Taking your family on vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. With these money-saving travel tips, you can stress less and enjoy your time together more. Here are five ways to save money on family vacations:
1. Book in Advance
Whether you’re taking a plane, train, or automobile, rates tend to go up the longer you wait. When you have enough lead time, you can set price alerts for your flight on sites like Kayak or AirfareWatchDog.com. Pro tip: Flights tend to be more expensive on certain days of the week. TIME says Thursdays are the cheapest day of the week to buy plane tickets.
2. It Pays to Be Flexible
Traveling on popular holidays like Labor Day Weekend and the 4th of July tends to be more expensive because those dates are more in-demand among travelers looking to get away. If you have a flexible work schedule and can plan your vacation for a less popular weekend or weekday, you’ll likely save a lot. Many airlines and hotels also have blackout dates for points redemptions, so it pays to plan ahead and avoid the crowds.
3. Book your hotel on Boxed
ABC News found we have the best deals on hotel rooms, beating out Expedia and Booking.com. Boxed Hotels gets you hotels around the world for less so you can enjoy yourself more. Bonus: No blackout dates, ever.
4. Save More With a Staycation
You don’t have to travel far to feel far away from the daily grind. Simply sleeping away from home can give you a whole new perspective on the city you call home. And saving on travel means more time vacationing and less time in transit (and more money in your pocket for dining and activities). Check out our staycation guide for inspiration.
Photo: Joanna Goddard, Le Parker Meridien, NYC
5. Pack Your Own Snacks
We’ve all been there: Finally on vacation and free from work and worry… only to find ourselves one hangry partner or sugar-craving kid away from a total meltdown. Don’t pay twelve bucks for an airport sandwich; bring your own food. These Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars are great for breakfast on-the-go and mid-trip car snacking. Have a family favorite you never leave home without? Put snacks like Goldfish and Cheerios in handy Prince & Spring sandwich bags or prepared foods in Prince & Spring food storage containers.
Where are you and your family traveling this summer? Let us know in the comments!