Strategies To Help Your Family Travel On A Budget
I had the pleasure of having Stephanie from MilitaryTravelMama.com - a blog that promotes a family life that is full of adventures but on a modest budget - do a guest blog for me! Check it out.
You don't have to travel using all the top-tier options available. While it's certainly ideal to get what you want when you want it, you may find you and your family is more blessed “going with the flow”, as the saying goes. Remember what the most important thing is in any family outing: spending time with your loved ones. That doesn't cost anything.
You can spend time with your family at home. You can have a “vacation” from the daily grind without traveling one mile. This trend is coming to be known as a “staycation”, and it can involve getting a room in town and simply enjoying the amenities of a local Inn, or resort.
Additionally, it may be a good idea to take the family camping. For a few hundred dollars you can get the supplies you need. They can get costly, but camping equipment may be cheaper than a flight.
Provided you go during a time in the year when there aren't compromising weather patterns, and understand how to contend with local wildlife, there is ample opportunity for a fine vacation spent outdoors. The point is, there are many things you can do to cherish vacation time with your family and not stress your budget. Following, several additional suggestions will be explored.
1. Last Minute Flights
Air travel can be costly, but it doesn't always have to be. You can cut costs several considerable ways: one, save by booking last-minute flights. Two, travel during holidays. Christmas Eve and the 26th are likely going to be booked up, but you should see more open seating and perhaps even a discount Christmas Day; it just requires celebrating the holiday before or after the 25th. Third, standby seats can be very cost-effective. The availability of these seats can harder to predict, but they're not so far removed from last-minute bookings.
With either last-minute bookings or flying standby, you might not have a choice of destination how you would prefer. But that's all part of the adventure. If you and your family go into it with that in mind, you can discuss options with the airline, and see what's available to you. The key is having a budget define where you go, rather than a definite destination.
2. Visiting Relatives
Relatives you haven't seen in a while may be positively jubilant to host you at their home for a few days or weeks. Certainly this will depend on your relationship with such relatives, but if you can stay with someone in the family, you can save hundreds of dollars in room and board; perhaps even enough to justify a flight to an ideal location.
3. The Open-Ended Road Trip
Vehicular travel is by no means the cheapest means of getting from one area to another, but in many iterations it's much less expensive than air travel. If you and your spouse trade off driving responsibilities, you may even find there isn't that much of a difference in time of transit. Certainly this will depend on topography and flights to a similar destination, but with preparation to go to the airport, waiting around for security, and collecting luggage after the fact, a two hour plane trip quickly becomes a seven hour ordeal.
A flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix, Arizona is going to take about as long as driving from one location to the other at night, when traffic is low. Once you factor in getting to the airport, getting through security, exiting the plane, finding your luggage, and hailing a taxi to your destination, you might just want to avoid the airline and drive there. The same is true for many locales across the world today.
Think Outside The Box
There are endless ways to conserve resources and still have a memorable family vacation where plenty of time is spent growing closer with your loved ones. While ideal vacation destinations may be more difficult to achieve in this way, if you set your mind to accept what comes to you and simply “go with it”, you may find you and your family incidentally blessed.