Best budget vacations with kids

We enjoy all types of travel, from those bucket-list moments to the cheapest of camping trips. The good news: kids love it all! Traveling with children can be stressful enough without having to worry about the budget, but with a little planning it can be done for less cash. Read below for a selection of tips for the best budget vacations with kids.

How to save money on travel

House rentals really help cut the budget

Privately renting a house will almost always offer better value for money when traveling with a family. There are so many online options from Home Away, Airbnb and Stayz that will not only make a holiday more affordable but offer substantially more floor space than a hotel. Don’t use your budget from personal checks on hotels. Typically in Australia and the US, linens will be provided, but be mindful if traveling abroad that this is not always the case and may incur additional fees.

Maximise free events

When planning your holiday, check out the various festivals and events held in the local area, and see if there are free or low cost events that appeal to you and your family. A good place to start is on local council websites, but be sure to book ahead in advance as the cost of accommodation can sometimes increase in a small town that annually receives influxes of tourists for special events.

Don’t rule out a staycation

A large amount of your budget is spent on accommodation and quite often children aren’t the best at sleeping in, so why pay for a space that you won’t use much? Enter the staycation, where you sleep at your normal house each evening but plan a series of fun events and activities that are different to your normal day to day life. The key to this one is to be ready with a bunch of different suggestions or take the children on a mystery trip to somewhere they have not been before.

If you live in Melbourne for example, plan family activities in Geelong which is manageable as a day trip, but far enough away to be exotic to the kids.

One last tip

A final way to make a holiday suit your budget better is to plan ahead. Even if you don’t want to book your trip away just yet, start putting aside small amounts of money on a regular basis, so you have a travel fund to draw upon once you’re ready to start confirming the itinerary. Some people simple stash away coins each time they break a note while others set up an automatic direct debit on their bank account into a separate savings fund. If you do this, make sure it’s not linked to a card in order to avoid temptation when shopping.

If they’re old enough, getting the kids involved by encouraging them to achieve savings goals in order to pay for an activity. Even though it is most likely your money they’re saving from chores or from their allowance, it can be a great way to teach them responsibility and to also be more involved in the vacation overall. You may even find their activity selection is relatively affordable, leaving spare cash for meals and transport.

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About the author

Pit Stops for Kids

AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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