Try a day trip instead - Taking a break and relaxing does not always mean you have to leave your community. Low-cost day trips are a great opportunity to explore your community and still keep money in the wallet. Check out local community centres and websites for more information on things going on close to home.
Travel in the off-season - If you can get away in the off-season, you can save hundreds of dollars! The trip can be far less expensive and the destination will probably be less busy.
Family vacations are great. They are an excellent opportunity to get away, share fun times and build memories. They can also be very expensive. The last thing you want is to come home from a vacation broke and stressed. Plan your vacation together as a family, and check for some of the many good deals that are out there.
Plan it together
Before making any destination decisions, determine your budget. With that budget in mind, have a family discussion. Work together to come up with an itinerary. Ask everyone who is going on the trip for the number one thing they would like to do. Write everything down and see which activities you can accommodate within your budget.
Pick up a variety of vacation brochures to assist in your planning. Put them all out on the kitchen table and sort through them, highlighting things everyone likes. Have your child write down all of the things that they think may cost money on the trip. Things like transportation, accommodations, meals and entertainment should all be considered. If you are planning a major vacation look at all of the vacation websites, travel agencies and various airline vacation packages. Once you have written down everything, go through and see if there are ways the costs from each category can be reduced.
If everyone works together in the planning of the trip, then everyone can feel that much better about the vacation when it comes. It will also help manage the expectations your child has on what is going to happen on the trip.
Close to home
Some of the best family vacations can be the ones that cost the least and require a minimum amount of planning. Ask your child to do some research on the Web and at the library about tourist attractions and good vacation spots that are close to home. Give them a budget to work with and have them plan a weekend trip. You can help them account for everything, but let them do it on their own. Once they present their suggestions, ask them to cut the budget a bit, even just a few dollars. If the trip seems feasible, you may want to start a family Saver Sheet and begin putting money aside as a group to take the trip later.