Summer is over for another year – deep sigh – but you may still have plans to go away with your family on a vacation. Perhaps those wintry slopes of a ski resort lie in wait, or if the cold isn’t your thing, and your hometown is prone to those annual visits from cheeky Jack Frost, then you may be thinking about heading to sunnier climes. Or you may be thinking about next year, planning your annual family vacation when summer rolls around again. Whatever the case, here are some tips that will help you save money on your travels.
- Start your vacation fund. If you still have a long way to go before you head out on your holidays, start to put money aside now. The more you save, the more you have to play with when away. You might even start to make some extra cash, so you won’t have to donate huge chunks of your pay into your vacation fund.
- Book your vacation early (or late). If you know where you want to go, look for early booking deals with your travel agent, or visit travel sites online. You may be able to get cheaper prices on flights and hotels. Some travel companies also allow you to set up price alerts, so you will be notified by email when prices drop. If you’re not ready to book early, then book late! Conflicting advice we know, but there are sometimes special travel deals for late bookings, as travel companies try to cut the losses of any cancellations.
- Sign up to a travel rewards credit card. A credit card is one way to lose money, but provided you act responsibly, signing up to something like the Amex platinum edge credit card can be cost-effective. Not only will you get a signup cash bonus, but it doubles as insurance, meaning you have a backup should your flight get cancelled, or you lose your luggage.
- Choose a cheap destination. When traveling with kids, nowhere is particularly cheap, especially if you give in to their ‘I want’ demands (hint: don’t!), but some places are cheaper to travel to than others. Consider the cheap family vacation ideas here, as this useful guide may hold the ticket to the next place that captures your family’s heart. Alternatively, head to somewhere that is less touristy. This way, you are less likely to fall prey to hotel and food diners who hike up their prices to ‘steal’ money from gullible tourists.
- Research available discounts. When you have chosen a place to visit, research the destination, and look for any discounts that may be available. Some places offer a CityPass for discounted admissions into popular attractions, and there may be family travel passes available that will make getting around a town or city on bus or train cheaper than it otherwise would be.
These are just a few of the ways you can save money on your family vacation, but if I have neglected to mention any money-saving idea that you use, please share in the comments!