Some people love to set off on a vacation with no plans in mind. But, if you’re traveling with a family or have a budget to adhere to this style likely isn’t for you. Instead, take some time to plan ahead of time and save you from a headache on the road. These 7 tips will get you started.
Set a Budget
This is the most important step. It’s hard to plan when you haven’t established what you can spend. Be honest with yourself and don’t go into debt to make a vacation happen – you’ll be surprised what you can find to do when you have parameters. Give yourself a little wiggle room for unexpected expenses but plan to stick as close to the budget as possible.
Consider all Options
Now that you know what you can spend it’s time to decide where to go and what to do. Maybe you already know the destination. If you don’t, take some time to generate a brainstorming list. Encourage all family members to participate. Don’t limit yourself to the places “you think” fit in your budget.
Timing is Everything
It’s not a secret that travel during the summer months is more expensive than other times of the year.
However, in certain places summer months are the low season and you may be able to find amazing deals. If you have flexibility over when you can travel in the summer you’re also going to open up more options.
Let Everyone Share their Opinion
Get everyone involved in planning from the beginning. Teaching your children about budgeting, researching destinations, and planning activities and meals will get them excited about the trip and also teach them valuable life skills. While the parents may have the final say you may be surprised to discover what they come up with.
Will you drive? Fly? Take a bus or train? There are numerous ways to get to your destination and get around once you arrive. Maybe renting an RV and driving is more cost effective. Really, consider everything.
Don’t Over Schedule
Of course you want to see and do as much as possible on your vacation, but there’s something to be said for slowing down and just enjoying your time. Will your kids really love being shuttled from one attraction to the next, or would a day at the pool or lake be just as fun? There’s nothing wrong with doing nothing!
Eating In or Out?
One of the biggest benefits of having a home or cabin rental is that you have access to a kitchen. If you have picky eaters or want to save some money, preparing your own meals can save a huge amount of money. Decide when it makes sense to enjoy a meal out and when you’d be better served by a simple meal in.
A special thank you to Maria Sinclair with Blogging, Babies, and the Bayou for writing this guest blog post! Be sure to check out her blog for a post detailing her recent stay at The Beach Club in Gulf Shores.