We love traveling and taking quick getaways together as a family. We get asked a lot about how we pay for all of our travels and budget-traveling. We believe that budget travel has in fact been some of the most fun we’ve had as a family and are happy to bring you our tips for how to make it fun for yours.
Realistic Ways To Make Budget Travel Fun For Your Family
Focus on a lot in a short amount of time. We are often taking just a few days or a weekend for a simple budget travel adventure. You can indeed fit a lot into just 48-72 hours, and the result is an incredible time with family that doesn’t break the bank. When you think about travel, the most expensive parts are the lodging expenses and means of traveling. By taking a shorter trip, you eliminate a significant part of your expenses. While you may wish to fly to a destination further away, a short road trip is often the more affordable option. We focus on a few things when we are taking a shorter trip that makes our experiences just as fun but still cost-effective.
- Take advantage of low-cost flights for some specific destinations through Southwest, Spirit, or Allegiance. These airlines often offer round trips for under $50 per ticket making it easier to afford budget travel out of your fast road trip area.
- Fill one day with lots of inexpensive but fun activities. Things like visiting several museums, malls, theaters, or local attractions that are low-cost or free but pack a punch. Like our one-day road trip from Michigan to Chicago. We saved money by not spending the night, but just getting up early and spending the day in Chicago.
- Invest in great food experiences. It’s not secret that we are foodies, and this is where we spend a big chunk of our budget. We use apps to save money at restaurants and food experiences.
- Enjoy the relaxation and entertainment your hotel offers. Many hotels offer in-house entertainment at a bar, poolside, or even in-house theaters. Sometimes a great spa experience is highly discounted when you book a weekend at a hotel. Staying in one location and enjoying all it has to offer can be a great way to enjoy a shorter getaway.
Give one dynamic experience. Put your money for budget travel into one big dynamic experience. While you can go for all of the free options in the area around that experience, don’t skip on that one big thing. You can easily locate budget entertainment and lodging in nearly any area, but that one big attraction could be your big investment that everyone keeps talking about throughout the travel experience.
- One day in an amusement park costs less than a week but can be planned to highlight the top attractions.
- An all day spa treatment is costly but can be just what is needed for a relaxing overall budget travel experience.
- Shopping adventures in the form of checking out the higher priced mall or unique local boutiques and buying one singular item that is out of your normal budget range.
- Wine tastings or brewery tours are often low-cost but truly unique experiences.
- Taking in unique local culinary options (famous chef owned restaurants or themed restaurants)
Make it about quality time together. Budget travel is all about getting away and to a new location for a few day, but without stressing your finances. Make those times focused more on your time together as a couple or family and less about what you do at the location.
- Plan to watch the sunrise or sunset at a local tourist location
- Visit local gardens and take some family photographs
- Play board games or card games in your hotel room while eating junk food or room service
- Pick a meal out at each family members favorite location or choice in the area
- Visit historical or landmark locations to share in history together.
- Start conversations about goals, ambitions, and the future.
Focus on learning more about each other and experiencing time together as a couple or family. Whether that is spending more quiet time and turning off electronics, or it is focusing on one family members passions it is a great budget travel tip to invest in each other.
Utilize your savings options. At the end of the day, the best budget travel experiences come from making the most of the money you have available. Whatever your budget travel options are, you can make them stretch even further when you utilize savings options throughout the planning process and the experience. We already share with you, on a regular basis, ways to save on travel, but there are some basic reminders that will help you to utilize your savings for budget travel.
- Pack snacks and lunch options that you have from couponing to save on food on the road.
- Purchase airfare, hotel stays, and even entertainment packages through sales and sites like Groupon or Living Social for deep discounts
- Check out local Chamber of Commerce offices for coupon booklets and special deals available to tourists
- Travel in groups with friends and family for budget travel discounts on group lodgings or group passes for local attractions
- Buy bundle packages for hotel, travel, and entertainment through travel agents.
- Utilize the CityPASS options in applicable cities for discounts on multiple venue ticket purchases.
- If you plan to rent a car, be sure to check out sites like National Travel Deals for cheap, discounted rates.
There are tons of ways to make budget travel fun and great for the whole family. Focus more on unique experiences and less on doing something big every single day you are on the road. You’ll easily be able to fit tons of great memories into a few days while sticking into your budget travel plans.