Having a great family vacation when you are on a budget is not a mission impossible. All you need is a solid plan and picking the right season, getting tickets on time, as well as booking accommodation that will give you the most for its price. Here’s how to travel on a budget:
Saving, of course, is essential and it should be done throughout the whole year so you and your family can relax and enjoy that long awaited getaway.
1. Book on time– Booking your tickets on time and in advance will save you a lot of money and nerves. Start with the transport and accommodation and then you can relax and book museum and other tickets. The earlier you book your tickets, the cheaper they will be. But, there is another trick – last minute booking. It can be super cheap to find such tickets, but for this, you will have continually check websites and be fast.
2. Avoid the tourist season– If you can go out of season that would be a great way to see the place but still pay up to fifty percent cheaper tickets and accommodation. Some places aren’t worth their peak seasons. Just imagine the crowds, super high prices, queues, etc. You and your children will have a better time during the quieter months.
3. Save money by booking a tour– A family of four can seriously save money on transportation, city touring and excursions if they book a tour and let the company organize everything. Such was my case when my family and I had Barcelona Exclusive Private Tours arrange our airport transfer and a city tour.
4. Avoid airport exchange offices– Boy have I got ripped off a few times while buying currencies at airport exchange offices. They use the fact that you need money right then and there and usually sell currencies at least twenty percent more expensive. Either use your credit card or make sure you buy currencies in your country if possible.
5. Order several big plates– Let’s be realistic, three or four large plates for all of you can be a real waste of money and food. Instead, order two big dishes so your entire family can eat together; if you have toddlers or a baby, this is the smartest solution.
6. Avoid hotels– Hotels are usually far more expensive than a cozy Airbnb. A decent Airbnb can offer you everything you need – bathroom, kitchen, laundry, internet, a backyard, good location, and a friendly host that will point out how to spend your time like a local.
7. Do your research– Check restaurants, museums, swimming pools, and any place that offers any discounts (especially for kids). This way you can save or not have to pay tickets (for your children) at all.
8. Smartly pack your bags– Instead to check and pay for three or four bags, pack everything up in one or two bags. Count the days and pack a few clothes combos and don’t put anything more. Plus, you might even buy something there, so leave some room for the new things.
9. Roam the town– This is even better than going to museums or paying for transportation. Be spontaneous and let yourself be free and sightsee the new city. Prepare sandwiches, get a few bottles of water, and have the day free of any activities but roaming around.