Lauren Cobello » Budgeting » Saving Money Hacks » Saving money on Family vacations
Taking a vacation with the family doesn’t have to break your bank. There are many ways to take a wonderful trip and still stay within the budget. Here are some ideas that my family has found helpful.
When planning a trip, first choose your destination. It helps if you are flexible on dates or locations. You can also read my post about how to travel to Disney for free.
Once you have an idea where you’d like to visit, go to Groupon and signup for that city’s deals. We were recently able to get a deal for a suite at a hotel in Savannah Georgia with a $20 food credit for just $69 through Groupon! We bought two nights and are looking forward to a nice little weekend getaway some time soon. I’ve seen most of the cities offer some sort of hotel deal.
You also can use this to find great deals on restaurants and other attractions in your destination area. Another place to check out for hotel deals is Priceline.com. This can help you find good rates without having to call a million different hotels. If you do decide to book through Priceline.com, be sure and click through Ebates so you can earn cashback on your trip. Consider staying at a cabin in a State Park. We have done this many times when we travel. It’s cheaper plus they usually have good playgrounds for the kids to unwind. If you are really flexible with dates, check out the Cabins For You facebook page. They offer Flash Sales quite often. They tell you what time to call in and if you’re the first caller, you get a cabin for dirt cheap!
You can also check out VRBO.com and rent a house for less money, and deal directly from the owner.
Now that you’ve figured out where you will be staying, time to think about the next necessity- Food! This doesn’t have to be much of a worry if you plan in advance. Our family typically brings our food along with us, allowing to dine out maybe once or twice on a vacation. It’s much cheaper for us since our kids are very hearty eaters. Some ways to frugally dine out while traveling is to take along gift certificates. You can purchase some from Restaurant.com or also from Groupon. Also consider doing a search for daily deals in that city. There are TONS of daily deal sites where you can purchase deals.
Also, I frequently talk on my blog about joining survey sites and Swagbucks (learn how to make money using Swagbucks). That’s where these sites will come in handy! On some of them, you have the option to cash out for a prepaid visa card or for gift cards to restaurants such as Long Horn, Chili’s, and Macaroni Grill to name a few. A few weeks before you take your trip, cash out so you receive your prize in time.
Check out the restaurants that offer coupons, see a full list of those restaurants here.
I mentioned using Groupon above, but there are also other ways to save on attractions during your vacation. Before you leave home, do a search for coupons, discount codes, etc on the attractions that you plan to visit. Check out their Facebook page to see if they are running any promotions. Call and ask them if they have any coupons out and how you can obtain one. You may be surprised at all the options out there to make your visit cheaper.
You can also read my article on how to save money on airline tickets.