April 17, 2009

Travel Tips For Cheap Family Vacations

Family vacations are really an important time for the family. It’s probably the only time of the year that the whole family can get together and spend some real quality time with each other. It means fun for both the parents and kids. Many families may now tend to avoid thinking about vacation because of a tight budget and a slumping economy. Here, however, are some tips on how to cut down the cost of your next family vacation and yet still ensure loads of enjoyment for everyone:

1. Plan your vacation well in advance. This gives you plenty of time to surf the internet and get the best bargains on air tickets and hotel reservations for your family.

2. Try to be flexible about the dates of your travel. It’s better to travel in mid-week rather than on a weekend. Try to plan your travel in the off peak season. You are more likely to get cheaper air tickets and a good bargain on your hotel.

3. Save money on hotel rooms. Your hotel choice could consume much of the money spent on your vacation. If you have relatives or friends living near any probable vacation spot, then try make arrangements, if possible, to stay with them for the holiday. If planning an international vacation then consider using a hotel guide or surf the internet for the best rates you can find.

4. Save money by considering cheap cruises. These can be for only three to five days on many popular cruise ships with many fun designations. The inside cabins are the best choice and can actually be very affordable.

5. Check for a vacation rental. These provide a great value when it comes to a family vacations. You can save a lot on the hotel room and also on the food.

6. Before you leave for your vacation, buy all your own amenities like sunscreen, toothpaste, medicines, etc. These things usually cost more at vacation spots.

7. Try to travel with another family or with friends. You can consider booking a vacation cottage and share the cost of the stay. You can do the same with food because you will most likely have a kitchen in the cottage.

8. Choose a destination where you can have free fun. You’re already paying for your stay and the food could be costly so you don’t want to end up paying for all your entertainment as well.

9. Try to visit the off beaten path destinations. These destinations are a lot cheaper than the crowded destinations most might choose. You also will have the added advantage of privacy.

10. You can consider choosing a destination that you can drive to. You can also carry your own food and entertainment along. You can carry an ice box with bottled water, soda, and perhaps a selection of canned foods.

11. You may also consider a family camping trip. It’s filled with fun and adventure and it can really be within your budget. Your biggest expense might be the tent. You can carry an ice box with all your food and drinks. You might also plan a family barbeque. You can take your friends along so that you can split the price of gas and food.

12. We can’t ignore the fact that last minute vacation packages can be big money savers. Although planning your vacation in advance is good advice, you could also plan on catching a last minute deal. So get geared up, pack your bags, and start planning your next fun-filled cheap family vacation.

By GLORIA BAKER

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