Every year people tend to look forward to the summer, because summer means more free time, relaxing at the beach, swimming at the local pools, barbequing, watching baseball games, time off from school, and of course summer vacations. This year however, more and more people seem to be opting out of the vacation due to the state of the economy and their personal financial situation. There seems to be so much negative surrounding today, with the hope for tomorrow; and, this does not need to be the situation with your vacation. Don’t put off your vacation – take advantage of the many deals available for travel and accommodation because of the economy and you will be surprised what type of vacation you can afford.
Planning a Vacation
Planning a vacation that is cost effective and fits in your budget may take some time and effort, but it is possible and it will be worth it. A good shopper takes the time to look for coupons and use them, saving money in the process. You can apply the same principle to planning your family’s vacation.
One good area to start is the different online travel sites because they offer deals and rewards programs that you can sign up for and get notified when specials are being held. You can subscribe to as many services as you want, including travel sites, frequent flier sites, frequent guest programs, reward programs, and any other online sites you find that you feel might potentially benefit your family’s future vacation. When you sign up, they will start emailing you alerts and sometimes you can join their customer programs for even better deals.
The date of your trip is one of the most important details because it not only has to work with everyone in your family’s schedule, but it also has to work with your budget. Although tomorrow might work for everyone, it is probably not the cheapest way to go. Try planning in advance to find the best deals for travel. Additionally, usually when you schedule your trip on dates during the middle of the week, the price drops.
Location will obviously be a big part of your vacation, however, the more flexible you can be with your destination of choice, the better – especially when it comes to the price. The best rates for accommodation are usually found in areas that are more frequently visited, including bigger cities and resorts. Because of the number of people that come in and out of these areas, there are more options for accommodations allowing you a better likelihood of getting a good price. Chances are there might be a vacancy and the hotel or resort would rather accommodate you at a discounted rate than no one at all.
The First Step
A lot of times the biggest challenge that people deal with while planning a trip comes during the initial stage, because it involves so much logistics and a lot of money upfront. Though no one is suggesting you hire a travel agent to help you with your cheap family vacation, you might be interested in looking into the options available for package deals. These options allow you to book everything together (airfare, accommodation, rental car, etc.), and most of the time they also save you money for doing so.
Once you arrive to your destination, you will definitely need to make sure you have budgeted for food – you have to eat and chances are you won’t be close to a kitchen. To avoid unnecessary food costs, ask the hotel to look the mini bar and request for a mini fridge where you can store food to snack on. Eat this food before you go out and at night when you are hungry. Also, if possible, before you visit attractions eat so that you avoid paying for high-priced food items.
The thing that makes every vacation memorable is the time you spend together with your family participating in fun activities that you do not usually do on an everyday basis. However, if you want to go to the local theme park for a day or two the cost can easily rise, making your vacation more expensive than desirable. Luckily, there are a lot of discounts available, including coupons, special passes, and even deals that you might get from your hotel. And, even though everyone loves the extravagant activities, there is also something to be said about spending time together as a family and that can be done walking around site seeing, visiting a museum, or even going to the park.
Now that you have a road map to help you plan a cheap and successful family vacation, it is time to get started. The sooner you begin your search for a great deal on a vacation, the sooner you will actually be able to go on vacation, so start looking today!