Ways to Save Money for a Family Trip

Among the many joys of being a parent is the opportunity to share your passions with your children. From sharing your favorite hobbies, to introducing them to family recipes, as your kids grow so do the moments you create for your family. If collecting passport stamps from around the world or crossing off states across America is your passion, your future plans might include taking your kiddos along for the journey.

As jet-setting becomes more accessible, getting out of town doesn’t have to be out of your budget! Plan for your next family adventure by trying these money-saving tips.

Limit Takeout and Nights Out

On a Friday night, after a long and busy week, it can be tempting to order take-out from a local restaurant instead of whipping out the pots and pans. But when you’re saving for a trip, one impactful way to reduce your spending is to eat more meals at home. When you buy in bulk at large supermarkets or wholesale stores, you end up with a little more in your savings account turning into to a suite at a resort or a ski ticket.

Make cooking at home a family affair and involve your children in the kitchen tango! You can introduce them to your favorite recipes or find kid-friendly cooking lessons online, and then walk them through the steps of boiling pasta, chopping vegetables or even making a smoothie. This method of collecting your dollars and dimes for a vacation is not only simple, but it can be an opportunity to teach your kids the joy of cooking.

Host a Spring Clean for Spring Break

Every family has a random collection of long-forgotten clothes, toys and collectibles that are now buried somewhere in their home. Why not transform that old clutter into cash and welcome the new season with a cleaner, fresher place? Gather your troops (ahem, your kids) and work together to host a yard sale in your community. Make cleaning out past dress-up clothes, building blocks, stuffed animals and dolls a game, and your kids won’t even know you’re lovingly tricking them into cleaning up. Depending on the scale of your sale, you could rack up hundreds of buck-a-roos, which should cover at least a few tanks of gas for your upcoming family road trip.

Use a Money-Saving App

As the keeper of countless photos and videos you cherish, the manager of your various calendars, and the switchboard for your social media profiles, your smartphone is at the center your daily life. Another way to make it work smarter for you is to invest in money-saving apps that make the process of stowing away cash for those sunshine-filled days a no-brainer. There are countless options available, from Mint to Clarity, all of which will put more cash in your pocket.

Open a Dedicated Savings Account

Instead of using your primary savings account, consider opening a separate one where you set aside money specifically for introducing your kids to the world. It’s more exciting to imagine that $100 paying for a ticket to Disneyland Tokyo or the $200 going toward a road trip to Yosemite, making it easier to choose savings over spending.

And as your children get older, you might invite them to join the vacation fund, where they can experience the fruits of their labor. Consider allowing them to select a destination or an attraction they want to visit, such as a beach day or a trip to Universal Studios. Then work with them toward that goal, watching their savings rise with every deposit.

Explore ‘Free’ Events in Your Area

New to your city? Or so familiar with your town you don’t explore it as often as you could? It’s normal to fall into a routine as a family, especially when you find shops, food joints and events you enjoy. But when you’re saving for a vacation that’ll create miles of memories, your spending habits may need to shift. Instead of being disappointed you’re missing out on routines you were accustomed to, find the silver lining and adopt a challenge. Regardless of where you call home, there are plenty of nearby free events and activities that will be fun for every age group. You can scour the newspaper, check out the bulletin board at the library, or even post on Facebook seeking suggestions. From field and picnic days to museums that offer free admission, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can fill up your calendar without spending a penny.

Saving up for a trip doesn't have to be a chore. Follow these tips and you'll be on track to fulfilling your family’s travel dreams. And who knows? Being a bit scrappier may even help you discover exciting new experiences that were right under your nose.


Related Topics: Saving Money