The summer is here, the kids have broken from school and the chance to enjoy the family adventure of a lifetime is calling you like the siren sounds of wanderlust are dancing across your frontal lobe like birdsong. The problem is, well, your bank balance isn’t looking as hot as you might have hoped (thanks a lot unexpected car prang).
It doesn’t matter if you just want to fill your VW Camper with the kids and head to Lake Michigan for a summer of fun or you want to board a plane and take a cultural tour of Europe, it’s way too easy to end this kind of adventure with tear-stained cheeks and a Google history that’s been devoted to looking at a National Debt Relief program review. Seriously. Traveling as a family has that ability, which is a far cry from the spontaneous trips you used to take as a madly in love couple, a carry-on bag to share and backpackers to stay in.
But don’t despair just yet because we’ve been doing some digging, speaking to some nomadic families and getting the inside scoop from money-saving experts, and here is what they had to say on the matter:
- Longer Trips, Lower Cost Per Day
We know not everyone can escape reality for more than a week or so, but if you can, you should consider extending your trip because, the longer a vacation lasts, the less it costs per day. The adventure doesn’t become such a rush. The need for a car to get from A to E via B, C and D can be replaced by day trips on a bus, better deals can be bartered for the accommodation and you can take your homely habits with you, enjoying meals in rather than dining out every meal.
- Go Further Around The World
As tempting as it might be to pack up the car, drive through a couple of states and celebrate the beauty of a staycation, it might be infinitely cheaper to bite the plane fare bullet knowing the rest of your vacation will come out cheaper. Much cheaper. In terms of vacationing and cost of living, America ain’t that cheap. But Europe can be. Accommodation in Spain is ridiculously inexpensive, and you can buy a bottle of fine wine for $2, not to mention grocery shop for next to nothing.
- Look For Family Discounts
When you are traveling with so many kids people stop to ask if you’re the Brady Bunch, you can bet your bottom dollar there are family discount deals to be had. If you’re a family of four or five, deals can be quite good and you can pinch a couple of dollars here and there. But if you’re a family with six, seven, eight or more, well, you will find you can get the sort of group deals that dreams are made of. And it’s not just things like water park discounts. Hiring a minivan (or even a limousine) will be cheaper than going on the bus, which is epic.
- Kids Freebies Are Out There
This is one of those hacks every parent in the world needs to know: most hotels – including the all-inclusive hotels – don’t charge for kids under 12. That means you just have to shoulder the cost of their flights and everything else will be free for them. Their room, the food they put away, the pop they guzzle, everything. That means your money-sucking children will do the unheard of thing of not costing you a dime.