With summer coming up, you’re probably planning activities to do with the family and kids. You must be thinking about how to work them into your budget so they don’t break your bank. Likewise, they could leave you with a big credit card debt that you’ll be paying off all through the year. However, it is possible to plan a fun and memorable family trip without racking up a huge bill. Read ahead and understand how.
If you’re on a tight budget, organize a staycation instead
Of course, traveling abroad and exploring new cities is fun and interesting thing to do. However, you’d be surprised at the entertainment options your own city has to offer. Get a new perspective of your hometown as a tourist, and you’ll find museums, parks, shopping centers, and other venues. In addition, conserve costs by using senior citizens’ and kids’ discounts. Pack picnic lunches from home, and save on eating out. Be sure to switch off completely from work and household tasks, and spend all your time with the family.
Take a road trip
Plan a fun family trip with the kids, but think about driving instead of flying. Figure the budget for the trip, factoring in the cost of fuel needed to reach and return from your destination. While you’re at it, you can learn how to save money on gasoline. Get your kids to join in planning the route you’ll take by searching the internet or library. You can also choose to stay in motels and put together quick meals by shopping at the local supermarket. Finding motel rooms with a kitchenette can be an added plus.
Get a flexible spending account
Like all smart parents, you’ve likely set up a Tax-Free savings account. You can divert up to $5,000 of your income before paying tax into this FSA per year. Use the funds to pay for day camps. You may have to meet the necessary criteria like having kids aged 13 and below. Further, you and your spouse should be employed or actively looking for a job while the kids are at camp. The eligibility criteria may also exclude overnight camps and only apply to daycare.
You might also be interested in getting a savings account and start saving for future trips.
Look for packages and bundling expenses
Even if you have the finances worked out for the family trip, look for discounts on the bookings wherever possible. Look for package deals that combine flight and hotel reservations or hotel and car rentals. Bundled deals can save thousands of dollars that you can use for paying for activities or shopping. By searching the internet, you might find off-season discounts or round-trip tickets leaving on a Thursday, returning the following Monday.
What we’re getting at here:
Having a fun family trip that your kids will remember does not necessarily involve spending much money. It is possible to fit an exciting vacation into your pocket by opting for smarter substitutes like staycations and road trips. In addition, snap up all the package deals you can find to keep the costs down. If you own a travel rewards credit card, use it to get rewards, points, and cash back for your trips.
Here’s to an exciting summer your kids will remember and talk about for years to come! It’s a good education in being thrifty too!