27 Tips For Family Travel On A Budget

Last Updated on March 11, 2023

While it is true that some families seem to have all the luck (or money) when it comes to being able to travel frequently, there are ways that you can make budget family travel work for you as well. It may take a little bit of creativity and upfront planning, but family travel on a budget is possible, and it will be worth it in the end when you are making memories with your loved ones in new and exciting places.

Miami Beach in Florida fit into our goal of Family Travel On A Budget
Playing on Miami Beach in Florida

“The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories”  -Og Mandino

Tips For Family Travel On A Budget

We are a normal family from Vancouver, BC who has discovered ways to make it work. We are extremely fortunate to have so many possibilities, such as being born in Canada and working hard at decent-paying jobs, but the bottom line is that it works because we are (1) making travel a priority, and (2) making sacrifices in order to preserve experiences above having the “nicest things”.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your holiday. You can make anything happen with a little ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking. Vacations do not have to be something you “splurge” on, and they don’t have to break the bank with far away destinations. With a little imagination and outside-the-box thinking, it is possible to create amazing memories with your family.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr.Seuss

Are you looking for ways to save money on your next family vacation? If so, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will discuss a variety of tips that will help you take your vacation without breaking the bank. We’ll cover everything from finding affordable airfare to choosing a budget-friendly hotel. So whether you’re planning a trip to Disney World or just want to staycation at home, we’ve got you covered!

Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to save money on your family vacation is to plan ahead. If you know where you want to go and when you want to travel, you can start looking for deals months in advance. This is especially true if you’re flexible with your travel dates. For example, did you know that flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday is typically cheaper than flying on a Friday or Sunday? If you’re able to take advantage of these cheaper days, you can save a lot of money on your airfare.

Package Deals

Another great way to save money is to look for package deals. This is especially true if you’re planning a trip to Disney World. When you book your hotel and airfare together, you can often save a significant amount of money. And if you’re traveling with a large group, you can usually get even better deals. So if you’re looking to save some money on your next family vacation, be sure to check out package deals!

budget family travel - get outdoors
Exploring the trails at Dinosaur Provincial Park

Spend More Time In Nature

When planning your next vacation, consider spending more time exploring the natural wonders of your destination. Hiking through forests, strolling along beaches, and picnicking in meadows can all help you to connect with the land and its history. And best of all, these experiences are free! Of course, you may need to buy a map or score passes for some of the popular hiking trails. But compared to the cost of other vacation activities, spending time in nature is a real bargain. So next time you’re planning a trip, make sure to leave plenty of time for exploring the great outdoors. Your wallet will thank you!

Be Flexible

Finally, one of the best ways to save money on your family vacation is to be flexible with your travel plans. If you’re willing to change your travel dates or destination, you can often find some great deals. So if you’re flexible with your travel plans, you can save a lot of money on your next family vacation! You can use tools like Google Flights and Kayak Explore to see what prices are like at different times throughout the year.

Check Rates Directly

Many people worry that they won’t get the best deal on airfare or hotels if they book directly with the airline or hotel. However, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, it’s often worth checking rates directly with airlines and hotels to see if they have any specials happening. For example, airlines sometimes offer discounts for booking early, and hotels may offer lower rates for stays of a certain length. By checking rates directly with the airlines and hotels, you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible deal.

Book In Advance

One of the best ways to save money on travel is to book your hotel and flight as far in advance as possible. This gives you more time to shop around for the best deals, and it also gives you a better chance of getting your preferred accommodations.

In addition, booking in advance often allows you to take advantage of early-bird discounts and other special offers. So if you’re looking to save money on your next trip, be sure to book your hotel and flight well in advance.

Or Book At The Last Minute

Try booking at the last minute! While it may seem counterintuitive, you can often score great deals by waiting until the last minute to book your travel plans. Airlines and hotels often offer deep discounts on unsold rooms and seats, and you can take advantage of these offers by being flexible with your travel dates.

Of course, booking at the last minute does require some planning on your part. You’ll need to be prepared to travel on short notice, and you may have to be flexible with your destination. But if you’re willing to take a little extra time to research your options, booking at the last minute can be a great way to save money on your next trip. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how much you can save.

Stay At A Family-Friendly Resort

The best family-friendly resorts offer more than just a place to stay. They provide an opportunity for families to bond and create lasting memories. These resorts typically offer a wide range of activities for kids, from swimming and playing in the pool to exploring nature trails and participating in organized sports.

In addition, many family-friendly resorts offer child care services, so parents can enjoy some time to themselves while their kids are being well cared for. With so much to do, it’s no wonder that family-friendly resorts are becoming increasingly popular with vacationers.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation that the whole family will enjoy, be sure to check out a family-friendly resort.

Skip The Food Tourist Traps

One of the joys of travel is trying new foods and drinks, but it can be easy to overspend on meals and drinks. Tourist traps are often expensive and not always the best option for getting a taste of the local flavor.

To save money and still enjoy the culinary experiences of your destination, skip the tourist traps and head to the cheaper places locals frequent. You’ll get authentic food at a fraction of the price, and you may even make some new friends in the process.

