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Wondering how to save money on a vacation with kids? Travelling with kids can be a lot of fun, but it can also be expensive. Not only do you have extra flights and food to purchase, but even something as simple as finding reasonably priced accommodation is suddenly not so simple anymore.
This guide will help you to save money while travelling with kids with simple money-saving hacks for families, that we have learnt over the years from our own travels, to help make your next vacation more affordable!
The Best Ways To Save Money While Travelling With Kids
Travelling with kids involves more planning and sometimes a whole lot more money, but there are ways to avoid your family travel becoming too expensive and thus out of reach!
While it sure won’t be as affordable as it was when you were travelling solo or travelling as a couple, there are plenty of ways to reduce your travel costs while still enjoying great adventures with your children!
Let’s start with some quick money-saving hacks for family travel:
30 Hacks to Save Money While Travelling With Your Family
Want more money-saving travel hacks? Here are some quick tips on how to save money on family travel:
Plan your trip during the off-peak season to take advantage of lower prices.
Use price comparison websites and apps to find the best deals on flights, accommodation, and activities.
Consider staying in vacation rentals or serviced apartments instead of hotels for more affordable and spacious accommodations.
Pack light to avoid extra baggage fees and make use of laundry facilities to minimize clothing expenses.
Take advantage of free attractions and activities available at your destination, such as parks, museums with free entry days, and walking tours.
Prepare your own meals or have picnics instead of eating out for every meal. Visit local markets and grocery stores for affordable and fresh food options.
Research and utilize public transportation options instead of relying solely on taxis or rental cars.
Look for family discounts or special offers when booking attractions, theme parks, or tours.
Consider purchasing a city pass or tourist card that offers discounted entry to multiple attractions and includes public transportation.
Use travel rewards credit cards or loyalty programs to earn points and save money on flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.
Bring refillable water bottles to avoid buying bottled water and use refill stations or tap water where safe.
Look for free or low-cost entertainment options such as local festivals, community events, and outdoor activities.
Take advantage of free hotel amenities like swimming pools, fitness centres, and kids’ clubs.
Research and compare prices for travel insurance to ensure you have adequate coverage at the best possible price.
Consider house-sitting or home exchange programs as a cost-effective way to stay in different locations.
Use online coupon codes or mobile apps for discounts on dining, shopping, and activities at your destination.
Explore free walking tours or self-guided tours to discover the city’s landmarks and hidden gems without the cost of a guided tour.
Look for family-friendly accommodations that offer complimentary breakfast or amenities like kitchenettes to save on food expenses.
Consider renting or borrowing baby equipment instead of bringing everything with you.
Prioritize free or low-cost outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or exploring local parks and beaches.
Research and compare currency exchange rates to ensure you’re getting the best rates when converting money.
Avoid unnecessary roaming charges by using local SIM cards or utilizing Wi-Fi hotspots for communication.
Plan your itinerary strategically to minimize transportation costs by visiting attractions in the same area on the same day.
Use online travel forums or social media groups to get recommendations and tips from fellow travellers.
Take advantage of free hotel shuttle services or public transportation from the airport to your accommodation.
Look for discounted or family-friendly meal deals at local restaurants or check for happy hour specials.
Consider volunteering or participating in community service projects during your travels, which can provide a rewarding experience while saving money on activities.
Avoid unnecessary souvenir shopping by focusing on collecting memorable experiences and photographs instead.
Take advantage of free or discounted admission for children at certain attractions, museums, or events.
Set a realistic travel budget and track your expenses to ensure you stay within your financial limits.
More Ways To Make Family Travel Cheaper
Want to dig a big deeper? Of course. Who doesn’t love saving money?
Here are some more ways you can reduce your costs and still enjoy the family trip of your dreams on a regular basis!
Plan Your Family Travel Early
Start planning and booking your flights, accommodation, and activities well in advance. Not only will this give you more time to find the best deals, but it will also mean that you’re more likely to get your first choice of accommodation and activities!
This gives you time to shop around and take advantage of early bird flights and promotions. Plus, it gives you more time to save money for the trip you really want to take too!
Consider travelling during the off-peak season.
You can often find cheaper flights and accommodation rates if you travel during the shoulder or off-peak season. This can also be a great time to visit popular tourist destinations as there will be fewer crowds.
