Spring break can be the perfect time to plan a getaway for the family. And you don’t need to break the bank for your adventure; If you’re wondering how to plan a spring break on a budget without making it boring for the family, we have a few tips to share!
There are lots of great budget-friendly vacation options that will still ensure you and your family are building sandcastles or going to museums or enjoying yourselves at theme parks. Planning a budget-friendly family vacation does require a little bit of creativity and thinking outside the box. Following these simple spring break savings tips can help you get more mileage out of every dollar you have saved.
As soon as you know which dates will work best, book flights and hotel accommodations. When you enter your travel dates into the Hopper app, you will receive notifications on the best time to book or if it would be better to wait. You can watch travel rates up to a year in advance, create filters and purchase tickets right from the app. Traveling at off-peak times during the off-season for popular destinations, on weekdays rather than weekends and avoiding holidays — might net you and your family a deal.
Look at Alternative Destinations
Spring break is all about rest and relaxation. While many folks choose to hit the beach, you may want to skip the crowds and save a few dollars by opting for a budget spring break destination. For example, consider checking out a national park or exploring somewhere a little closer to home. If you can’t imagine a spring break trip that doesn’t involve a little fun and sun, consider the ways you can get the most savings out of an all-inclusive resort.
Skip the Hotel
I absolutely love acting like a tourist in a new city, but that comes with a pretty hefty price tag. If you are looking for more adventures and new experiences during your trip, a great idea is to skip the hotel. With the trend of non-hotel accommodations increasing, most tourists are now given a lot of options where to stay without limiting themselves in hotels that are very customary and usually coupled with expensive rates. Consider booking accommodations through Airbnb or VRBO to increase your spring break savings.
Set a Daily Limit for Spending
Give yourself a set amount you can spend each day on adventures, meals, and other expenses. You might also want to make an overall budget for your trip, broken down by category. Keep track of everything you spend, create a set of envelopes with each day of vacation written on the outside. Breaking up your overall vacation budget and having a set amount you can spend per day is less overwhelming and will help you stick to it better.
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Cook Your Own Meals
Food adds up on a vacation, so if you stay in a room with a kitchen, you and your family can prepare meals instead of eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And if you must dine out, pick a few days your family might decide on dining out and cook the remainder of the time. You can also bring reusable water bottles and thermoses from home to save on drinks.
Also avoid purchasing food at the airport, as this does get expensive; pack a meal or snacks so you can avoid spending a fortune before you even start your vacation.
RELATED: How to Create A Monthly Meal Planner Your Budget Will Love
Visit Friends and Family
Go on a family road trip and plan your route to include stops at friends’ and families’ homes. Lodging is often free and most people are really excited to show off their town and give you the inside scoop on local happenings and fun.You can save on meals and transportation. Also, your friends and family members might have memberships or discounted admission to local attractions.
Check for Discounts
If you’re a member of AAA, a service member or veteran, or even part of a business affinity group (like a chamber of commerce), you might be entitled to many travel discounts. AARP members receive discounts on travel and hotels, and some museums and historical sites offer educator discounts as well.
Always ask about student discounts and lower fees for children under 12, under 18, or other options. You might be surprised at just how much you can save. Check out Groupon, Living Social and Kayak for any available discounts on travel and activities on your trip.
You don’t have to vacation right in town, although taking a staycation is always a great option if you can’t afford to go away. Vacationing in a local spot—less than a day’s drive away—will help you save on gas, mileage, and an extra night at a hotel.
Going local can also be a lot of fun. Find a less-explored area of your state or a fun local attraction. What’s a strange museum in your town? What attraction do people come to see when they visit your state? The biggest ball of twine? A cheese museum? A giant dinosaur statue? Check out historical landmarks and natural attractions, national monuments, and parks as well. You might be surprised at the treasures that are within just a day’s drive.
Sticking to spring break on a budget will make sure you have a great time during your spring vacation and after you get back, nothing kills a vacation glow like finding out you spent way too much money. Knowing exactly how much you have to spend every day and planning which activities you want to do ahead of time will give you the stress-free, fun vacation you deserve.