With the tightening of the average family budget and the chaos of past family vacations, many parents are left wondering if they can still afford the yearly vacation. If you step back and remember that the kids are not getting any younger and that you can never regain the lost memories, how can you afford not to plan something? With 3 simple tips you can relieve some of the stress and make the family vacation affordable again.You can save the family vacation!
Many parents plan longer trips across the country or to exotic places.When the vacation is over, the fatigue of constant travel, the cost of unplanned expenses and the lack of routine wears on the family. One sure way to fight off the stress of travel and the fear of financial burden is to plan mini vacations. These shorter trips allow a family to avoid the fatigue associated with longer travel days as well shortening the disruption of the routine you and your children rely on.
The mini vacation is also a great tool for budgeting and saving money. By taking off a few well planned Mondays or Fridays you can avoid the more costly peak seasons and find some exciting fairs, festivals and events that can provide great money saving value. You will also free up some space in the family van for a well packed cooler that can save hundreds of dollars in restaurant bills. When the trip is done, not only have you saved money but you know exactly how much is left in your budget for the next trip.
Our children have taught us how to be patient and flexible, yet when it comes time to plan the family vacation we forget the lessons our children have taught us and try to cram in as much as possible. We lock ourselves into an aggressive itinerary that has us more focused on the next destination than enjoying the current one. When planning your next trip, focus on a single destination, a route that has several potential stops and allow for an additional day to and from. The additional day comes in handy when your family drives by an unexpected billboard and decides this is the year to try white water rafting, or horseback riding, or snowshoeing, or whatever fun family activity your family desires. To determine a flexible route, look for one that has several moderate to large towns in close proximity to each other to provide more possible activities and to help you avoid a town festival that might have all of the affordable hotels and lodging options booked up. Your family will appreciate the unexpected fun, you will appreciate avoiding the rush to the next destination and if you don't find something along the way, you can arrive at your destination early!
When planning the lodging accommodations many parents falsely assume that hotel rooms are the best and only option. Most of the time this may be the case, however you may be in a situation to take advantage of alternative options. If you have extra room in the family vehicle, packing a tent and a few camping supplies offers the chance to take advantage of cheap, and sometimes free, campsites throughout the United States. Some more populated campsites offer convenience stores, bathrooms and showers at a fraction of the price of a hotel room. If you don't have enough room for camping supplies, many KOA campgrounds offer comfortable rustic cabins at reasonable prices. If you do your research, you may even find one that provides enough entertainment options for your kids at no additional cost.
Every family deserves the memories and family bonding a vacation offers. Using the tips provided, years from now your family will cherish the memories of this years family vacation and only you will remember how affordable it was.