How to Make Family Vacations More Affordable
Nine simple ways you can cut down on costs when taking the whole family on a trip.
4. Leave the Kitchen Sink at Home
When you’re traveling with young children, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation to pack every single toy, book, and blanket
they own. However, most airlines will charge for overweight bags, in some cases as much as $50. Leave all that gear at home.
Instead, bring one or two favorite toys or books (although, if you have a tablet or a smartphone, they can probably get most
of their entertainment through that). The same goes for gear like portable cribs. Call your hotel before leaving—most will
lend you one for free.
5. Skimp on Dinner
My kids are especially prone to what I like to call “Vacation Appetite Syndrome.” They rarely finish a full meal while we’re
on the road. If you’re going to be eating in restaurants while you travel, you can save a bundle by skipping a separate kids’
meal and ordering an entrée your child is willing to share with you.
6. Bypass Fast Food
Depending on how far you’re traveling (and whether your kids are actually young enough to get those free seats we talked about
earlier), road trips could be less expensive than traveling via plane (although the price of gas is expected to rise dramatically
by the summer months). Fast-food pit stops en route can really eat up your budget, though. Instead, skip the drive-thru window
and make a detour to the nearest grocery store. You can stretch your legs and choose some healthier snacks and meals that
cost less than a burger and fries. Many grocery chains sell pre-made meals and sandwiches to go, and you can pick up drinks
and fruit for the road.