I don’t know if there’s anyone who doesn’t like to go on vacations because everyone does! However, vacations always come with a price tag that, if you’re not careful, might burn a hole in your wallet. Spending money is inevitable but what you have control of is how you’re going to spend that money for a family vacation. Now, the question is: can you penny pinch money without penny-pinching fun? The answer is YES! Here’s how:
1. Plan early.
If possible, plan family vacations as early as 12 months to 6 months before the designated date. Planning several months in advance will give you enough time to save up and prepare for the vacation. In addition to this, a lot of board and lodging providers offer a lower rate in advanced booking, so does airline ticket sellers.
2. Search for vouchers, coupons, and deals online.
Aside from planning early, doing a lot of research goes a long way. Some tour or travel agencies offer deals for a limited time only, so get a hold of them fast. Subscribe to their newsletters or follow a certain hotel in the place you’re going to visit on social media, and be on the lookout for their offers or contest that might save you big bucks.
3. Consider travelling on off-peak seasons.
One of the oldest tricks in the vacation-on-a-budgeting book is to travel during off-peak season. Prices usually go down by as much as 100% during the off-peak season compared to the peak season. Or you can always choose the most frugal vacation: staycations.
4. Be wise in deciding where to stay.
While most hotels and inns offer the same kind of service, try to choose those who offer more for the same price. You can also make a personalized deal with them based on the budget you have, if you manage to get a hold of their contact details. Try to stay in a place that has a kitchen and fridge, or offers a free breakfast. You’ll get a lot of savings.
5. Stick to your budget and don’t go overboard.
Once you’re vacationing, be strict and limit spending according to what’s planned. Emotional purchases are very common when on vacation because we’re having so much fun. Have a souvenir strategy to resist impulse buys. Save change in a jar before the trip and discuss getting souvenirs that can only be found at your destination.
6. Bring packed food.
If you’re not going to spend a day or a few days away from home, try bringing packed lunch or dinner with you. Pull over on an open space and set-up a little picnic party. When you’re in a theme park, see if they allow visitors to bring in food. The price of food in theme parks is usually more expensive.
7. Bring jugs or water tumblers.
When you’re on vacation in another place, most of the travelling you’ll do is by foot. And walking can make you really thirsty. So instead of buying water bottle after bottle, or soda can after can, bring a jug or tumbler. That way, you can easily refill your water supply wherever you go. Usually, you can just ask for water in your hotel/inn’s pantry.
8. Don’t bring the whole bank with you.
It pays to bring just a little bit of extra money with you whenever you’re vacationing so you won’t be tempted to spend too much. But for emergency situations, always bring a debit or credit card with you. But only use it on emergency situations.
Not every vacation is made the same, but the bottom line is—it must be fun for everyone. Remember that excellent planning goes a long way, and always have fun!
About the Author:
Joanna is an entrepreneur mum blessed with 3 lovely children. She lives in Dubai with her family, and loves to travel and cook healthy meals for her children. Joanna regularly shares her parenting tips and experiences with Afterschool.ae, an online platform listing all UAE children’s activities accessible by parents thru web and mobile.