A long vacation to a far off destination is the perfect way to spend spring break and summer, but that can be expensive. Trying to stick to a budget? This year, you may want to modify the family vacation. After all, kids don't care about fancy perks or exotic locations. They just want to spend time with you.
Try the Staycation
Instead of packing up and leaving town, consider the staycation. Save money on airline tickets and expensive hotel rooms by staying at home then, become a tourist in your own town.
You don't have to be from a big city or a tourist destination for this to work. Even if you live in a small town, there may be museums, restaurants, spas, or other fun places nearby.
Stay in the Area
If the staycation doesn't appeal to you, consider going somewhere within a reasonable driving distance. That way, you get out of the house and get to try new things, on a more economical scale. If you have small kids, a hotel room in your hometown can even feel like a relaxing break from regular life.
Scope Out Last-Minute Deals
If you really want to make the getaway grand, that may not be completely out of reach. Most tour operators, cruise ships, or airline carriers offer last-minute deals, and that can get you a vacation for well under regular prices. However, this strategy requires a bit of flexibility about location and timing.
If you are using paid time off from your job, you can check for deals in the days before your vacation and just grab the one that looks the best. Alternatively, if you are self-employed or have flexibility about when you take time off, you may want to set the money for your vacation aside in a savings account. Then, you can set up alerts on a number of different travel sites. When the right deal surfaces, you pack the bags, grab the family, and hit the road.
Get Off the Beaten Trail
You can also save a lot of money by going to places that aren't that popular. For example, hitting the rides at a state fair tends to be cheaper than going to one of the major theme parks. Similarly, a week on the beach in a small coastal town tends to be less expensive than a week on the beach in Tahiti or Fiji. If you're dying to go to a popular destination, consider going during the off-season.
Focus on Freebies
You can also save money if you focus on freebies. Many local attractions, such as zoos and museums, will often have special days for children that are free or provide generous discounts. Your local paper will also reveal many festivals and events put on in your community that often have free admission.
Be One with Nature
National parks are a great option for creating fun, family memories. The entry fees are usually low, and the price to camp overnight is relatively inexpensive. Campfires, fishing, and hiking…these are memories every child enjoys.
Save With a Vacation Account
Summer vacation doesn’t have to be an exotic getaway that leaves you in debt for years to come. It’s about spending time with your children and enjoying your time as a family. A little preparation can go a long way in creating the perfect summer vacation. We have great savings tips in our Financial Wellness Center or we can help you set up a You Name It Savings Account for your dream vacation goals.