Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes the annual family getaway. Whether you’re headed to the beach, to the mountains, or some destination in between, a great family vacation can be something your children remember for years to come. However, it can also be something that leaves your bank account hurting for years to come.
Your family vacation doesn’t need to wipe out your savings. Serious planning can be your bank account’s best friend when it comes to your vacation. Try these planning tips to reduce your travel costs and help your dollar go further this year.
Off-Peak Travel Times
Being flexible with your travel schedule may be the biggest cost saver you can find. There are a few ways you can use this tip to your advantage. If you find your vacation destinations fall well outside of your budget, try these methods to cut back on hotel and airfare costs:
Change of Season: Avoid hitting the beach during July or August. Try to schedule your beach vacation for the last few days of the off-season, just before the crowds hit the shores and room rates start soaring. Traveling to the beach in May or September can save you hundreds of dollars.
Ready for Takeoff: Save huge on plane tickets by being flexible about the day you take off. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly.[i] Try avoiding flights out on a Friday or Saturday, when most travelers prefer to fly.
A New Location: If your family can only travel during a certain time frame, seek out a new location that isn’t in peak season. Look to visit a ski resort town such as Colorado Springs or Lake Tahoe for outdoor activities this summer. Thinking of going abroad? Consider traveling to New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa where it is winter from June through August – and you can plan a memorable family getaway at a substantial discount.
Plan Your Menu
If you have a family of four, eating every meal at a restaurant can get quite expensive. Find a hotel or vacation rental that offers a small kitchen so that you can cut back on those meals. Cooking your own breakfast and packing a lunch with you when you go off exploring can significantly reduce your costs.
By cutting back for a majority of your meals, you will be able to enjoy your dinners out as a family. You can also take your planning a step further and research local restaurants to find hidden local gems where tourists don’t normally eat. Doing such research will also give you an opportunity to scope out the menu and ensure that it falls within your family’s price range.
Deciding On Transportation
Depending on your vacation destination, transportation may be an unnecessary expense. Research the area near your hotel or vacation rental to determine whether you need a car for the entire duration of your trip. If you are staying in a downtown location, chances are that many of the destinations will be within walking distance or just a short light-rail or bus trip away.
If you need to rent a car, look into joining membership clubs with different rental companies. Many of these companies will send emails with special rates or allow you to upgrade to a larger car for free. Also be sure to avoid selecting the option for the rental company to refill your gas tank at the end of your trip as the gas price is usually much higher than you will find in town.
Start Saving Well before Your Trip
One of the best ways to save for your family vacation is to begin setting aside small amounts of money throughout the year. Opening a separate savings account will remove the temptation of dipping into your vacation fund during the year to pay for other items. Putting your money into a high-yield savings account will also help your money grow faster, with interest compounded daily, and allow you to set a budget for your vacation.
Begin Planning Your Family Vacation Today
By starting your planning today, you can help to make your next family vacation one that you and your children will remember for the rest of your lives – without having to drain your checking or savings account. For information on how Bank of Internet USA can help you reach your vacation savings goals, please contact us by calling 1-877-541-2634 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.