the money saved on breakfasts, beverages, and snacks, this becomes much more affordable.

What to Do

Almost every holiday resort or city will feature a plethora of free or cheap activities. Before traveling with my family, I like to do a quick Web search for “free things to do” in the place I’ll be visiting. There are several activities, particularly for children, that are either free or significantly inexpensive, such as children’s museums, historical sites, parks, and beaches. Additionally, most hotels have a concierge desk that can provide discounts and advice, or at the very least, pamphlets and brochures about local attractions that may include deals and coupons.

Traveling with a family on a budget is not easy, but there are excellent ways to save money while still enjoying the same experiences if you look hard enough.


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