Many people decide they cannot take a vacation because it will be too costly. This is unfortunate because you miss out on some quality family time, and your kids will miss out on seeing the great sights this world has to offer. Plan your next vacation frugally, and you won't come back from your trip in debt. If you take some time to do some extra planning, your next vacation doesn't have to break the bank.
Few hotels do continental breakfasts anymore, but if you can find one that does, book it. When you're on vacation, the costliest part is eating out. For a family of four, you can easily spend over $100 on each meal, including breakfast. By taking breakfast out of the equation, and taking advantage of the continental breakfast your hotel offers, you can easily save a ton of money on your next trip. Sure, the breakfast food might get boring, but lunch and dinner are the fun meals to eat out, anyway.
Stock Up On Food
Once you get to your destination, you can always make a quick trip to the grocery store and buy food to eat. For anyone who cooks regularly at home, you know this is a great way to save money, especially if you're on vacation with the whole family. Unless your hotel room has a refrigerator, be sure you buy things that won't go bad at room temperature. If you can, get a hotel suite that has a kitchenette, so you can prepare lots of your meals in your hotel room. This will save you even more money. Sure, going out to eat is fun, but seeing all the attractions you want is even more fun.
Find Free Entertainment
Lots of cities have free entertainment options, especially during the summer. Some museums have free days, and sometimes you can catch a free movie in a park. If you do a little research before you go and plan your trip around the days, you can see the sights at a reduced cost, and you'll save a ton of money while still seeing the best that the city has to offer.
Stay Close to Home
A staycation is a great way to save money while still getting away for a little while. If you live close to a city, you don't have to go very far to have a great time. Because you're not spending money on airfare or gas, you can even splurge a little more and explore the parts of the city you never have time to explore when you go for just the day. If you find a nice hotel downtown and see new sights, a staycation can feel like a real vacation.
Shop Around for Airfare and Hotels
You definitely want to shop around for airfare and hotels. There are so many websites now that will give you discounted rates, that it's silly to pay the full price for anything anymore. Check out a few travel websites before you book your trip to be sure you're getting the best price. Also, if your travel dates are flexible, avoid traveling on holidays and weekends. Traveling and staying in hotels during peak travel times can cost you a lot more than you would like.
The best thing to do to be sure you don't empty out your wallet on your next vacation is to go with a strict budget. Allow yourself a certain amount of money to spend per day, and once you've gone over that, don't spend any more. If you have some left at the end of your trip, you can splurge on your last day, or go back home with money to spare.