5 BEST TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY WHILE TRAVELING

best tips for saving money while traveling

Family vacations take us out of the hectic routine and straining jobs, but they can end up digging a huge hole in our pockets. We can all use some best tips for saving money while traveling.

Being a mom of three, I understand how difficult it can be to remain within your budgetary restraints, as they continuously stay on the top of your nerves with toys and snacks to buy. While this is common with every family, I have strategized different tactics over the past family trips to control our expenses and harness the kids’ wants. 

If you are tired of constant tugging and pulling for tasty treats and overpriced souvenirs, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that can make traveling with kids at least a tad easier. 

1. Give your kids a budget

When traveling with family, parents usually hold a budget to stay within, but kids tend to do their best to wreak havoc on that. And as a parent, it gets pretty tough to say no to a cute stuffed animal that they point to.

And not to mention the endless stream of snacks at an amusement park or other stores. And while it’s okay to buy a few, the incessant requests can be a huge problem. 

Therefore, it’s essential to discuss this with them ahead of time. I used to have a meeting with both my sons before every trip about our budget, what they are allowed to have, and where they need to stop being stubborn if we refuse. 

What I do is prepare a snack budget for both of my sons and tell them that this is all they get for the entire trip.

So, it depends on them on what to buy and what to leave. This doesn’t only elicit a sense of responsibility in them but allows them to manage and save money in a much more efficient way. 

More than anything, it always fills them with excitement to have their own money to spend without having to ask us every now and then. So ends up in a win-win for us! 

Pro mom tip

Give them cash or a card with a predetermined limit for the amount of the trip. Another thing that we do is pushing the purchasing of souvenirs to the last day of the trip. 

2. Consider giving the local market a spin

Well, we all know that dining factors in for a huge cost while vacationing. Everyone wants to explore a new culture and their traditional foods, but the prices can be a total budget buster.

It’s fun to eat out but doing it every day and three times a day is just not efficient. 

I would suggest eat-in twice a day to save enough dollars to treat yourself to a fancy local dish. This would keep the meal special and keep a few bucks in your wallet intact. 

In fact, while you are eating in, visit a local supermarket and try to cook at home. I know most moms wouldn’t want to do that, considering they are on holiday, but visiting a local store can allow your children to explore a variety of food options in another country.

For instance, my husband and I decided to buy a local fish and cook it up in our condo, and it was one of the best meals we had on our trip without having to pay the hefty price of a lavish restaurant. 

Pro mom tip

When choosing to have a meal outside, try to go for lunch instead of dinner. Most restaurants serve almost identical dishes for both times, but the dinner is often displayed at a slightly more expensive rate. In Europe, lunch specials are commonly available and would cost you a fairly low price. 

3. Go off-season

This is one of the best tips for saving money while traveling. With an experience of traveling on and off-season, I can guarantee you the difference in prices of those are magnificent. Accommodations, tours, even food are all spiked during the season.

So, if you are looking for a winner, it clearly is the off-season. We traveled to Eastern Europe during the off-season, and we had the best time there.

The weather was supremely pleasant, and we got all our hotels and apartments at a discounted rate. And that’s what’s mainly required to make the most of your time and save money. 

The icing on the cake is that there are hardly any tourists around, which makes it possible to have a thorough family time, visit the locations in peace and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Thus, the vacation becomes therapy; at least, that’s what it felt like to me. And since my children could freely run and play around, I really did feel like being on a “vacation”. 

Pro mom tip

Be cautious about the flight you are taking and its timings. For example, flights in the early days of the week have better deals than the ones on later days, like Thursday or Friday. Similarly, the second flight of the day has a lower rate than the first flight. 

4. Check free days

Museums, parks, and theaters are our favorite places to visit, no matter where we are traveling. Sofia is crazy for amusement parks, while my son Nathan loves to dig into the history of the place.

However, the pricey tickets, at times, ruin the entire mood as they become a toll on our budget. 

Therefore, we always look for free entry days and make the most of them. This allows all my children to enjoy their favorite festivities while saving enough money to relish other activities as well.

I allow them one of their favorite snacks as well, which galvanizes the thrill, and it still ends up being one of the best tips for saving money while traveling. 

Pro mom tip

Always plan your trips ahead of time. This way, you’ll be able to grab all the discounted and low price deals. Also, put those gift cards you save up to better use. You can’t imagine the beneficence they can render. 

5. Wear your exploring cap

Traveling with kids drains most of your energy, and it becomes a great challenge to figure out routes while your kid refuses to lay off your waist.

I have been there, done that, which is why I know how helpful tour guides can be, but I also know that they can be pretty expensive. However, if you aim to save money, you need to gear up your sneakers and pack loads of snacks and engagement accessories to become your own tour guide. 

I used to pack a separate mommy bag with everything the kids need, use Nathan as my left hand and get onto exploring the city the way I like. Independent exploration can be utterly liberating.

You can travel to and visit the places that align with your passion and interest, rather than wasting time at lush and expensive shops that tend to be nothing but boring. 

Pro mom tip

Try to act and live like a local when visiting a new city. Figure out their local transportation system beforehand for your convenience. Getting on a bus for impromptu sightseeing can be a much cheaper and way more delightful experience than a guided tour. 

Bottom line

Family vacations are the best way to get rid of a myriad of distractions in routine life. However, while my family enjoys our trip to the fullest, we also make sure to stay within the budget. I have listed the best tips for saving money while traveling, which worked wonders for us. I am sure they’d do the same for you! 

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