Travelling with your children in tow can be expensive. You often have to travel during school holidays, when prices are higher. You need to find ways to keep them entertained – they’re probably less happy wandering city streets and soaking up the culture than you are. Finally, you have additional accommodation, food and transport costs to contend with.
But don’t let money worries deter you from taking an exciting trip with the kids. There are plenty of ways to embark on a family trip without blowing your life savings. For all thrifty parents out there, here are five money saving tips for travelling with children:
The faster the mode of transport, the more expensive it tends to be. Flying to your destination and internally is sure to be expensive. Travelling more slowly will save you money. Take the ferry, the train or a bus. After all, getting there is all part of the adventure.
Travel When They Sleep
Travelling overnight when your children sleep can save you money on accommodation. It will also mean you cut back on all of those pit stops – the ones where the kids clamour for food and drink and entertainment for the next leg of the journey. If you’re covering a lot of ground on your trip, these service station purchases can mount up over the course of your time away.
Choose Accommodation Wisely
Staying in hotels or apartments will put a serious dent in your travelling budget. It’s more cost effective (and sometimes more convenient too) to find a room or two within a house share.
You’ll usually have access to communal spaces like the kitchen meaning you can save on dining out, another huge cost when travelling with kids (you could even make your own snacks to take out with you during the day). You’ll get to meet some local residents who can share their knowledge of the area with you. And you can save a ton on accommodation costs.
The longer the stay the cheaper rental costs tend to be. So, if possible, base yourself out of the one place for an extended period of time, taking day trips to see the sights you’re interested in seeing.
Find out About the Free Stuff
Every destination has activities that can be enjoyed for free. Children love heading to the beach or the lake. Museums and galleries often have free or reduced entry on certain days of the month. Many cities offer free self-guided walking tours with an associated smartphone app.
Children don’t care about the money you spend. They just care about having fun. So think of games and activities that will keep your kids engaged when exploring each new location.
Choose Destinations Wisely
If you don’t have your heart set on a particular destination, think carefully about the places you want to visit. Some countries are cheaper than others for food, accommodation and transport, once you’ve covered the initial airfare. For instance, in many countries traveling in rental cars proves to be more cost-efficient than local transport; learn more here. Therefore, it is best to run thorough research beforehand. Looking at exchange rates can also help you to make a decision.
Travelling to a destination when it’s experiencing warm weather can also be a wise move. It’s much easier to find fun outdoor activities for children that don’t cost the earth. If you’re having to find indoor entertainment because of inclement weather, costs tend to mount.
Travel enriches the soul. For children it can really open their eyes to different cultures and ways of living. At the very least, they will have a heap of fun exploring new places with their family. Don’t let a small budget get in the way. With these money saving tips you can travel with your children without breaking the bank.
Audrey Robinson is a traveler, a self-improvement fan and a content editor, currently supporting Datastical – an online knowledge library. Audrey' favorite way of spending time is listening to motivational speeches on YouTube and reading self-growth books. Feel free to reach out to her on @AudreyyRobinson.