Family travel, especially when kids are involved, is one of the best ways to spend quality time and create memorable moments as a family. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your kids’ eyes light up when they enjoy new, colorful, and exciting sights and adventures.

However, there’s one problem: Family Travel is quite expensive

You’ll pay for more than two people, which means more transportation expenses, larger, pricier hotel rooms, and bigger dining costs. It’s also quite difficult to stick to your travel budget when you’re traveling with kids. One casual stroll at a souvenir shop or a theme park can blow up your travel costs.

But that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your family vacation. It’s possible to lighten up your family travel expenses while making dreams happen.

If you’re traveling as a family, here are 11 money saving-tricks to consider.

1. Make a detailed travel budget

Call yourself meticulous, but there’s nothing wrong with making an excel spreadsheet for your travel budget. Detail every expense, such as flights, fuel, hotel accommodation, meals and snacks, entrance fees, and even souvenirs.

2. Stick to the main reason why you’re there: Family travel

Prioritize and commit. When family travel is a priority, you’ll spend less on things that aren’t necessary, including the things that only satisfy a need for instant comfort and gratification.

3. Look for family-friendly hotels

When we say “family friendly” hotels, we’re referring to hotel brands who care about the well-being of the kids, their parents, and their parents’ wallets. They're more likely to offer amazing deals for groups with kids, including “kids stay free” and “kids eat free” promos.

Holiday Inn is one of the leading hotel brands with such exciting promotions. That’s one huge relief for parents who’ll only get to pay for themselves. If you're going to Australia, which is one of the most expensive places to travel to, you'll surely find a branch of this kid-friendly hotel accommodation.

Family-friendly hotels also tend to be close to attractions favorable to kids, including theme parks, museums, picnic groves, and malls.

4. Consider home rentals

Some hotels come with several extra fees, tempting expensive restaurants, steep parking fees, and numerous opportunities for tipping, which could put a dent on your wallet.

You can save a lot of money by renting a home. They’re cheaper in terms of room rate, eating out, tipping, and parking. What’s more interesting is they have a bigger space, which work wonders for large families.

5. Go for a stay-cation instead

You don’t need to go far to enjoy great moments with your family. I’m sure you know nearby places where you can have the similar experiences while saving money and skipping the hassle.

Get to know more about your local area. Try booking a hotel in your city. Skip airfares and opt for jolly road trips instead.

6. Cook and pack your own meals

If you’re planning a vacation longer than an overnight stay, remember that you and your kiddos will be eating a lot. Eating out every day, from breakfast to dinner, doesn’t sound practical at all.

There are many ways to save. Reach for the local market and cook your own meals in your rented room or home. Pack your own snacks when going out to explore. Snag kids eat free deals or happy hour prices at restaurants.

7. Travel off season

Time your travel. Try to skip summer and spring breaks, where travelers flock. If this seems tricky, considering the school calendars, try to avoid peak days. Don’t schedule your trip on weekends or holidays to enjoy lower rates and less crowds. You’ll save more when you takeoff on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

8. Search and book smart

Make technology work for you. Browse travel websites that provide a quick and easy way to check and compare pricing for multiple travel providers, including hotels, restaurants, and airlines. Sign up for price alerts on hotel and airfare deals.

9. Seek out travel deals

Additionally, use deal finding sites where you can find amazing discounts on local experiences and attractions, like cruises, trolley tours, and sightseeing passes. You can also find some in local magazines and tourist brochures.

10. Enjoy the free things

The best things in life, people say, are free. Wherever you end up, whether it’s in the city, countryside or abroad, always seek free attractions your kids will enjoy.

Look for museums and art galleries with free admission. Most public parks won’t cost you, unless it’s a theme park. Sightseeing experiences, which your children would never forget, are also free.

11. Travel with kids while they’re young

Young children are so fun and cheap to travel with. They won’t rant about going to the nearest coffee shop for an expensive cup of ice-blended coffee and wi-fi. They enjoy the simplest of things, like petting an animal or riding a carousel.

Finally, they often get free or cheap rates anywhere, from restaurants to hotels.

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