With many still suffering from the less than perfect economy, it’s necessary to understand how to travel cheaply. Families can quickly rack up a huge tab at a restaurant and run through an entire vacation budget in just a few days. It’s expensive to fly an entire family of four or more to any destination and many other activities can wreak havoc on your travel budget quickly. However, there are some ways to travel cheaply.
Start by searching for cheap vacation packages and even if you have to sit through a timeshare presentation, it’s a great way to save a little cash. Sometimes you can grab a deal in the off season months that’s both inexpensive and fun. Keeping a close eye on the prices of different packages online can help you land the right deal at the right time.
Other Ways to Save While Traveling
1. House Not Hotel
One of the most costly parts of traveling is lodging. Hotels are very expensive and can cost over $100 a night. Instead of just considering a hotel for your travel needs, consider renting a house or a cabin. If you play to stay in the same area for several days or weeks, you can usually save money by renting a house. This will also provide many other amenities and comforts a hotel room doesn’t provide.
2. Smart Meal Planning
Once the lodging is taken care of, often the next most expensive part of the trip is feeding everybody. You want to enjoy the local restaurants, but going out for every meal can really add up in a hurry. Instead of spending every night out spending over $100 on the family, plan your restaurant meals at lunchtime. Most restaurants still offer the same dishes, but in smaller portions and at cheaper prices. You can take a family of four to lunch for under $30 and still get the restaurant experience.
3. Grocery Shop and Cook
The only way to eliminate some of the expensive meals you simply cannot afford is to grocery shop and cook for your family. This can be fun, anyway and provide actual family time away from all the activities of the day. In addition, if you rent a home with a kitchen, cooking most of the nights will save you hundreds of dollars.
4. Bring Entertainment
Most families spend time at the beach, an amusement park or somewhere else that can wear everybody out before dinner. When this happens, you might think about just taking in a movie and relaxing, but going to the actual theater is expensive. It’s better to pack a portable DVD player or a computer and use it to play one of your family’s favorite films for the night.
5. Avoid Airlines
If you want to save money on your next trip, travel by car or railway. These are the cheapest ways to travel and even though they may take longer to get to your destination, you can save money that can be used for other fun things on the trip. Families can even plan a trip only a few hundred miles away from home to keep gas expenses down, if they are driving.
Use these tips and make sure to consider all the possibilities when you set up your vacation budget. You want to have fun and indulge some, but you don’t want to come home broke because you spent your life’s savings on one trip.
Photo by expressmonorail on Flickr.