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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Budget-Friendly Travel for Families

Traveling is about adventure and independence. We are great at coming up with excuses why we can’t take time to explore new lands. When you start making travel a priority, you discover ways around the excuses. Many people think once they start a family, their wild days of globetrotting are over. This doesn’t have to be you. You can have a family and travel, too.

Travel Tips for Families

Don’t be daunted by the thought of family travel. It doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some tips for family travel on a budget.
  • Shop for flights. Do your research on airfares. Plane tickets can be the biggest expense of travel. This is especially true for trips abroad. Find ways to reduce costs. Many secondary booking agencies work directly with airlines and extend deals to customers. Search their websites for the Cheapest Flights available. Be flexible with your destination spots. When shopping for tickets, split your family up into groups if possible. It is easier to find two sets of two seats than it is to find four seats all together.
  • Rent an apartment. If you are staying in one area for an extended period of time, consider renting an apartment instead of a hotel room. Airbnb offers great ways to get in touch with locals. By renting a home, you get the benefits of a kitchen that allows you to cut costs more. Longer stays also give you the opportunity to negotiate prices. Avoid traveling during peak seasons and book accommodations in advance.
  • Be a tourist for cheap. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you have to pay for all of the expensive tours. There is a misconception that you have to spend a lot of money to experience a new place. Most places have lots of free things to do. Some museums offer free admissions. You can do a walking tour. Where rates for monuments and museums are higher, purchase a city or museum pass. Take public transportation. Many activities give kids free or discounted admission. Talk to your host and learn what the locals like to do. Sometimes the touristy spots aren’t the best attractions anyway.
  • Do what the locals do. In every city, you have families living their full time on a budget. Go to local shops, markets, beaches, and parks. Although living like the locals when traveling is not the most traditional way to vacation, you might find you get a more culturally immersive experience. Having a picnic in the park allows you to shop at local and outdoor markets, and your kids have the opportunity to run off some energy with the local children.
  • Be flexible. When traveling, be flexible. Rigid schedules are harder to work around and you will usually pay higher prices for specific dates and times. Be ready to roll with the punches. Life happens. Enjoy the crazy nuances. It is part of the adventure. Figure out hacks that work best for your family. A tight connecting flight might work fine for you while others would find it not worth the savings.

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Benefits of Traveling Light

Lighten your load as much as possible. Traveling with your family means more bags already. If everyone chooses a sensible flexible wardrobe, you can reduce your luggage. When you have few and smaller bags, you are more likely to be able to check them on flights. This means less lost luggage fiascoes.

Practice working with a capsule wardrobe at home. You will be surprised the different outfits you can come up with using just a couple of care pieces. Choose neutral colors for your base. You want every piece to have the ability to mix and match. Reduce your toiletries to the bare necessities. If you wear makeup, learn ways to feel pretty with fewer products.

Depend on your destinations to entertain you. Don’t bring a bunch of stuff you will never use. Invest in a kindle and have all the books you could ever desire on one device. Download audiobooks to your phone. Make a small bag of travel-friendly entertainment for the kids. They can bring it on the plane as a personal item.

Traveling with your family is more possible than you may think. Practice some budget-friendly methods like shopping for cheaper airfare, avoid peak seasons, and living like the locals. Take some of the stress out of travel by learning to pack less. You would be surprised at how flexible a small wardrobe can be.

With some creativity, you can make budget travel work, even for a large family. What are your favorite ways to save?
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