Summer is here, which means travel season is certainly upon us! If you’re dreaming of sitting poolside somewhere outside your zip code, you definitely are in good company. But, if you’ve ever taken a family vacation, you know as well as anyone that they can quickly burn a hole in those hard-earned savings, if you’re not careful. But, don’t worry! It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few of our favorite tips for family travel on a budget.
Have flexible travel dates
If you’re dead set on leaving for your trip on a Friday afternoon and coming home on a Sunday evening, odds are you’re going to end up paying way more than you bargained for. Instead, look for flights mid-week! Not only will you likely save quite a bit, but you’ll probably beat a bit of the airport rush, too.
There’s nothing more frustrating than paying more for the same experience, just because you waited too long to book. Book flights, trains, and accommodations early! We’re not saying you need to have every last detail planned way in advance, but by booking the big things early, you’ll have more peace of mind and more money saved. Pro tip: we're always monitoring Skyscanner for the best flight deals.
Invest in reliable baby gear
The fastest way to take the wind out of your sails is having to overpay for cheap baby gear rentals, once you reach your destination. Instead, make sure you have reliable, travel-friendly baby gear ahead of time, so you don’t have to pay anything extra! We recommend the Tour, as it’s super lightweight, compact, and easy to travel with. Oh, and don’t forget your Cloud! Your baby will sleep so much better in this familiar, and packable crib.
Extend your work trip
Do you travel a lot for work? Does your company cover some of your expenses? This could be a great opportunity to cash in some of that PTO that’s been stacking up, and bring the family along! Have your family come and meet you at the beginning or end of your trip to capitalize on those free flights and hotels.
Discover hidden gems
Even if you’re visiting somewhere relatively affordable, it can be easy to get sucked into a tourist trap and end up overpaying. Instead of going to the big sites and restaurants, go to some more undiscovered places instead! Ask a local friend for some recommendations, or explore off the beaten path for yourself. These types of places are the ones that often end up being your favorites, anyway. Here at Zoe we're always on the hunt for hidden gems when it comes to family vacation destinations. Our latest find - Chattanooga, TN (don't miss our guide!)
Book a place with a kitchen
Eating out for every meal can become very expensive very quickly. By booking a place with a kitchen, you give yourself the option to have some of your meals at home! Maybe you can choose to always go out for dinner, but have breakfast together as a family each morning. Or, see what the local farmer’s market scene is like, and pick up some fresh produce to cook together!
Create a budget
We know it’s not too fun to create a vacation budget, but by creating a budget (and sticking to it!), you’re giving yourself plenty of freedom, without feeling out of control when it comes to your resources. You can plan exactly how much you’re willing to spend on each part of your trip, so then you can enjoy and relax, without worrying about money.
Want more travel tips? Head to our blog!