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Money Saving Ideas for a Family Vacation

Money Saving Ideas for a Family VacationWould you like to get away, but don’t know how you can afford it? Is it one of those ideas that is planned haphazardly because of insufficient funds or a complete lack of funds?  A family vacation is a great bonding time, and it is a time that will be cherished and remembered as some of the best experiences during our lifetimes.  It’s a time to bond and enjoy one another’s company.  It’s a time to relax, or take in a favorite activity, or see the sights, or experience another part of the country or the world.  So why is it, then, that we are so reluctant to spend money on a family vacation?  See my article on the importance of family.   

Well, to begin with, vacations are viewed by many as being a “luxury.”  In other words, a luxury is not a necessary item because it’s not a basic need.  Because it’s not a basic need, it’s difficult to justify spending funds for a family vacation. This is one of the basic reasons we need money saving ideas for a family vacation.

Family On Deck  in MexicoHowever, family bonding time is a basic need.  We all need time to get away from the daily routine and experience new surroundings with our families.  It’s actually healthy to communicate with one another and strengthen family relationships.  Although we can do these things at home, a lot of times we don’t – or we don’t do it in the same way because there are responsibilities to take care of and schedules to keep.  There’s never a shortage of “to-do” lists.

Are there really any useful tips to make family vacations less expensive?  The answer is yes, but it takes a little bit of planning.  However, make planning time a part of the whole experience.  Make it a goal that all family members have “bought in” on.  Include in your family discussions where and how to put money aside, how to cut expenses, and also share ideas.  If vacations are not taken because of a lack of funds, the rest of the experience is also scrapped.  Put some forethought into it, make it a family affair, and then make it happen!

Sign at Pikes Market Seattle, WAWe like to stay at hotels, like the Embassy Suites, that provide breakfast every morning.  Our second preference is to stay at hotels that have a small fridge in the room.  Either way, the first meal of the day is a snap!  If breakfast is not provided, purchase breakfast items from a local grocery store and fill the fridge with milk, juice, fruit, protein powder mix, granola bars, and a small box of whole grain cereal for quick continental-style breakfasts.  Lunch is usually the main meal of the day instead of dinner because lunches are usually less expensive than evening meals.  Also, we eat an early evening dinner by sharing several appetizers.  However, don’t order so many appetizers that they end up being more expensive than whole meals.  Again, be sure to limit the beverages!  We also carry healthy snacks with us that we’ve purchased at a local farmers market or grocery store.  Fresh fruit makes an inexpensive and healthy between-meal snack.
Shelli Waiting for the Bus in Vancouver, BC

Since we love to take in historical sites, it’s great that many of them are free!  Many cities offer wonderful parks, churches and cathedrals, famous landmarks, and beautiful civic buildings and there’s no charge to get in.  So, we research the area ahead of time, map it out, and set out on an adventure!

Although tempting, we limit our purchases of souvenirs.  I mean, how many sweatshirts does one really need??   However, if memorabilia is a must, keep it small enough to pack in the suitcase that you brought with you – so that you don’t have to purchase an extra suitcase to take everything home.

So be sure to take those family vacations because the time is never wasted.  Sometimes a little planning ahead of time can make a lifetime of memories!

As always, I enjoy reading your comments.

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2 Responses to Money Saving Ideas for a Family Vacation

  1. Valerie August 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Great tips Shelli! Breakfast meals on the go can really add up when you are traveling with several people. I also agree that having some idea of the sites you want to see helps keep you on track with spending. Keep the tips coming!

    • mm
      Shelli Elledge August 30, 2013 at 2:49 am #

      Hey, thank you, Valerie! These are just some of the cost-cutting measures we’ve used over the years. I’m working on other budgetary lists, too, so hope to hear from you again soon!

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