9 Ways To Plan A Family Summer Vacation
Without Breaking The Bank
Summertime and family travel go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, eye-popping credit card bills usually tag along for the trip! Every family needs a summer vacation getaway but they can get pricey – and fast – when adding up airfare, hotels, and transportation.
There are plenty of good reasons to take a vacation, whether you’re eager to catch up on beach reads with a cocktail in hand or just want to stay home. Everyone should take vacations and travel. See my article Traveling Is For Everyone for how even special needs families can make it happen.
Don’t sacrifice making lifelong memories with your family because of your budget! Getting creative with your summer vacation planning will not only save you some cash, it’ll also create a truly memorable experience for the whole family.
Tips To Follow
A fantastic and memorable family summer vacation is well within reach when you use a few of the following tips for an affordable family vacation.
Hit the Road
Forget about expensive airfare for the family, take a road trip instead! You’ll open the door to something new every time you hop out of the car. Best of all, when you see something interesting, you can get out and explore it. Try popular trips like Route 66 or the Pacific Coast Highway to see those once in a lifetime sights.
Like the idea of a road trip, but need a bit more elbow room? (And having a bathroom on board wouldn’t hurt either, right?) Check out RV rental companies like Mighway and Cruise America to rent an RV anywhere in the country. You’ll save money by having your transportation and hotel all in one! Not to mention that your family will enjoy the time spent together while making lifelong memories.
Pitch a Tent
Renting a tent campsite offers significant savings over the price of the average hotel room. Plus, if you stay in a campground, you can still enjoy great amenities like bathhouses, a swimming pool, playground, lake access and more. This kind of vacation is a great way to experience a national park. For example, Yosemite Lakes Campground is just outside the Big Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite National Park. There you can rent tent site $47 a night (hotels in the area start at $170 a night) and enjoy activities and amenities that are fun for the whole family. Those are some major savings. Similarly, Fremont Jellystone Park rents out campsites for $34 a night meaning big savings for you!
Looking for more comforts of home than you’ll find in a tent? Consider campground rental accommodations. Many campgrounds offer cabins, and some offer unique accommodations like yurts and even tiny houses. A campground rental is a perfect way to get some hotel-like amenities while not paying typical hotel rates. Check out campgrounds with great vacation rentals such as La Conner Camping Resort in Washington or Lake George Escape Campground in New York. Or experience the trendy tiny house lifestyle first-hand at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village.
Go where the people aren’t! When most people are enjoying northern destinations for the summer, consider heading south to Florida, Arizona, Mexico and the Caribbean. You’ll catch some great deals, and better yet it will be much less crowded than it would be during peak spring break times!
Ride the Rails
Take the scenic route and travel by train. Check out Vacations by Rail for a variety of options for train trips and tours throughout the country so you can sit back and relax. You’ll enjoy your travel and hotel all bundled into one unique, fun-filled trip! Save even more by taking Amtrak and planning your own adventures along the way.
Take a Deal
Take advantage of those pesky emails! Make sure to follow your favorite travel resources such as Google Flights, Airfarewatchdog, and Travelocity to be in the know about the latest promotions and discounts they’re sharing.
Save up the cash back for something you’ll remember forever! Make sure to use credit cards that have great travel rewards or cash back programs so every dollar you spend gets you one step closer to a family getaway. Not taking advantage of a points card? Consider signing up for the Platinum Card from American Express, where you can earn points for eligible purchases, plus bonus points for travel booked with American Express Travel.
Off the Path
Why go to where all the tourists are? Try less popular vacation spots near those tourist traps, and save! Choose Tybee Island, Georgia instead of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Instead of an Orlando theme park vacation, consider a visit to Virginia Beach, Virginia. You’ll avoid the crowds without sacrificing on the adventure, including enjoying pristine beaches, the Ocean Breeze Waterpark and the opportunity to zip line through the trees at the Virginia Beach Adventure Park. Heading to these less popular vacation spots will get you away from tourists and save you money.
What are some of your favorite money-saving tips for family summer vacation?
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*Helpful tips and ideas from Encore and Thousand Trails