The off-peak season may differ depending on your chosen destination. While winter is off-season for most places, that won’t be the case for anywhere that is popular for winter sports and recreation so be sure to do your research.
It’s a great idea to get on the email list for any airlines you prefer to fly with as they often send out sale alerts throughout the year on flights and holiday packages.
There are other websites that also offer holiday packages at significant discounts and these can be perfect if you are flexible with where and when you plan to travel or if you have a destination in mind but no specific set plans as yet.
You can also sometimes find last-minute deals on flights and accommodation. However, these can be riskier as there is no guarantee they will come up before your planned travel dates.
When travelling with kids, often we are less flexible since travel plans may need to fit around school terms and work commitments.
So while last-minute deals can work out great and save you money, it may not always be possible or ideal when travelling with children.
The upfront may seem like a more expensive vacation option, but when you consider that all your meals and many drinks are also included with your transport and accommodation, it can actually make for a great-priced family vacation option – especially if you get a great deal!
How To Save Money On Accommodation
There are a few different ways you can save money on accommodation while travelling with kids.
Choose family-friendly accommodation options like apartments or private holiday homes.
This will give you more space for the kids to run around and usually comes with a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare meals rather than eating out all the time.
While in some cases, these options are far more expensive, sometimes you will find they work out cheaper than a standard hotel room or at least price comparable when you consider being self-contained.
You may prefer your accommodation a little fancier, but the kids will see it as a new adventure.
There are also services that allow you to house-swap with other travellers around the world while on holiday. This can often mean free accommodation in exchange for letting other travellers use your home while you are away.
Accommodation outside the city centre is a always a cheaper alternative that can save you money, compared to staying right in the city centre or near major attractions. However, before you book, make sure you research transport costs to and from the city so you don’t end up spending more on transport to get around.
How To Save Money On Food While Travelling
Food is often one of the bigger expenses during your travels, especially if you are dining out all the time!
Food close to famous landmarks or in the inner city will likely be more expensive, just like accommodation. Take a walk from tourist hot spots and you will likely save some money on meals. Keep this in mind when trying to cut costs when dining out with kids.
Another way to save money is by eating breakfast at your accommodation and then packing lunch and snacks for the day ahead.
This will mean you only need to buy dinner each day and can save a lot of money, especially if you are travelling with kids who often eat less expensive meals than adults.
Alternatively, if staying somewhere self-contained, you can easily cook dinner at your accommodation each night, buying supplies from a local grocery store. Again, limiting the number of meals you purchase at restaurants and cafes is going to save you a lot of money.
Another great way to save money on food is by eating street food. This is often a cheap option and the perfect way to sample some of the local cuisines if you are visiting new destinations outside of your home country!
When travelling with kids, always have snacks on hand to avoid buying expensive snacks and drinks at airports. Load up your carry-on luggage with enough snacks to get you through flights and transit without having to purchase any.
Here are some more ideas for food while you travel:
Instead of travelling to destinations known for their high price or poor exchange rates, head somewhere that will give you more bang for your buck.
When your dollar goes further, you can have a whole lot more fun without worrying about the high price of everything.
Some good value destination options include Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Eastern Europe and South America. Although not everywhere in these locations will be thrifty travel spots. Do your research first!
We have spent a lot of time in Poland both because of the family connection (Simon’s parents are both Polish-born), but also because it’s such an affordable destination!
This is one of the best ways to save money on family travel simply because you can enjoy a taste of luxury without the luxury price tag.
Make The Most Of Free Attractions
There are plenty of activities that are great for families and won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Better still, most cities have free attractions and experiences that are perfect for saving some money.
One option is to visit free museums and galleries in the city that you are visiting. Many of these will have interactive exhibits perfect for kids, without costing a thing.
Many paid museum attractions around Europe have free entry once a week or once a month so check the websites to see if any you plan to visit have this option.
Parks and playgrounds are another great way to spend an afternoon and they won’t cost you anything. Let the kids run wild while you kick back on a park bench with a good book or your favourite travel companion.
Many parks will also have free events held throughout the year, perfect for families looking for some cheap entertainment
Seeking out these types of activities is a great way to spend time together as a family without having to spend a lot of money.
So there you have it, some great tips on how to save money while travelling with your family! These money-saving family travel ideas will help you enjoy travel more often without worrying about whether it is in your budget!
Do you have any other money-saving tips for travelling with kids?