Let’s face it! Travelling on a budget with family seems like a LOT of work. It often comes out as an extra expenditure added to our monthly bills of healthcare, kids’ education, house rent and so on. Often, the ‘quality’ family time takes a backseat among all the imminent responsibilities and the bonds which we value the most aren’t given adequate nurturing.
But with proper financial planning (and a few compromises), travelling on a budget is possible, especially in recent times where we are offered a bouquet of options to choose from. It will require your skill of research, a bit of math and a sense of timing to travel cheap and stay within your budget irrespective of your family size.
Here are a few budget travel tips for planning your next vacation effectively. By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll know how to save on almost anything and everything. Transport takes away the chunk of our money so let’s start with that.
Saving on Airfare/Train Fare
It is common knowledge that if you book during the peak season or near your dates of travel, the airfare is almost double than what you’d have to pay 4 months earlier. This is why you need to plan your vacation well ahead. Most families set out on their family expeditions during summer vacations when everyone has their days off. Plan your office leaves to coincide with your children’s school vacations and book your tickets with time in hand.
Another hack is to compare the prices among the planes’ and trains’ tickets. To some destinations, travelling on a budget with family is possible via air as its cheaper than trains. For short distance, consider chair car tickets rather than AC compartments to save money. Look for cashback options while booking and use gateways that offer discounts.
Cutting Down on Car Rentals
Choose your best budget travel destinations wisely as some cities are costlier than others. You can land and book a self-drive car to avoid spending more on car rentals. Avoid falling upon online services until it’s absolutely necessary and stick to local hires. But if you can get a discount or cashback by hiring online, go for it.
Find the best hotel deals
Book your lodging at the time of buying your travel tickets to avoid the peak-season booking rush. Go online to check out the best deals available for your best budget travel destinations and compare the hotels based on their pricing and services. To save further, opt for apartment stays which are as comfortable and safe for your family as hotels,that too at half the price. You will have your own kitchen to cut down on food expenses and you can choose an appropriate location to eliminate transportation costs.
Other travelling on a budget tips:
• You can stick to local eateries as much as possible and avoid pricey restaurants. You will find hygienic and tasty food if you look around.
• Avoid shopping malls and buy from local markets. Most travel books in India will list the location of such places.
• Opt for free or cheap activities when you are in a costly city. Visit the free museums or spend time in public parks rather than spending on overpriced activities.
There are a number of ways to save money and travel on a budget. Invest some time on travel, food and find the way that suits you and your family. Travelling together can really strengthen your family bonds and that is the last thing you should compromise on.