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When you’re on a tight budget, it can be challenging to think about vacations, especially affordable summer vacations.

Setting a travel budget for your family might be the easiest part of the entire trip, but saving up for it can be a challenge.

Going into debt just to take your family on a trip isn’t going to help anyone, and it will leave you with more stress than before you started!

So I’ll share my best ways to save money on vacation so you can easily save more money before and during your trip.

These money saving vacation tips can easily be done so you don’t have to stress about anything else but your trip.

And, I’ll share how to save money on vacation food so you won’t go hungry or broke.

Here are some simple and easy ways to save on your next family vacation to make sure you have the trip of your dreams without the debt.

 

affordable summer vacations

Pack Efficiently

If Flying

If you learn how to pack more efficiently, you can save a ton of money on your baggage fees at the airport!

You don’t want to arrive at your final destination without everything you need, but you also don’t want to pay hundreds in baggage fees at the last minute once you arrive at the airport. This helps to make those affordable summer vacations doable!

Instead of packing each person’s items in a separate suitcase, pack more efficiently by combining bags and packing less.

Here’s how I do it: first, organize the clothes you are all going to wear each day. (Coordinated outfits look good in photos.) Then I roll all our clothes as we pack it in the suitcase to save space and keep things from getting wrinkled!

When my kids were smaller (and had smaller clothes), I used to put each kid’s outfit per day in a Ziploc baggy with their name on it and the day. That way I could easily grab and lay out the clothes for the next day. It sure did help to keep everyone’s clothes tidy and organized. Plus, no one’s undies or socks ever went missing.

Check out these tips to pack your luggage for your family going on a plane.

BONUS FREE DOWNLOAD

Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

If Driving

Packing efficiently even helps on road trips! The heavier the car, the more time and gas it will take to get there. Pack wisely and you’ll not only save money.

Check out these tips to pack for a road trip. I always love to see other people’s suggestions to get more ideas that will make my trip easier.

Driving can be one of the best money saving vacation tips you can find.

affordable summer vacations

Don’t Waste Your Money On Wifi

Whether it’s on the plane or at the hotel, don’t spend your money on the wifi option. After all, you’re on vacation remember? Plus you want this to be one of your affordable summer vacations.

Utitlize the free wifi that you can find at some restaurants and coffee places. You’ll be glad you knew these money saving vacation tips when you get the bill.

If you need some entertainment for the kids on your flight, download movies, shows, books, and games to your device ahead of time. Make sure you have your chargers handy, so you never run out of juice!

This will also cut down on the number of items you need to bring for entertainment!

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Be Smart About Transportation

While planning your affordable summer vacations, you need to decide how you are going to get there. Driving is almost always going to be cheaper than flying.

However, this may not be the most efficient way to travel. If you are going cross country, it may not be realistic to drive. Don’t forget that your time is also worth something too. Take these into consideration when making your decision.

If you are looking for the most cost-effective decision, you should always look to drive! You can find all of my road trip saving tips and tricks here.

Make sure to prepare your car before a road trip by getting your car serviced and checked out before you leave.

affordable summer vacations

Get Outdoors

You may not always be able to go camping for free, but if it’s not free, it’s still going to be cheaper than a hotel. And it can be one of the best ways to save money on vacation.

Instead of paying for a hotel, camp out instead! Hiking and other outdoor trips are going to be less expensive than a trip to Disney. And they can still create great family memories while falling into the affordable summer vacations category.

If you want to visit somewhere a little bit less outdoorsy, you can always camp at the beach or many other places. Most of the establishments even have nice bathrooms and showers!

You can even camp at Walt Disney World! Making Disney World even more affordable than you think.

affordable summer vacations

Look For All-Inclusive Options

One of the best bangs for your buck is going to be vacations that are packed full of value!

An excellent example of this is a cruise vacation! Your food, lodging, and most of your entertainment for the trip are all included in your price which makes it cheaper than some other options. It can be one of the best affordable summer vacations.

While sometimes a cruise will be more expensive than another trip, don’t rule out all-inclusive options until you’ve made the full price comparison.

There are also plenty of inclusive hotels that also include your room, food, and even some fun excursions! Start by searching the city where you want to go on Trivago and make sure to include the words “all-inclusive”.

affordable summer vacations

Cook Your Food

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but cooking at home is always cheaper than a restaurant. If you are on vacation, you might be tempted to eat out more which can make your affordable summer vacations very expensive. If you’re going to save money on vacation food, it’s by cooking it yourself.

Sometimes it’s not possible to cook every meal if you don’t have a kitchen in your room. If that’s the case, try and have snacks in your room so you could eat only two meals out and fill in for the last one with snacks.

BONUS FREE DOWNLOAD

Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

For example, eat breakfast in your room by having bagels and cream cheese (most hotels have a mini-fridge for the cream cheese) or cereal and milk, then eat the other two meals out for the rest of the day.

We’ve gone so far as to pack a panini maker with us so we could make all kinds of panini sandwiches in our room instead of eating out at all while we were on vacation. It was actually a lot of fun!

Instapots can even be a game-changer for saving money and cooking in your room. You could prepare freezer meals, thaw the night before, then cook in the instapot when you are ready to eat. By the time everyone showers for the night, your food should be done.

affordable summer vacations

Bring Your Own 

You would be surprised how many people waste money on snacks and drinks at theme parks when they could bring their own! Many theme parks and hotels will let you bring as much of your stuff as you want!

Utilize this by bringing your items to help cut down the cost of your trip while you are there. Everything from snacks to water bottles can help you shave a few dollars here and there off your trip! Especially when a water at Disney costs $4!

Bringing your own food is the best way to save money on vacation food for a large family like ours.

You don’t have to forego your family vacation this year if you’re on a tight budget.

I hope you’ve learned my best ways to save money on vacation so you can easily save more money before and during your trip.

These money saving vacation tips can easily be done so you don’t have to stress about anything else but your trip.

And, I’ll share how to save money on vacation food so you won’t go hungry or broke.

It is possible to have affordable summer vacations with great planning and utilizing these cost cutting tips.

 

YOUR TURN: How so you save on your affordable summer vacations? Let me know in the comments below!

affordable summer vacations
The Best Family Vacation Tips To Easily Save Big Money
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