Times are tight for a lot of people, and it can feel as though we’re working harder than ever for a less-than-lavish lifestyle. That’s no reason to stop taking breaks! You can still enjoy travelling with your family, and make great memories together that will last a lifetime — on a budget.
Here are some of our favourite frugal travel tips, to ensure that you and your loved ones make the most of your time away.
10 Top Tips To Help You Have a Fantastic Frugal Family Holiday Experience!
1. Travel to a local destination. Save on your travel costs, and ensure that you get more time to enjoy at your destination.
2. Go slowly. Slow travel, like slow food and slow fashion, is a philosophy for moving more carefully through the world. When you try to do less, and allocate more time to each activity, you’ll save money and enjoy yourself more.
3. Pick accommodations with a fridge. You don’t need a full-on kitchen, or even much space, but something as simple as a mini-fridge can help you save money by giving you a place to leave leftovers, or fruit for the morning.
4. Venture into a grocery store. While we’re talking about food, consider looking into a local grocery store while you’re on the road. Not only will you find inexpensive (and usually much healthier) snacks compared to restaurant dining, but groceries are also a great way to learn more about local life and culture at your destination.
5. Travel on weekdays. If you want to run the risk, skipping a day or two of school may mean you get to enjoy discounted rates on transit and at hotels. Plus, you’ll have the weekends on either side to either allow you to have a longer trip, or let (and your little ones) recover before the new week.
6. Make your inbox work for you. Sign up for sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and OpenTable two or three weeks before you go, and take note of any great deals you can enjoy while away.
7. Do a little homework. Many cities have passes that allow you to combine transit, museums, and more into one discounted card, or offer special deals for kids under a certain age.
8. Try a home swap. Home swapping is a cheap (or even free) way to live like a true local, and enjoy the conveniences of home – like a full kitchen, to help cut down on meal costs, and a landline for emergencies.
9. Consider a last-minute booking. You never know when an airline might be having a last-minute sale, trying to get rid of unsold inventory before it has to accept a loss. A little spontaneity can be good for building a laid-back family — and it could save you serious cash.
10. Check the local paper. You can usually find cheap or free family events to enjoy while you’re in town that you wouldn’t know about otherwise.
Last but not least, our favourite tip… speak up! There’s no harm in asking your hotel, rental car agency, airline, or restaurant for upgrades. The worst they can say is no, and if you phrase it kindly—“I’ll be travelling with my family, and am just looking the make this the easiest on everyone” — you may even find a sympathetic employee who is able to point you in the direction of discounted times, free tickets, loyalty cards… you just don’t know until you ask.
To help you out, even more, we’ve brought together all the best deals and discounts we could find on the market. There are always extra ways to save on transport, accommodation, and tickets to events or venues, so don’t get caught out and have to pay the full amount!