Traveling and enjoying a location destination can be quite challenging for families. From picking the correct type of destination, creating a vacation budget, and setting an itinerary for the kids, it can take a lot of planning and strategy to pull off the perfect family vacation.

Kids almost always want to go somewhere like Disneyland, Legoland, or Universal Studios. In other words, some places are expensive. Of course, traveling to these types of locations is a great way to have fun, make memories, and enjoy your time as a family.

Still, there are plenty of other vacation destinations and places to go that will provide a much more affordable family vacation. If you and your spouse are interested in going somewhere exotic, it may not be high on the kids wish list of places to go. In order to plan the perfect family vacation, you need to develop a plan and strategy that considers things your kids would like to do.

How to Plan a Family Vacation

Children happy on vacation

For example, plan a vacation that is child-friendly first and foremost. A destination that provides plenty of things to do and see, for example, take a place like Hawaii. If being outdoors, swimming and hiking is something your family likes to do, being outside in Hawaii’s natural beauty may excite the kids.

Other ways to make your kids happy on vacation include:

  • Make a countdown clock.
  • Allow them to have input on the trip
  • Choose a kid and family-friendly location
  • Pack their favorite toys and books
  • Let the kids choose the activities and itinerary daily–give them options and let them choose

Once you decide where to go, the next part of the equation is what time of the year would be ideal. You could pay extra depending on where you go and what time of year you want to take a family vacation. However, if you choose to travel during the off-peak season, you could save a ton of money.

A Focus on Budgeting

Ideal Family Vacation

Budgeting for your trip should consider more than the cost of getting there. The mistake many people make is that they budget only on how much it will be to go on vacation and estimated expenses. But budgeting should also include cost-overruns, momentos, and, probably most important, having money for when you return.

The mistake most people make with vacations is that people only budget for what they anticipate spending rather than consider what they will need for bills and other things once they arrive home. When choosing your vacation destination, in addition to traveling during the off-season, there are other things you can do to make it more affordable for you and your family.

If you’re traveling to an exotic location like Hawaii or The Bahamas, in lieu of staying at a resort or costly hotel, you could consider a vacation rental or Airbnb. For the cost of a couple of nights at a resort, renting luxury Bahamas real estate for a week or more may be much more affordable.

The benefit of renting luxury real estate is that you’ll have prime locations, plenty of space and amenities, and a cost that makes more sense for your budget than an all-inclusive resort. Plus, many of the luxury homes that may be put up for vacation rentals in places like The Bahamas will probably have additional amenities for the kids, like space, playsets, and other things to do.

Family Vacation on a Budget

Other budget-friendly things to consider when planning your trip include:

  • Signing up for online alerts regarding price fares for flights
  • Buy travel packages from loyalty programs and discounters
  • Search for deals and travel dates mid-week
  • Double-check with online travel sites before buying
  • Eliminate extras
  • Use perks and mileage loyalty programs
  • Consider home rentals versus hotels
  • Plan meals ahead of time

Traveling as a family doesn’t have to be as expensive as it may look. The key is to find deals in alternative ways and use discount brokers to help save money. Finally, and most importantly, having the entire family help plan where to go and the types of activities they want to do once there will help guarantee a great family vacation.

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