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5 Tips for Planning an Affordable Family Vacation

Are you ready to start planning your family’s summer vacation?

In the past, this was an exciting time. However, the economy now has many Americans in a financial bind. If you are one of those Americans, planning your family vacation may no longer be as fun. In fact, it is something you may dread. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Although you are on a budget, there are many ways that you can plan a cheap, yet fun family vacation this summer. How?

1 – Stay Close to Home

When many of us think of summer vacations, plane rides and faraway destinations often come to mind. People like to getaway. A family from New York is likely to opt for Hawaii or Florida as their summer vacation destination. A family from Florida may opt for the Caribbean or New York City. These vacations are nice. After all, you get away and get to experience something new. Nevertheless, if you are on a budget this year, you should think closer to home. Plan a new activity each day and have a series of daylong vacations. For example, visit a state park with a natural pool and hiking trails on day one, travel to a nearby museum for day two, visit a semi-local amusement park on day three, and so forth.

2 – Let Your Children Help Choose Activities

Staying close to home is one of the best ways to save money on a summer vacation. If you plan a series of daylong vacations for the week, start close to home. Your family can sleep in their own beds each night. As you get farther away from home, book a hotel. Unfortunately, with this arrangement many parents feel like they are shortchanging their children, especially if they were used to the above mentioned faraway vacation destinations. Remember, you are operating with limited financial resources. Planning activities you can afford is more important. However, you can reduce boredom by letting your children help plan. For example, your teenage daughter can plan day two of your vacation, your ten-year-old son can help plan day three, and so forth.

3 – Give Camping a Try

If you don’t want to stay close to home, you are likely to book your airline reservations and a hotel room. Price compare to find the best deals. However, you should never pay more than $100 a night for a hotel room. This just gets too costly, especially if you are on a budget. A good and cheaper alternative is to camp. All across the country, you will find campground parks and state parks with camping accommodations. Camping rates vary greatly, but most charge no more than $25 a night!

4 – Wisely Choose Your Travel Dates

If you don’t want to stay close to home, wisely choose your travel dates. Since you are planning a summer vacation, you will find increased rates, but look at the little things. It is cheaper to vacation at the beginning or end of the summer. The middle is the most expensive. You will find higher hotel rates and fewer available rooms when there is a popular concert, sporting event, or convention in town.

5 – Don’t Wait for Last Minute Travel Deals

When it comes to finding travel deals and discounts, many mistakenly believe you should wait until the last minute. Yes, many hotels, airlines, and car rental companies offer last minute travel deals and discounts, but they are usually less common during the summer. The summer is a peak travel seasons and they rarely have problems filling planes and hotel rooms. For most, it is too risky to wait. If you are one of those individuals, plan your trip in advance, but always be on the lookout for moneysaving deals and discounts. Luckily, hotels, airlines, and car rental companies offer them all year round, not just at the last minute.

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