Whether you’re traveling with teenagers, toddlers, or kids of any age in between, planning a family vacation can get pricey, and just the thought of dealing with siblings bickering on a long- haul flight could give any parent a headache!

What’s the secret to ensuring you have an enjoyable, stress-free family vacation without going over budget? Instead of spending big on rooms at fancy resorts, theme park tickets, or expensive restaurants, keep it casual and prioritize activities your young kids will love. Don’t plan your next family vacation without these helpful tips!

Rent a Car

Photo of car rental vans

Unless you’re going on a road trip, you might not have your own transportation at your final destination. Figuring out a new public transport system with the kids in tow can be frustrating, and paying for taxis and Ubers will add up! If your family is taking a bus, train, or plane to your

vacation spot, you should consider renting a car or mini bus so that you can explore on your own terms when you arrive. To save money on your rental car, US News suggests booking your rental online in advance rather than renting at the airport, where prices will be much higher. Make sure to request a car seat if necessary.

Tech for Teens

Inside a car

You know that if you want to keep your younger kids occupied, you’ll need to pack their favorite toys, games, and a tablet to watch children’s movies. But what if you have a teenager? Purchasing an appropriate laptop for your teen before your travels could be more affordable than you think. Your teen can use a laptop to play educational games, stream their favorite movies and TV shows, and even work on homework if you’re traveling during the school year. If you want to get the best deal possible, check out budget-friendly models — just make sure the laptop you choose is durable and lightweight with adequate storage capacity.

Budget Accommodations

Shopping at a local market
Mikie Watanabe, a cultural adaptation specialist with Marine Corps Community Services, shows Jaclyn Kupka, a Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni resident, how to tell the difference between firm and soft tofu at Fresta Supermarket, Iwakuni City, Japan, September 20, 2019. Watanabe took MCAS Iwakuni residents to a Japanese supermarket to expose them to Japanese culture as part of the air station’s cultural adaptation program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Trista Whited)

By staying with your family in an Airbnb rather than a hotel, you can get more bang for your buck. Plus, you’ll have more space so you and your kids will have a little breathing room. Try booking an apartment or small home away from touristy areas; you’ll spend less and enjoy some peace and quiet! If you stay in an Airbnb, you’ll have a kitchen at your disposal, so Trip Savvy suggests going to the grocery store — cooking in will be cheaper than eating out, and if you have a toddler going through a “picky eater” phase, you can cook their favorite meals.

Affordable Activities

When you’re traveling with limited funds, you can’t afford to be super spontaneous; booking your tickets for attractions and tours in advance will generally be cheaper. Make a list of indoor and outdoor activities at your destination, and if you have preschoolers, ask them what they would like to do so that they get a say in your final itinerary. You don’t want to be caught off-guard on a rainy day, so keep the weather in mind while planning!

Purchase Travel Insurance

Captain Dave's Eco-Friendly Whale Watching Safari

If you’re trying to save money, you might wonder if buying travel insurance is really worth the cost — after all, you’ll have to pay for a policy, and you don’t know if you really need it. However, when you’re traveling with young children, you never know when things could go south, and you don’t want to end up stranded in an unfamiliar area while dealing with an emergency. Make sure to thoroughly research a few different travel insurance plans to determine how much coverage you’ll need and which plan will best suit your family’s needs. If you want to enjoy serious savings on your family trip, you’ll definitely need to have the right strategy as you book your accommodations, transportation, and activities. But when you’re traveling with your family, you can always find a way to explore on a tight budget!

Man rolling a suitcase down a road

This article was written by Jesse Clark

Sponsored: www.LimoFind.com

Check out our other relevant blogs: 7 Rules When Road-tripping With a Baby and Family Road Trip Safety

Updated 10/15/23.

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