How to Plan for a Budget-Friendly Family Vacation

How to Plan for a Budget-Friendly Family Vacation

Traveling opens your eyes to the world, allowing you to experience new tastes, sights, and sounds. If you have children, this is a great way to broaden their horizons. It’s no wonder that some 100 million Americans will take family vacations this year. Parents and kids alike love to see the world! Traveling with little ones isn’t always cheap, however. Find out how you can keep them happy without breaking the bank below.


Snag Some New Toys

Vacation isn’t always exciting — sometimes it involves a lot of waiting. Whether your flight is delayed and you’re stuck at the airport or you have a long road trip ahead, you want to keep kids amused during these slower periods. Some new toys purchased right before your holiday can help. You don’t have to pay full price for toys; online swaps via parenting groups on social media are a great way to get items for free.

One way to keep your kids entertained during delays or long days of travel is to bring a tablet along. You can download their favorite movies and games (some can be educational). You can buy a tablet used, but the latest models aren’t that expensive. For example, the Apple iPad 10.2 offers a beautiful display and can be purchased for under $20 a month, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is available for $169.


Purchase Excursion Gear

Say your family vacation is taking you to Hawaii. Maybe you want to show your kids the wonders of the underwater world with a snorkeling expedition or perhaps you plan to take them hiking through the island’s lush greenery. If you have special excursions like these planned, get the gear you’ll need — like a snorkel or hiking boots — beforehand.

If you purchase these items on the spot, you’re left with a limited selection, making comparison shopping and bargain-hunting next to impossible. Luckily there are entire websites dedicated to second-hand excursion gear. Check out this overview, which covers everything from repurposed North Face jackets to camping products. There are both shopping sites and exchange marketplaces available.


Save on Your Luggage Needs

Each member of your family will likely have their own luggage, whether it’s a big suitcase for you and your spouse to share or a small duffel bag for your child. If you don’t already have the perfect baggage, don’t stress about buying something new now. Instead, ask friends, family, and neighbors whether they have an item you can borrow and return after your trip.

Make sure to check the fine print regarding luggage restrictions if you are flying. The Federal Aviation Administration has placed a limit on how many pieces you can check and carry on as well as restrictions on sizes. If you’re going to pick up a used suitcase from an acquaintance, bring a tape measure to verify that it doesn’t exceed the airline’s limits.


Get Vacation-Friendly Clothes

Check the weather for your intended target destination — there’s no guarantee you have what you’ll need in your wardrobe. If you’re headed to hot and sunny climates, loose-fitting long-sleeved clothing is ideal for keeping you cool and offering sun protection. If you’re headed somewhere chilly, you want layers to bundle up in.

You can get threads for you and your kids by shopping at yard sales and thrift stores. The average family spends $1,800 per year on clothing, but you don’t have to. Take a look at these guidelines regarding the ins and outs of successful thrift shopping; for instance, learn what you can and can’t fix in terms of damage. A missing button? No problem. Moth-eaten holes? Don’t bother.

In case the financial aspects of buying second-hand aren’t enough to sway you, consider this: According to a Forbes article, thrift shopping also benefits the planet. If 1 percent of American households shopped resale, the result would be a collective $1.6 billion in savings and 1.1 billion pounds of CO2 emissions spared annually. When you choose second-hand for your budget-friendly family holiday, you are also helping the earth.


Photo Credit: Pexels

Written by: Alexis Hall @ 

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