Going on a vacation with your family is always a joyous occasion, and it’s particularly adventurous for your kids. Seeing places that they’ve never seen before and doing things that they’ve never done in their life is something they’ll definitely find exciting, and these are the memories that will stay will them in the years to come as well.
However, taking your entire family on a vacation might not be the cheapest thing you’ll ever do, and you could easily spend more money than you have. That’s why creating a proper vacation budget is crucial, and this is something that will help you spend just the right amount of money without wasting too much of it. If you too are planning your family vacation at the moment, here are a few ways to create a reasonable and sustainable budget.
Define your transportation
No matter where you’re going and how long you’re staying there, you need to remember that your transportation is going to be the most expensive item on your budget list. This is simply the way things go, and it’s the same whether you’re traveling by car or buying a plane ticket for every member of your family. So, when planning a family vacation budget, start by defining your transportation options and how expensive they might be. If you’re going by car, you should factor your gas, your tolls, fares, and fees, as well as all the repairs you need to perform before even starting your trip. If you decide to use a campervan, which is an idea that’s getting more and more popular today, you need to include a few other things as well. Your rooftop sleeper, your campsites, your insurance, and your gas might add up to “about $180 per day,” according to families who do this regularly, but it’s still much cheaper than paying for car rentals and hotels.
Plan in advance
Planning a family vacation isn’t something you normally do overnight, particularly when there are kids involved. Most people do this a few months, or even a full year in advance, which is always a better alternative then rushing things. And if you’re trying to come up with a good budget, doing everything in advance is the key. So:
- First define when and where you’ll be on vacation
- And then start looking for cheap plane tickets and accommodation that will suit you.
- These things are always cheaper when you’re booking them in advance, and you’ll be able to save quite a large sum of money, especially if you have a large family.
What’s more, getting everything ready in advance is less stressful, so start planning ahead as soon as possible. The same goes for your detailed budget – set aside an amount of money you’d be happy to spend, and then plan a smaller contingency budget as well, just in case. Define how much money you could be spending every day of your vacation, and then try to stick to your micromanaging as much as you can. Consider too whether you need to upgrade your everyday holiday items, like your dad changing bags for instance.
Use just one paying method
A few decades ago, almost everyone used just one paying method and cash ruled everything when it came to family vacations. Things have changed since then, and there are lots of ways to pay for your vacation nowadays. Depending on where you’re going, though, you might be able to save quite a lot of money if you use just one paying method instead of all of them.
Cash is still among the most popular option and lots of families rely on it because it’s simple and they always know how much money they have left. However, a number of people are opting for credit cards because they come with a number of benefits – from collecting air miles to including special offers. You should consider picking the right credit card for your vacation and make things easier than ever that way, while also saving some money along the way.
Eat on a budget
Regardless of the destination and length of your vacation, the food is going to be a major factor in your budget. This is particularly true if you’re traveling with kids because they need to eat proper food three times a day. And if you want to keep them happy and full of energy, you’re going to have to pay for that. Depending on whether you’re planning on eating in restaurants all the time, or cook food on your own, you might end up paying much more than you’ve planned – even more than your gas or hotel money!
This is why finding affordable ideas can go a really long way. Dining on a budget might not always be easy, especially when it comes to popular tourist destinations like Disney Springs, so you have to be creative and resourceful. If you plan everything right, you can do it, giving your kids lots of tasty and healthy options while still not spending all the money you’ve got. Keep that in mind when looking for accommodation because lots of hotels offer a great menu if you book a room with them in advance. This is another amazing way to avoid spending all the money in the world, while still keeping your kids well-fed.
Creating a family vacation budget is always tricky, no matter how much money you earn, where you’re going and how many children you have. That’s why you need to start doing that asap, and get ready for every detail long before your holiday starts.