I love to travel together with my family – even if we don't end up doing a whole lot. It's so much fun to spend time together as a family outside of our normal routines. It’s nice to get away from everything for a while and just relax.
Unfortunately, traveling can be expensive. There’s transportation, accommodations, food, entertainment, and souvenirs. But what if you could travel more often? Let’s look at how to travel on a budget.
Cut Back BEFORE Traveling
People often think they need to eat cheap while traveling. What you really need to do is cut back BEFORE you travel. Start eating cheaper meals and eating at home as often as possible. Pack your lunch for work and skip those expensive coffees. This will give you more money for traveling and allow you to enjoy some great restaurants while doing so.
Compare Prices to Find the Best Deal
Pack Snacks and Drinks
You can save so much money packing snacks and drinks. Not only will you save money while on the road, but you’ll also save money in your hotel room. Convenience stores and vending machines can be outrageous. Hit your favorite grocery store or Walmart before hitting the road and stock up on your favorites.
When we take a road trip, we always pack a cooler full of water and soft drinks. Plus, we usually pack lunch for the road and stop at a rest area to eat our first meal. And of course, we have plenty of snacks available for both the car and the hotel.
Travel in the Off-Season
Another excellent time to travel on a budget is to travel in the off-season. For example, you’ll save money visiting the beach in late August through February because the temperatures are cooler and kids are in school. If you want to travel during the summer months, consider going to a location that is normally a cool-weather hot spot, such as Aspen, Colorado. The prices will be cheaper when snow isn’t on the ground and it will still be beautiful.
One summer, my dad rented a house for our entire extended family to spend a week in the mountains in New Mexico. It was so beautiful, and it was nice to be there during the off season when it was not quite so busy too.
Plan a Trip with Another Family
Last, but not least, consider planning a trip with another family. You can rent a house rather than a hotel room and split the cost. You can also split the cost of driving to the destination – if you all fit in one vehicle. There are many ways to save when traveling together.
For many summers in Michigan, we'd plan a camping trip with a group of families from our church. Some of us drove together and camped together, and we also split up meals among the entire group. You were responsible for a breakfast and a dinner and got to relax the rest of the time.
If you want to travel, but are on a budget, look for small ways to save big. Pack your own snacks, compare prices, and consider traveling with another family. These are awesome ways to allow you to travel on a budget.