I LOVE taking short, cheap vacations that let us recharge as a family and remember to have fun together! It really releases a lot of stress and helps us enjoy each other more. Read on to see some ways I save for family travel!
Top 10 Tips for Finding Family Travel Deals!
1. Drive! There is usually a great destination with 6-8 hours for just about every city. A shorter trip like that makes it easy to drive and save you a whole bunch of money on airline tickets. For us, we travel often to California as it is just a 6 hour drive to southern California.
2. Rent a House/Condo - We recently started looking into this one more as now a hotel isn’t really cutting it for us with one cramped room and the 5 of us. You can search online classifieds such as craigslist.org to find local homes, condos, apartments, or other locations available to rent at a daily, weekly, and monthly rate. Often you can find a hotel per room rate for a nice home with a few rooms.
3. Check out Time Shares - This tip may not be for everyone, but we have done this several times and have enjoyed the benefits from it! Time Shares often hold sales pitches that offer you free hotel stay, park admission packages, and even flights sometimes! Be sure to go in knowing you are NOT interested if it isn’t your thing and then it’s not that big of a deal to stick to your guns that you are not interested. We were able to get free hotel stay, Disney admissions, restaurant gift cards, and a $50 gas rebate all for an hour and a half or so at a local time share, not even taking up a part of our vacation!
4. Visit the “Free” Events - Every city has lots of great free activities like grand parks, splash pads, outdoor concerts or events, etc. Try to search online to see what is offered and spend a few of your activities at some cheap or free activities rather than the really expensive theme parks every day.
5. Book early, or late! If you are careful and watch for sales you can find really great deals on flights and hotels. Likewise, you can also look for last minute sales for flights, hotels, and even cruise ships and be vacationing before you know it!
6. Be flexible - If you are flexible and not set to your certain dates and schedule of events sometimes you can find deals by switching around your plans. Such as airlines will on occasion overbook and offer a ton of incentives for taking a later flight. Also you may arrive at your destination to find that a certain day at an attraction is cheaper or offers an incentive for visiting that day.
7. Watch for deals on admissions - During the summer months especially, theme parks and attractions will start to issue coupons to local residents. We have always stopped at a grocery store to check soda cans for theme park admissions when we would visit California growing up. You can also use the internet as a great resource for finding deals!
8. Get a Membership – If you are traveling to a destination you might visit often, or if you are spending a longer break of time at that location you might consider a membership to the attraction. Often yearly memberships are paid off in 2-3 visits. If you want to spend a week at the theme park you can go for the membership and then enjoy each day going at your leisure instead of feeling you have to rush through the park to see everything.
9. Check your current memberships – Some memberships offer reciprocal deals in other cities. My zoo membership offers me either free of half price admission at over 150 other zoos across the nation!
10. Look for local attractions! You can make a great day trip or weekend vacation out of local sites that you may not have seen. We have tried to see a lot of sites around Arizona so that when we eventually move out of state we won’t be sad we had missed those attractions we lived so relatively close to! We have been to the Grand Canyon several times as well as many other local attractions. Being close also you can save by only needing to book one night over a weekend and not spending too much of the trip driving!
Alamo Rent A Car has a membership club, Alamo Insiders, that offers its members perks including members-only deals, quick and simple reservations as well as frequent traveler miles with each rental! What great tips and tricks do you use to make travel cheaper?