Candice M. Roberts
6 Things to Cut Cost on Family Vacations
The price of a family vacation can be overwhelming sometimes. Having to pay for airfare and hotel, plus food can get expensive. On top of all of that, you want to make sure you hit all of the tourist attractions in the area.
But your vacation doesn't have to be stressful. Here are a few things I've learned along the way to help my family with cost and to ensure our vacation is truly that...a stress free vacation.
Pick up the local paper or events flyers. Local events are a great way to see the city. It gets you off of the tourist track and exposes you to how the locals really entertain themselves. As you move about the city you should see a variety of them sitting around. Coffee shops and small business will mostly carry them. You can also search the Internet for the city event's page as well as Facebook. The events calendar will display events in the local area during your stay and you will also discover some great freebies.
Take advantage of nature. Never underestimate the outdoors. While you are racking your brain about hitting all the tourist spots, the kids honestly much rather enjoy a day at the beach, going on a hike, or spending time in a local park. Trust me on this. One weekend we rented a paddleboard, 20€ for the entire weekend. Best time ever. If the kids don't seem interested, it's much easier on everyone to plan a day of play.
Museum free days. Pretty much every museum has a free day or free period of the week. This summer we lucked up on 3 museums in Cadiz that had free admission. Check out the websites of the local museums in the town or city you are traveling to and get the schedule.
Go to the grocery store. Food is one the largest expenses when travel. It can be especially stressful when having to feed children. Making your own food is one of the easiest things you can do for those long day. Pack sandwiches, juice boxes, fruit, or whatever else your child may like. Also when traveling, avoid sitting down at restaurants for every meal. Pass a local bakery and you will find sandwiches and pastries at a fraction of the price when dining in.
Figure out how you are going to get around everyday. Sit down with a city map and map out the bus or metro route. Plan your destinations accordingly. It's easier if you choose an area to explore each day verses wondering around the entire city. This saves money and time on transportation.
Keep change handy. Being an American, it took some getting use to…paying to use the restroom. There are many places here in Europe that charge anywhere between 50cent to 1euro. Sometimes people are kind and they will see you with small children and let you slide. Just incase you don’t run into those people, keep change in your pocket. Trust me.
Bonus: Airfare is the most expensive component of your trip. Make a budget and plan this out well in advance. Some people save for a full 2 years for a major trip. You can also pay your airfare in installments. Ask your local travel agent.
Candice is an introverted extrovert who loves to read, wander aimlessly and is addicted to olives. She is a photographer and loves to share travel experiences. She is married to the best husband ever hands down and they have 3 wonderful creations.