June 7, 2023

How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Summer Vacation with the Family

budget-friendly vacation with family

Summer is in full swing! We have several fun summer vacations with the kids, and we cannot wait! Taking vacations can get expensive…but it is so worth it to us! We love creating these special memories while also teaching the kids so much about different places, history, and even different cultures. It’s such an important investment to our family! Keep reading for tips on how to plan a budget-friendly vacation

I am sharing 10 of my favorite money-saving tips below when booking family vacations. I use all 10 of these tips and definitely recommend trying them! They are all fairly easy but take a little time and planning. But it’s worth it if it lets you save some money and make more memories as a family. = )

How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Vacation

1.) Drive instead of flying when you can. If it’s less than 7 hours, we typically always drive. It is just so much more cost-effective to drive than to buy 5 plane tickets. The only time I definitely fly is if the drive is much too far, or if it’s a direct flight and a great deal.

2.) Pack snacks, food, and drinks to take with you. We always do this when we drive and love packing a big cooler. And if you’re flying, you can still pack snacks and empty water bottles that you fill up at water filling stations or water fountains at the airport.

3.) See if your hotel or Airbnb has a fridge, microwave, and grill so you can buy groceries and cook while on vacation. Sometimes we pack our groceries and bring them from home, and sometimes we shop and buy them as soon as we get in town for our vacation.

4.) If flying, join loyalty programs for airlines. Sometimes buying miles is cheaper than paying $$ for the flight. I did this recently with one of my flights, and it saved a few hundred dollars by paying with the miles that I bought! They were having a sale on miles.

5.) Don’t go during peak season. We go to the beach typically every year the week before school starts. A lot of schools start back at the beginning of August, so it’s not as crowded or as expensive as usual. Spring break and June and July are the most popular months usually. Squeeze it in May or August if possible.

6.) Book early before hotel rates go up and book up, and flights typically just keep increasing as your stay gets closer. It’s always better to book early, but if the opportunity comes up last minute to travel, check rates because there could be some crazy deals if hotels still have too many unbooked rooms.

7.) See if there are any discounts where you’re planning to stay. For instance, 5 days for the price of 4. Some of my favorite sites for looking for discounts (whether travel or not) is Kayak, Retailmenot, and Rakuten. Also, sign up for your favorite resorts’ emails. We go to the Pointe in 30A every summer, so we love checking out their social media too in case they have any deals going on.

8.) Looks for spots outside of busy cities or outside of peak season. For instance, stay 30 minutes outside of the city you’re planning to visit. Fly into another nearby airport that has better rates. We recently flew a couple of hours outside of our destination city, and it saved us hundreds of dollars. It was much cheaper than flying to the closest airport, even with driving further in our rental car.

9.) Bring your own activities and toys for your trip to entertain you and the kids while on vacation. Think beach balls, water toys, bikes, scooters, board games, etc. The kids will appreciate it too!

10.) Get a credit card that rewards you with cashback. There are so many great credit cards out there, but depending on what you spend your credit card on most often, look at a rewards program tailored to that. If you fly using 1 main airline, look into their rewards credit card.

The main thing to note is that most places are looking to lock people into staying at their resort early, and they love rewarding people for their loyalty. If you have a favorite airline, resort, area, etc., use that to your advantage and get rewarded for giving them repeat business each year! What are your favorite family summer vacations? What are your best money-saving tips for budget-friendly vacation ideas?


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