Guest Post written by Kate Voss
When the winter finally begins to thaw and the kids get a week or two off of school, it’s the perfect time to plan a family vacation. For many of us spring break travel is a luxury, but you don’t need an all-inclusive tropical resort to make a memorable family vacation. Here are a few tips on how to plan a remarkable and budget-friendly spring break.
Spend time researching flights
With the hundreds of search sites for finding a flight, from Expedia to Travelocity, trying to find the best deal can get confusing and frustrating, which may lead to quickly buying a ticket in order to avoid the hassle. However, doing the research and checking sites regularly really does pay off, as well as looking into alternative sources of information. Instead of simply trusting Google or other search results, one new way to find out which companies are getting rave reviews is to check out their mentions on social media platforms. Some of the most popular and most talked about travel sites on Twitter are Skyscanner and Hipmunk, according to the social media analyzer Viralheat. Another option, instead of worrying about flights, is taking a good old fashioned road trip. Some of the most memorable trips involve renting an RV and traveling to all the national parks out west (Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon just to name a few). You can find an RV to rent on Cruise America or Go-RVing, or you can simply rent a large car and stop at campsites along the way.
Opt for alternative accommodations
Looking for accommodations is just as important a decision as booking a flight, so it is equally necessary to spend time searching for the right place at the right cost. Personal favorites for accommodations that Twitter users have discussed are Airbnb and VRBO – both vacation rental companies which are generally cheaper than hotels and have unique room options. These sites boast some very cool accommodations available in destinations around the globe. For example, you can book this amazing chateau in Paris, France for only $141 per night. While saving money, you’ll also be avoiding tourist traps and exploring your travel destination from a more local perspective.
Staying on budget inside the U.S.
For affordable vacations within the continental U.S., consider visiting one of the many national parks that boast one of a kind views, such as the Grand Canyon. Also out west is the beautiful Lake Tahoe, which straddles California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe has rustic charm and is one of most beautiful lakes for your family to rent kayaks and explore. Other great affordable locations are Destin, FL, Myrtle Beach, SC and Cape Cod, MA.
Traveling outside the U.S.
If your family really wants to take a trip outside the continental U.S., a few budget-friendly options are Cancun, Puerto Rico and Oahu, Hawaii. There are some great deals on resort packages in all three locations, and airfare is decently priced. A better option, however, might be taking a cruise. Cruise Lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises offer discounts on all-inclusive packages and allow the exploration of multiple locations. Here is some more information on how to book an inexpensive cruise vacation.
Make eating-out a luxury
During your family’s vacation, if your room has a kitchen, use it! It’s common when traveling to want to go out and experience each destination’s culture, but a fun way to diminish costs might be to cook the location’s traditional meals yourself (with a few familiar backups). It can also be fun to shop the local grocery stores to see their local food and ingredients.
Consider public transit
Lastly, instead of renting a car at your destination, consider taking public transit instead. While it may not seem as glamorous, it can save you hundreds each day and, depending on the city you visit, is usually reliable and convenient.
How do you stay on a budget while traveling?