How to Plan an Affordable Family Vacation

Summer is the ideal time for a family vacation, and now that the season is here, we are all thinking where to go and what to do this time. But many of us are still reeling from the effects of the recent financial meltdown and may not have a big budget for a family trip. So is canceling the annual family vacation our only option? Not really – if you plan your vacation wisely and carefully, you can have a fun filled excursion with your family without having to break the bank.

The first step is to be clear about just how much you are willing to spend on this trip; the second is to ensure that you include all possible costs like food, transport, accommodation and travel insurance in your vacation budget. Also, keep some money aside for emergencies.

Plan the destination for your vacation intelligently; you do not necessarily have to follow convention on your trip. Instead of first identifying a place, consider what airfares and hotel tariffs you can afford, and then look for a destination accordingly. Use the internet to get alerts about the current best deals and pick one that suits your budget the best. You can choose package tours that ensure you get to travel at the most competitive prices in a comfortable and organized way. One of the biggest advantages of package tours is that they are pre-planned by your tour operator, and hence you needn’t worry about the hotel reservations.

Remember that peak season prices are obviously going to be sky-high; you could enjoy the same destination at much lower rates if you travel off-season. Sometimes hotels even cut tariffs by half or more in the off-season. Even the airfares see a dip during the non-peak time.

Be ready for unconventional outings once in a while to beat the monotony. For example, camping trips can often work out to be very cheap and can give you great experience variety. Mini vacations or outings are also a great idea – if you have a weekend free, you can take off to the nearest location for a small break. Planning many mini trips instead of that one big super expensive vacation will not only save money, but also ensure that you enjoy frequent breaks that are spread out evenly throughout the year.

So, with some innovative thinking, careful planning and a little compromise, you can enjoy a good trip with your family and come back with a new zest for life, all well within your budget.

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