Research the best cheap eats in town so you can experience the true flavor of your destination without breaking the bank.

budget family travel idea - nearby national historic site
A local getaway at Fort Langley National Historic Site

Read Next: Camping At Fort Langley National Historic Site: An oTENTik Experience 

Adventure Closer To Home

Many people believe that in order to have an adventure, they need to go to a far-off destination. However, this isn’t always the case. There are plenty of opportunities for adventure close to home that will help you stick to creating family travel experiences on a budget. For example, you could explore a new hiking trail, go camping in your backyard or try something new. The key is to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

By pushing yourself to try new things, you’ll open yourself up to a world of possibilities. So next time you’re feeling adventurous, don’t book a flight to the other side of the world – just step outside and see what adventures await you right in your own backyard.

Bring Your Own Snacks And Drinks

If you’re looking to save some money, one of the best things you can do is to bring your own snacks and drinks with you when you go out. Convenience stores tend to charge inflated prices for basic items like chips and water, so it’s always better to bring your own if you can.

Plus, this way you’ll have exactly what you want to eat or drink, rather than being limited to whatever the store has in stock. Just make sure to pack everything in a bag or cooler so it doesn’t get too hot or melt. With a little preparation, you can easily avoid overspending at the convenience store.

Make The Most Of Rewards Points

If you’re a savvy traveler, you know that it pays to redeem your rewards points. Whether you’ve been racking up frequent flyer miles, credit card points, or hotel loyalty points, you can put those rewards towards your major travel expenses like airfare and hotel rooms. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get to enjoy some VIP treatment on your trip. Here’s how to make the most of your rewards points:

– First, check the expiration date on your points. Many programs require that you redeem your points within a certain timeframe, so don’t wait until the last minute.

– Next, research the best way to use your points. Some programs allow you to transfer your points to airline or hotel partners, while others let you redeem them for cash back or store discounts.

– Finally, book early. Many airlines and hotels release limited seats and rooms for award redemption, so the sooner you book, the better your chances of getting the perfect room or flight.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your rewards points and enjoy a stress-free vacation.

Skip The Car Rental

There are many reasons to use public transportation when traveling, especially if you’re planning on renting a car. For one thing, it’s often cheaper and more convenient to use public transportation than to rent a car. You won’t have to worry about gas prices, parking fees, or insurance rates. And you can avoid the hassle of driving in an unfamiliar city.

Instead, you can sit back and relax as someone else does the driving for you. In addition, using public transportation can help reduce your carbon footprint. So if you’re looking for a way to save money and be more environmentally friendly, skip the car rental and use public transportation instead.

Read Next: Relaxation In Harrison Mills At Sandpiper Resort

Visit During The Off-Season

Visit popular destinations during their off-season. Not only will you find lower prices, but you’ll also avoid the crowds. For example, rates at beach resorts are typically much cheaper during the winter months, when fewer people are vacationing. And if you’re willing to brave the cold, you can find great deals on travel to skiing destinations like Aspen and Vail.

So next time you’re longing for a getaway, remember that timing is everything. By avoiding peak season, you can save yourself some serious cash.

Use Groupon

If you’re looking for a great deal on travel, be sure to check out Groupon. You can find discounts on everything from hotels and flights to car rentals and activities. And if you’re not sure where you want to go, you can browse Groupon’s “Getaways” section for inspiration. Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a romantic getaway, Groupon is a great resource and underrated for finding travel deals.

Cook Your Own Food

One of the best ways to save money while on vacation is to cook your own meals. Not only will this save you money on restaurant bills, but it will also allow you to enjoy more authentic and nutritious food.

Whenever you’re feeling hungry, head back to your accommodations and whip up a quick meal. With a little planning and effort, cooking your own food on vacation can be a fun and budget-friendly way to enjoy your trip.

Select A Hotel That Serves Breakfast

When you are planning your next vacation, be sure to select a hotel that serves breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is especially important when you are on the go. A hotel that serves breakfast will provide you with a nutritious start to your day, and it will save you the time and hassle of finding a place to eat.

Most hotels that serve breakfast offer a variety of options, so you can find something to suit your taste. Whether you are looking for a hot meal or a light snack, you can be sure to find something to start your day off right. When selecting a hotel, be sure to choose one that serves breakfast.

Set Up Price Alerts

Set up a price alert with a company like KAYAK instead of stressing over the cost of airfare. You’ll get an email notification when your selected itinerary drops in price, suggesting that you book it.

Don’t Give In To Souvenirs

When you’re on vacation, it can be tempting to buy souvenirs for everyone you know. After all, what’s a vacation without a few mementos?

But before you start loading up your suitcase with trinkets, there are a few things to consider. First of all, souvenirs can be expensive, and they can quickly add up. Second, they can be bulky and difficult to carry around. And finally, they may not be much use when you get home; how often are you really going to wear that T-shirt from New York or use that snow globe from Paris?

