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5 Tips for Traveling on a Budget With Kids

Posted on 21. Sep, 2016 by in Travel

Traveling with Kids | XL Travel Blog

Traveling on a budget is the best way to ensure you enjoy your vacation without falling into post-trip regret. Yet, visiting a new locale with kids always requires a little extra money than you might want to spend. While sticking to a budget may not seem like fun, you can still enjoy many of the best parts of traveling by using these money-saving tips.
Book Over the Phone
Transportation and lodging are the biggest expenses on most vacations, and this is one situation where speaking to someone directly makes a big difference. Online reservations are usually done using a customer service representative that may not always be able to give you the best rates. Instead, calling the hotel or airline directly will often put you in contact with someone who is right there in the facility. If you’re nice, a hotel or airline manager might just cut you a great deal when they need to fill rooms or seats.

Dine On a Dime
Sampling the local fare is part of the fun on a vacation, yet many popular destinations are filled with restaurants that cater to tourists. Skip any restaurant that is filled with other vacationers, and instead go to the less obvious eateries on the outer edges of town. These usually provide more authentic food anyway, and your meals will be priced for local affordability. Packing a picnic, eating the hotel breakfast and dining with a local family are additional ways to save on food costs.

Ditch the Baggage
It might seem as if you are saving money by packing all of your toiletries. However, bottles of shampoo and blocks of soap are heavy. Since airlines price baggage by weight, choosing to buy personal items once you arrive at your new location is often more cost-effective. If you are worried about waste, choose the smallest size available, and consider donating what you don’t use to the people you meet during your stay.

Check for Low Cost Local Events
Doing a little research before your trip makes a big difference for keeping kids entertained. Many communities offer steep discounts on certain weekends for visiting the local museum, zoo and aquarium. You might also be fortunate enough to attend a local country fair or art show where you can explore the best parts of the city for free. If your schedule is flexible enough, you can plan your trip around these weekends and enjoy the opportunity to dive into the local culture.

Skip the Souvenirs
Souvenir shops are set up to send kids into a frenzy with brightly colored shirts, stuffed animals and other trinkets emblazoned with the destination’s name. While it may be tempting to pick up some memorabilia, these items are always overpriced and tend to just collect dust on a shelf after you get home. Instead, give each kid a disposable camera, and encourage them to capture their favorite parts of the trip. After you get home, give each kid an album, and they will have the perfect homemade souvenir that truly represents their experiences.

When you want to take a family vacation but lack major funds, traveling on a budget allows you to still make the most of every moment. By doing a little prep work and planning low-cost fun, your family can still eat, sleep and play like kings without you having to come home dealing with money-related stress.

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