“How can I save money while traveling?”
It’s one of the most common questions I get from families that join our Facebook group. Do affordable family vacations rank high on your list, too? If so, you’re not alone.
Travel expenses can add up quickly when you’ve got an entire family to think about. Depending on the number of kids you have, plane tickets alone can easily double, triple, or even quadruple what your average solo traveler pays.
That’s why it behooves you to know the savvy travel tips that family vacationers rely on to reap big savings. Contrary to popular belief, money-saving travel tips exist, even with a family. Here are five tips to help you get started.
Tip #1: Book Early and Travel More Often
One of the easiest and most effective ways to save when it comes to family travel remains booking early. If you can get into this habit now, you’ll enjoy more affordable flights, accommodations, tours, transportation, and more. That way, you can travel more often.
For example, at Our Whole Village, we’re already in the midst of planning our 2020 summer tour offerings for our Brazilian Amazon Cruise Adventure by the end of August 2019. What does this mean for you?
It means if you book now, you’ll enjoy 2019 pricing as well as your pick of the litter when it comes to itineraries that work for your family. What’s more, you’ll have a new adventure to look forward to all year long.
Tip #2: How to Make Travel Affordable with Points and Miles
You may have heard about how to save money on flights by opening a new line of credit to take full advantage of points and miles rewards. Way back in 2016, Chase made this popular with their Sapphire Reserve credit card. When you signed up for the card, you automatically received a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points. Not bad, right?
Today, these offers vary. But one thing’s for sure. They can give you the added boost you need for an upcoming trip. That said, there’s definitely a knack to getting the most out of your credit card points and miles. And you still need to use credit responsibly or you risk paying the difference of your savings in interest fees later.
Where should you start? While some experts suggest avoiding cards co-branded with specific airlines, I don’t necessarily agree with this. Sometimes it makes more sense to have an airline specific card, especially if you live in a city that’s a hub for that airline. Besides airline specific cards, some others worth checking out include the American Express Membership Rewards card, the Citi Thank You Points card, and the Chase Ultimate Rewards card.
Tip #3: Fly Off Peak
But points and miles aren’t the only ways to save money on travel. When you choose to fly matters, too. Always look to fly off peak in order to enjoy the best savings. What do we mean by off peak?
While many theories exist when it comes to the most affordable days to fly, it all depends on your destination. Fortunately, you can download an app such as Skyscanner and browse the most affordable days to fly. To do this, enter your departure and arrival cities and then select “one-way” and click “depart.” Then, instead of entering a date, select the “whole month” option and “cheapest month.” By selecting these options, you gain the ability to browse the best days to fly to that destination. Hit “search flights” and start scanning your options.
The same holds true when you buy tickets and travel on actual holidays such as Thanksgiving. Yes, it can make your holiday feel a whole lot more hectic, but if you have to fly during the holidays and can celebrate a day late, you stand to save yourself serious money.
Tip #4: Track Price Drop Alerts and Stay Flexible
Besides flying off peak, don’t forget to track flights that interest you by using an app such as Google Flights, Yapta, or Hopper. These online tools allow you to keep tabs on flights and receive email alerts when their prices increase or decrease. That way, you can take full advantage of fluctuations in the market.
You may also be able to find airline deals by visiting the home page of the airline you’re considering flying. Especially with overseas carriers, you may find cheaper ticket prices on the country’s version of their website rather than their international site.
It’s also important to stay flexible when it comes to flying. And we’re not talking about yoga. By adjusting flight plans by one to two days, you could see hundreds of dollars in savings. But what if you’re on a tight schedule? Remaining flexible when it comes to the time of day you fly or your seat assignment could also bring savings.
Tip #5: Create a Budget and Stick to It
Last but not least, identify a travel budget for your next getaway. Then, take steps to make sure you and your family stick to it. Let’s face it. The unexpected expenses of travel add up quickly. But with a little care, you don’t have to let unforeseen costs ruin your next vacation.
Instead, think outside of the box for ways to save money while out and about. Stay in accommodations that have a kitchen area so that you can avoid the costs associated with eating out. Shop at local markets and stores to further economize.
Or, consider an all-inclusive vacation where you’ll see savings by having all of your travel costs bundled into one affordable package. These also prove ideal when traveling with kids because the best family travel companies take care of the moving parts for you, from transportation to lodging and meals.
Savvy Travel Tips for Family Vacationers
When it comes to savvy travel tips for family vacationers, there are countless ways to economize. With the tips above, you’ll save money while developing the skills to travel savvy, even with kids in tow. Then, let the family adventures begin!
At Our Whole Village, we craft tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we curate for families just like yours.