Now more than ever, people need time away from their busy lives to spend time with their families, recharge, and create memories, but this isn’t always easy. Vacations can not only be difficult to plan, but can also be downright expensive for just a few days away from reality.
Today, my friend Kayla from OurStart joins us with a few tips for about budgeting for a family vacation.
Take it away Kayla!
Your first family vacation can act as a beautiful memory, but it can be an expensive endeavor if you’re not careful. To avoid needless expenses, you will need to take the time to budget your trip properly. This article will tell you about some of the categories that you will need to include when budgeting for your vacation with your family.
The accommodations for your family trip can go anywhere from the bare essentials to extravagant. If you have children, never go for the cheapest option as you will want things such as clean sheets and water, as well as a safe location for your family to stay. You can stay in an apartment, but you will need to sacrifice certain luxuries. If you’re willing to pay more, villas and condos will give you a pool and servants. You can often find these luxury villas and condos in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations, you will only need to pay for luxury if you plan on a resort holiday. If you plan on a vacation where your family will do a lot of sightseeing, you will be fine as long as you’re set up in a clean, safe location.
What you will pay for transportation will largely depend on how you plan to get to your destination. While driving could save your family money, you may not be able to travel by car if you’re going a very long distance. Plus, the savings could dwindle if you consider factors such as gas, wear, and tolls you’ll have to pay along the way. If your family will fly, book the flight early as those last-minute deals you hear about don’t always apply to travelers with restrictions, such as those families flying during school vacations. If you have children under the age of 2, they can often fly for free or for a reduced fee. You may also need to make room in the transportation category for airline fees such as pre-boarding and getting seats close to each other.
The cost of meals can vary by a lot, from nothing to five-star prices. Try staying at a hotel that gives you free breakfast so you can have a big breakfast, a lighter lunch, and have a bigger dinner. Hotel meals can eat a big hole in your family vacation budget, so you should try to explore the local restaurant scene as much as possible. Attacking the minibar can get expensive quickly, so when you arrive at your destination, go to a local grocery store and buy some water, snacks, and fruit. If your family will stay at a hotel, look for one that gives free meals to kids under a certain age. You can also have your family stay in an apartment and cook all your meals there to save a lot of money.
No one wants to be a cheapskate when they’re on holiday. When budgeting for the family trip, set aside some money to spend for shopping, souvenirs, and other activities. If you have older children, have everyone agree on a spending budget. Not only can you save some money, but you can teach your children valuable financial lessons.
Depending on where you plan on taking the family, activities can take up a large portion of your trip budget. However, you don’t want to go cheap when dedicating money to this category. If your family wants to see some of the popular sights in your destination, see if you can save by getting some combination or package deal. If you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience like swimming with the dolphins in the Caribbean, do it without regret. You don’t want to spend your whole time in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean grousing about how much money you’re spending. You will also want to put aside some money for some alone time with your partner. Pay a babysitter if you can swing it.
Your Destination’s Currency
The currency and cost of living of your international destination can either help your budget or make it a lot more bloated. When it comes to how much products and services cost, countries can differ wildly. You probably don’t have to pay a ton of attention to this last category, but it is something to keep in mind.
Kayla Clough is the email specialist here at OurStart. Kayla is a recent graduate of Eastern University in PA where she majored in Marketing and Human Resources. Kayla loves all things fashion, her golden retriever Max, and coffee. When she is not working, you can find her binge watching Sex in the City and baking her latest find on Pinterest.