Family vacations can be fun but they can also be very budget unfriendly. Planing for family vacations can be stressful as well. So, what is the best way to travel with your whole family, without breaking the bank and losing your hair?
Take a quick look at these couple of tips and enjoy your next family vacation without worrying about anything.

When to travel

Travelling during the peak of the season is quite expensive. That’s why if you’re planning an affordable family vacation our best recommendation is to travel off-peak season. Not only will you be saving yourself a lot of money, but you’ll also be avoiding a lot of seasonal crowds and madness.
Off-peak travelling offers cheaper flights and hotels, and even the locals will be more likely to fulfil your unique requests.
If it’s possible, take your kids out of school for a couple of weeks during the school term and travel around the world.
Off-peak travelling may not seem as exciting as peak season travelling, but once you start travelling like this, you’ll never want to go back to peak season ever again.

Budget for a family vacation

The first thought when someone mentions family vacation is “Do we have enough money to make this happen?” When preparing for a family vacation it’s important to know the amount of money you have at your disposal.
Knowing the budget can help you choose the kind of vacation you can go to, the destination, and many other things. So, before you book your next vacay, make sure you have it clear how much money you can spend.
Many people don’t worry about the budget and money related issues because they prefer taking personal loans to pay for their vacations. This is also a viable and affordable option.
One way that can help you narrow down your vacation options is choosing destinations with a lower cost of living. This will make life easier for you as you will be able to take lower personal loans. OurMoneyMarket, for example, offers loans with lower interest rates than what a credit card offers. This way you will be able to enjoy your family vacation without worrying about your budget much.

Budget-friendly destinations

It’s not a bad idea to do a little research on budget-friendly destinations for family vacations. Regardless of when you decide to travel, peak or off-peak season, always opt for destinations with lower living costs.
This will probably largely depend on where you live. If you’re Australia based the most affordable travel locations would be Korea, Thailand, and Asia in general. If, however, you live somewhere in North America then Central and South America will be more suitable for your budget.
Currently, most popular yet affordable destinations in the world include Mexico, Costa Rica, The Philipines, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Nepal and so on.
If it’s Europe you have your eyes on for your next family vacation then you might want to consider Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Chech Republic, Poland, Turkey and many smaller European countries that have affordable prices.

Transportation options

What we can say is that slower is cheaper. Travelling slower can also be a good way to better experience the destination you chose for your vacation. But before that, let’s talk about flights and flight expenses.

Flights

The best and safest option is to do a lot of research and to search through many different flight comparison sites. These websites can make your life so much easier. This is the best way to find out prices for multiple destinations and then compare them in order to find the most affordable flights for the destination your planning to go to.
It’s good to know which time of the year or even which day in the week is the best time to buy cheap airline tickets. For example, in the US the best time to buy tickets is on Tuesdays around 3 p.m. eastern time. This is because many airlines offer weekly sales on Tuesdays.
Similarly, it’s important to know that the best time to buy aeroplane tickets is somewhere between 3 months and 30 days before the flight – this is not too early nor too late.
Since we’re talking about family vacations, another useful thing to keep in mind is that the best way to buy tickets for group journeys is one ticket at a time. This is a good way to save some money. Buying or booking all tickets at once means buying them all in a single transaction which means that they all need to be sold at the same price.

Local transport

Another good idea is to research local means of transport well before you step foot on your vacation. Local transport is so much cheaper than any other travelling options. Local buses, trains or anything similar is not only cheaper but it also offers a much more authentic and interesting holiday experience. You get to see and experience a foreign country on a deeper level. Oh, and let’s not forget that children don’t pay for public transport in many countries all over the world. So, by travelling with local means of transport you’ll be saving left and right.

Simply walk

Don’t forget that you can walk, too! Walking around can help you see things and attractions you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Walking allows you to literally discover nooks and crannies and hidden gems of a country you chose as your holiday destination. Walking is ideal if the idea of going off the beaten path appeals to you.