Before you go on your next vacation, think carefully about whether souvenirs are really worth the money and the hassle. You may find that it’s more enjoyable (and cheaper) to simply take photos and enjoy the memories.

Watch For Hidden Fees

When booking a hotel room, it’s important to be aware of any hidden fees that may be attached to your reservation. Unfortunately, some hotels try to sneak in extra charges for things like Wi-Fi, parking and even resort fees. These fees can add up quickly, so it’s always best to double-check the fine print before you book.

If you’re not careful, you could end up paying far more than you expected. However, if you’re aware of the potential fees in advance, you can make sure that you are getting the best possible deal on your hotel room.

Start A Travel Fund

Traveling can be an amazing experience. It allows you to explore new cultures, try new food, and see landmarks that you’ve only ever read about. However, it can also be expensive. If you’re not careful, the costs of travel can quickly add up. One way to help offset these costs is to start a travel fund.

Dedicating a specific amount of money each month to your travel fund can help you to save up for future trips. Additionally, you can make use of credit card rewards and other loyalty programs to help reduce the costs of travel.

By taking some time to plan ahead, you can make your travel dreams a reality without breaking the bank.

Stay Outside The City Center

When traveling to a new city, it can be tempting to stay in the heart of the action. After all, who wants to waste time commuting when there’s so much to see and do? However, there are several good reasons to consider staying outside the city center.

First of all, hotels in more central locations tend to be more expensive. Secondly, you’ll probably find that the noise level is lower and that there are fewer crowds. And last but not least, you’ll get a chance to experience a different side of the city – one that’s often more authentically local.

Next time you’re planning a trip, remember that there’s a lot to be said about staying outside the city center. You might just find that you prefer it!

However, make sure you consider extra travel time to attractions and the cost of transportation to make sure staying farther away really makes sense.

Try A Home Swap

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the world but were worried about the cost, home swapping may be the perfect solution. With home swapping, you can stay in a new location for free by finding someone who wants to stay in your home while you’re away.

Not only is this a great way to save money, but it’s also a great way to meet new people and experience different cultures. Home swaps are usually done through online databases, where you can search for potential homes all over the world.

You can also specify what kind of arrangement you’re looking for, whether it’s a trade for an entire house or just a room in someone’s home. And since you’re staying in someone’s actual home, you’ll get a much more authentic experience than you would from a hotel.

If you’re looking for an affordable way to travel, consider home swapping. It’s a great way to see the world without breaking the bank.

budget family travel
Road trip, airplane, or train?

Try Alternate Ways To Get There

Planning a family vacation can be a big undertaking, especially when trying to plan family travel on a budget. There are so many factors to consider, from where to go to how to get there. And, of course, one of the most important considerations is cost. Air travel is often the first option that comes to mind, but it may not always be the best choice.

Depending on your destination, alternative methods of transportation, such as driving or taking the train, can be less expensive and just as convenient. In addition, they can offer a unique opportunity to bond with your family and create lasting memories.

Next time you’re planning a trip, take a moment to explore all of your options. You may just find that the best way to travel is not always the most obvious one.

‘Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show”

Hotel Alternatives

Vacationing with a family can be expensive, especially when it comes to finding accommodations that are comfortable and affordable. One way to save money is to look for hotel alternatives, such as renting a house or condo. This can often be more spacious and luxurious than a standard hotel room, and it can also be more economical in the long run.

In addition, many vacation rentals come with amenities like kitchens and laundry facilities, which can be extremely convenient for families. With a little bit of research, it’s easy to find vacation rentals that provide all the comforts of home at a fraction of the cost of a hotel stay.

Purchase Tickets In Advance Or Online

One great way to save money on entertainment is to purchase tickets in advance or online. Many amusement parks and museums offer a discount for advance booking, so it’s definitely worth checking their websites before you visit. You may also be able to find discounts by signing up for their email newsletters or following them on social media.

Another option is to join a membership program. For example, many zoos and aquariums offer annual memberships that provide free or discounted admission. If you live near an attraction that you visit often, a membership can easily pay for itself within a few visits.

Before you head out for a day of fun, be sure to do your research and see if you can take advantage of any advance purchase discounts.

budget family travel
There is so much to see and do at West Edmonton Mall!

“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings”  – Hodding Carter

Become A Travel Influencer

Are you passionate about travel? Do you love sharing your experiences with others? If so, you might be the perfect candidate to become a travel influencer.

As a travel influencer, you would have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top travel brands, promoting their products and services to your following. In exchange for your promotional work, you would receive some incredible travel experiences, like free accommodation and airfare, and make money doing it. Plus, you would get to share your passion for travel with the world!

It is a lot of hard work, but if you’re passionate about it, working in the travel industry can be extremely rewarding.

Being a travel influencer has seriously created so many incredible opportunities for us and we cannot wait to see what is next.


As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can enjoy family travel on a budget. By following these tips, you can take your vacation without breaking the bank. We hope these tips have helped you start planning your next budget family travel.

For more tips and tricks, be sure to check out our blog. And as always, happy travels!

So what are you waiting for? Start planning!


Love it? Pin it for later!