Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Save money with a stay at home vacation


Are you dreaming of your next vacation, but wondering how on earth you're going to afford it? Family holidays give you the opportunity to get away and spend some quality time together, but they don't have to cost a fortune. Staying close to home can be just as fun as hopping on a 10 hour plane ride; you just need to know how to make it special.

Research

When you're used to a place, it's easy to miss things which have been right under your nose the whole time. Research towns and cities around your local area and find out what there is to do for kids and grown ups. See if any accommodation catches your eye and find out about any special events which may be happening at the time you plan to travel.

Ask the kids what they want to do, and search for whatever they say in your county or state. Obviously, "go to space" or "ride a unicorn" aren't going to be particularly helpful when it comes to doing this, but they might have some constructive answers too!

Travel tactics

One of the best things about a stay at home vacation is that you don't have to shell out thousands for everyone's airfares. If you're a driver, going in the car is a much more cost effective option.

If you do decide to drive, packing as lightly as possible will help you shave more off your expenses. We realize packing lightly is easier said than done when it comes to family vacations, but the lighter the car, the less you'll have to spend on fuel!

Tips for packing lightly

There are a few ways to take the weight off when it comes to car travel, and every pound counts!
Firstly, don't pack more than you need! It may be tempting but remind yourself that you don't need 10 pairs of shoes for 7 nights away, and ask yourself if you're really likely to use it before putting it in the case.

Instead of chucking all the kids' toys in, give them a bag each to pack their favorite toys, books, etc in. Knowing they only have a certain amount of space will make sure they only pick their favorite things, and will reduce your load significantly.

It's also worth taking anything on or in the car out if you're not using it. Bike and roof racks, for example, can cost you more in fuel. The chances are you'll be using them, but, if not, take them off!

Thrifty dining

Staying in self-catering accommodation can cut costs if you're careful with your eating habits.
Doing your normal weekly grocery shop before you go or when you get there will help you avoid unnecessarily splurging. Plan what you're going to eat each evening and set aside a couple of evenings or lunch times to eat out on.

Of course, you don't want to be cooking the whole time you're away, so look out for value for money restaurants. Privately owned restaurants are often more affordable than chains, but you may find chains offering special deals during the holiday season.

Finally, travel safely and enjoy your trip!

This guest post was brought to you by Isabelle Guarella on behalf of PassSmart.com; the British site matching learner drivers with instructors.

Image Citation: The Wu's Photo Land

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