Budget-friendly accommodations

Staying in hotels can cost you a lot, especially if your travelling with your whole family. And why limit yourselves only to boring and pricey hotels when there are various options out there.
Apartments and Airbnbs for once are a quite affordable option. Apartments or Airbnbs are ideal options for families of four or five members. They mostly offer multiple bedrooms, a kitchen and you get to experience a local neighbourhood.
You can book these kinds of accommodations through online sites and at the cheapest rates. And if you’re booking remember to always book in advance or last minute. Sometimes booking ahead offers good deals and this is especially true if we’re talking about the off-season.
And last-minute booking can also have many benefits. Last rooms or beds are less likely to be sold and that’s why many hotel or apartment owners are willing to give a special discount.
And to mention once again, travelling off-season means reaping many benefits when it comes to booking or finding accommodation. Discounts are amazing in the off-season, plus if you prefer improvisational travelling you’ll love knowing that in the off-season you can find accommodations pretty much anywhere. This means that hotels or luxury apartments are also pretty much available and affordable during this time.
Another budget-friendly option for families, in terms of cheaper accommodations, is camping vacations. There is nothing cheaper than a tent and a sleeping bag. You choose where you put the tent, no booking involved – just make sure you’re on the camping ground!

Eat-in or eat locally

A big chunk of your vacation budget is known to be wasted on food. That’s why it’s good knowing that you have options, many options.
Travelling with kids, who can be fussy eaters, and eating out every day is not the best solution. That’s why eating-in is a blessing in disguise. Breakfasts, dinners and even some lunches can be done in the comfort of your room. It’s ok to indulge in a dinner out from time to time, but just avoid doing it every night – that is budget draining at it’s finest.
Additionally, pack snacks. Packing fruit and snacks, packing sandwiches can mean making fun picknick lunches – and children love those! Visit grocery stores and local markets for cheaper and local foods. Eat what you wouldn’t eat otherwise at home, also, eat what you can’t find at home, too.
Another pretty good option, if you decide to eat out, is to eat at local restaurants and cafes. It’s well known that the food is better and cheaper at these places. Plus, you’ll get to feel the local atmosphere and experience the local tastes.
Oh, and let's not forget to mention the importance of always having a bottle of water with you. You never know when you might get lost or any unpredictable situations may happen and having water around is a convenient thing. Plus, drinking bottled water is much safer than drinking tap water in foreign countries. Stay hydrated people!

Affordable attractions and activities

Family vacations especially those with kids should be action-packed. The question is how to find all the affordable attractions and activities? Attractions can be pretty expensive, so sometimes the best option is to swap them for a lot of outdoor activities.
Explore the streets, go off the beaten paths, go hiking, mountain climbing anything that includes free activities. Attractions are also acceptable but only a couple and not the most expensive ones.
The best way to find out good places to visit and explore is by visiting tourist information centres. They offer good and useful information about landscapes, events, tourist attractions, tours, and many other free local events. Here, you can also get free maps of the city, you can find out which museums, galleries, fortresses, and other interesting buildings have free entrances.
Some cities have days when entrances to certain places are free and you can make good use of those days. Just make sure to visit tourist info centres in order to have all the necessary information.
Other options to find information about activities and attractions are online forums and sites. Do a bit of internet surfing and ask around for information from other travellers or even local people. You can get some good recommendations online.

Memories and experiences instead of pricey souvenirs

We all want to take a piece of our vacation home with us. And as far as we know the best way to do that is by buying souvenirs and other similar trinkets on our trips. What we fail to see is that these things cost a lot of money.
Instead of spending money on things such as souvenirs let’s remind ourselves that our memories and experiences we get to live on our holidays are the best souvenirs that we can take with us. And they don’t cost a thing.
Make sure you have the best possible time with your family on your vacation. Explore, don’t be afraid of adventure and don’t think about spending money on things that will clutter your home.
Live in the moment and bring those memories with you. For example, eat food that you never ate and keep that experience forever in your mind.

Don’t expect a perfect vacation

And finally, what you should do is be prepared to not have an ideal vacation. You’re travelling with kids and that means improvising and overcoming challenges whenever they appear. And they will appear because, well, you’re travelling with kids.
You are bound to forget something, to be late and even miss a bus or two. The point is to accept that that’s how it is with children. Just enjoy your vacations with them, create lifelong memories and don’t try to have everything in perfect order.
If you have everything planned to a T, and something goes wrong, you’ll become irritated and nervous and all that will ruin your vacation.
Just be relaxed, have a plan B, if possible. If not just roll with the situation at hand and think about how many good memories are made when things went wrong.

Family vacations are never cheap, but if organized in the right way, they can be pretty budget-friendly and pretty fun as well. All you have to do is a bit of research, write some things on the paper and be willing to explore and just enjoy things a bit differently.
Take memories with you instead of expensive souvenirs, try to save money wherever you can without losing the whole point of the vacation.

Author's Bio: 

Stella Ryne is an art historian, writer, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book.