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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 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!
Here are some tips on how to save money while travelling with your family:
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.
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.
Discounts And Travel Deals
Keep an eye out for discounts and travel deals.
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.
RELATED READING: Find more ways to get the cheapest flights every time
Consider Different Ways Of Travelling
If you always fly and stay in a hotel when you travel, why not consider taking a family road trip instead. This will save you significantly on airfares and you can potentially turn it into a camping road trip as well for even bigger savings.
Or consider an all-inclusive holiday such as a family cruise.
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.
Kids love anything a little different, so don’t rule out tents, campervans, cabins and hostels for your travels. Planning a camping trip with kids is a lot of fun, just as family road trips can be great fun.
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:
Choose Good Value Destinations
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!
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.
For more family travel planning tips:
- Guide to planning an overseas trip with kids
- How to keep kids entertained during travel
- Family road trip packing list
- Family beach packing list
- Family hand luggage packing list
- How to plan a camping trip with kids
- How to plan a road trip with kids
- Tips for cruises with kids
- How to save money on family travel
- Travel safety tips for families
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?