Family vacations can be expensive, and prices can vary greatly. It can be so frustrating to book your trip, and then find out that you missed out on a better rate. Also, many families save for a trip, and then realize that there are hidden costs to traveling – things like parking, pet care, meals, and gratuities.
Here are some steps to price out your family vacation:
- Decide where and when you want to travel. If you aren’t sure, choose several options. This can be one of the most fun parts about planning a trip – make it a family affair! Do research, talk to friends, and pull out some guidebooks.
- Determine the basics:
- Where do you want to travel?
- What dates do you want to travel?
- Will you drive, fly, or take a train? Will you need to rent a car?
- Where do you want to stay? A motel, or five-star hotel? Would a vacation home work better? Do you have a specific hotel, or are you flexible?
- What type of meals will you eat out? Will you cook food in your room?
- Will you need to pay for parking at the airport or at any attractions?
- Do you have any pets who may need care while you are away?
- Price out airfare, hotels, and rental cars separately first, then try to get a great package deal. Here’s a post on how to get a deal on airfare, and here’s one on finding a package deal. If you are flexible on timing and hotels, consider using Priceline or Hotwire – but check out this post first for tips on using Priceline and Hotwire.
- Use BeFrugal.com, Upromise, or Ebates to get cash back when accessing certain vacation booking sites. Also, consider other discounts you may be eligible for, like AAA discounts or deals through your employer.
- If booking your rental car separately, check out this post for deals on rental cars. Remember that you’ll go through more gas if you rent a larger car.
- Do you plans include attractions? Do some research in advance to see if you can get a great deal on tickets. If visiting a city, look at the package deals offered by CityPass. Remember that it’s only a deal if you’ll use all of most of the components.
- When figuring out your total vacation budget, remember to add in meals, parking, pet care, gas, tolls, and other costs.
Hopefully these tips will help you get the best price and deal possible for your family vacation.
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