Saving Money on Family Vacations

June 19, 2017
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Here's some simple things you can do to save money the next time you go on vacation...

When booking your travel don’t forget to look for coupon codes to use for car rentals and vacation packages. Take advantage of every discount available; students, seniors and membership rewards can cut your costs. Attractions like theme parks, museums and others have also discounts for children, military families and AARP members.  If you're traveling, remember to take your ID and membership cards (AAA card) with you..


Flying

  • Travel Light – Airlines are starting to charge for everything now and if you have two or more bags, expect to be charged for it. Also, avoid using oversized bags whenever possible.
  • Always Look into Round Trip Tickets – Sometimes one way tickets are so expensive that the round trip ticket is cheaper...just don’t use the return trip. (I know it’s weird but I’ve seen it myself)
  • Try to Get Back to the Same Airport – Flying in and out of the same airport is almost always cheaper. That goes for not only the flights, but the car rentals as well.

 

Dining

  • Cook for Yourself –  Cooking on vacation can be fun especially when you decide to add some local flavor to the menu.
  • Snack smart – Stock up on travel snacks for the car so you won’t get stuck buying expensive snacks at gas stations. Patronize a local discount grocer or farmer’s market once you arrive.
  • Avoid Hotel Breakfast Unless its Included– Chances are good that the breakfast from the hotel is expensive and isn’t great. It probably pays to walk out the front door in the morning and find a local cafe.
  • Go Big at Lunch – If you splurge on a fancy lunch it’ll cost less than doing the same at dinner.                                                                                 

 

Transportation

  • Ride on – Apps like Uber or Lyft can help you see sights while avoiding pricey parking expenses. Combining a ride app with public transportation can often save hundreds when you skip the rental car altogether. Taxis are usually your most expensive option. 

 

Lodging

  • Sleep one Town Over – Some of my guests have picked hotels in Gastonia to save money. They visit me in Belmont and see all of the Charlotte attractions without paying Queen City hotel rates and taxes.
  • Air BnB – Rent a home from a local for a little as $20 a night in some areas.
  • Go Small – Sometimes smaller hotel chains are more willing to negotiate. You might be able to score some free upgrades.
  • Try The Suite Life  – Instead of having two rooms, consider the two-bedroom suites that some hotels provide. They will end up being cheaper and you get just as much privacy with your own room.