As an adult, you benefit from travel in many ways: It broadens your horizons, teaches you about new cultures, and renews your appreciation for home. If you are a parent to young kids, they also benefit from traveling, as it makes them more adaptable and flexible. Packing up an entire family for a holiday isn’t always easy, however—or cheap. Check out the tips below on how to have a stress-free and budget-friendly family holiday planning!
Choose your Travel days Wisely if Flying
If you’re headed far enough afield to require an airplane flight, try to avoid flying on Fridays or Sundays. Tickets tend to be cheaper when you fly mid-week. According to FareCompare, you’re best off shopping on a Tuesday and booking tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Don’t wait too long to book. If you do, you run the risk of direct flights being sold out. Having to deal with a layover when you have young children in tow will add stress to your journey.
Use Apps to Save on Gas if Driving
If you want to skip the airfare, opt for a family road trip instead! This also saves you the hassle of having to deal with airport security and the waiting times that inevitably come with plane travel. That said, you don’t want to spend loads of money on gas. There are many useful apps to help you save on fuel. GasBuddy helps you find cheap gas prices, for example, while AAA TripTik® Planner lets you incorporate affordable fuel-up stops as you plot your trip.
Opt for Non-Traditional Accommodation
Kids don’t care if they’re staying in a five-star hotel or not. Skip the fancy accommodation and choose something simpler. An AirBnB is a cozy and homelike option. It also gives you the chance to save money by cooking instead of going out to eat. If you have babies or toddlers, make sure the accommodation is child-friendly and has the equipment you need, like a high chair etc.
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Consider an Outdoorsy Holiday
Another option to save on accommodation is to go on a camping trip. To plan a successful family camping trip, start by selecting a site that matches the age and abilities of your children. You don’t want to subject a three-year-old to a lengthy hike, for example! Then all you have to do is make a reservation—and ensure you have a sturdy tent large enough to house all of you!
Bring a Tablet for Cheap Amusement
Kids tend to have short attention spans and are likely to get antsy if they’re left waiting around to board a plane or stuck sitting in the backseat of the car. A tablet or iPad is an affordable and easy way to keep them entertained. You can load it up with movies, games, and more. Allconnect provides a roundup of child-friendly tablets from a variety of brands. Shop around to find the option that best suits your budget.
Don’t Forget to Pack for the Family Pet
If you want to bring the entire family along on your trip, you can also include your four-legged friend. Bringing a dog requires some extra planning though. Check that any accommodation you choose is pet-friendly. Make sure you have a travel-friendly bag to store supplies like pet toys and food. And don’t forget waste disposal bags and a pooper scooper to ensure easy cleanup. For the latter, prioritize a one-handed model that leaves you with one hand free to keep a hold of your baby or toddler.
Planning a trip with young kids doesn’t have to be stressful, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either! Let the above tips guide you, and you will be able to plan a family holiday that you will all enjoy and be able to remember forever.