How to plan a family vacation on a budget

What’s up, everyone? It’s your boy, Brandon Copeland aka Professor Cope, and you’re now tuned in to another special episode of Deal with the money.

In this episode of Cope’ing With Money, we talk about something that I’m extremely excited to do more of, especially after a pandemic: it’s travel. It’s family vacation planning.

Planning your getaway in advance is not only less stressful, but ultimately saves you money. So today we’re going to talk about some money saving tips to help you plan your next vacation.

Plan a family vacation on a budget

Create your budget

The first step in planning your vacation, whether it’s for you or your family, is figuring out what the budget is.

Remember everything that goes into vacation planning. It’s not just theft there. It is also the hotel, food, transport, activities and everything you will need. Make sure you have enough savings in the bank for your hobbies while covering future expenses.

If you have a specific location in mind, take the time to research travel sites and figure out the average cost of travel, accommodation, and all the activities you plan to do on your vacation. If you are planning a trip from scratch, definitely research the getaways within your budget and build the vacation that works best for you.

Know your reason for traveling

Whatever financial decision we make, it is important to understand our “why”. I always say “know yourself to create wealth”, but you also have to know the reason for your trip. By focusing your vision on what you want to get out of your vacation, you can spend money where it matters and save money where it doesn’t.

For example, if you plan to lay on a beach all day, it might not be worth spending the extra money at this hotel with a large pool. If you’re a foodie looking to eat out most nights, you probably don’t need to spend the money on an Airbnb with a fully equipped kitchen.

Figure out what you want and focus your attention and your money on those things, and those things in particular.

Set your schedule in advance

Next, let’s set your schedule in advance.

Booking in advance means better deals on travel, activities and accommodation. There are plenty of money-saving opportunities that you can take advantage of by planning your trip in advance.

For example, weekday flights are often cheaper than weekend flights. And some museums, galleries or parks offer free or discounted admission on certain days.

The more money you save by planning ahead, the more money you allow yourself to maximize your trip on hobbies and activities, but also on future expenses in your life once you return from vacation.

Use a card with travel rewards

Now, that’s something I personally need to do better: use your travel rewards credit card.

Many credit cards offer increased reward points on travel or hotels. Since these purchases tend to be larger, it’s a great way to cash in on the money you’ll be spending anyway.

Before opening a new card, check if your existing card offers these benefits. Now you have to be careful when it comes to credit. Outstanding balances, annual fees, or damage to your credit score could, as we know, create more problems for you in the long run, so let’s make sure you use that credit card wisely.

However, if you’re able to stick to a budget and use a card that works for you, it’s a great way for you to save some extra cash while spending on something you’ll enjoy.

Consider getting to work

And one of the most overlooked things when considering a vacation, remember to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Now I have no more sleeves, but they are already rolled up. It’s natural. It comes with the territory. Although we view the holidays as a break from our responsibilities, there are other ways to save money if you don’t mind working.

Grocery shopping and cooking meals for yourself can save you a lot of money compared to eating out all the time. You can also save money by using public transportation instead of renting a car or taking Lyfts and Ubers from place to place. If you work remotely, you might even consider taking a day off from your vacation. This can save you a day or two of paid vacation while allowing you to resume a relaxing vacation after you leave.

Cope’s Final Thoughts

With preparation and planning, it’s easy for us to have a great family vacation without breaking the bank. And while I’m preparing specifically for summer, you can use these tips throughout the year to plan any vacations or trips you plan to take. You can even save extra money by traveling during off-season or off-peak hours to some of your favorite destinations.

As always, we are here to create the life we ​​want. We are here to fulfill our dreams and enable the places we want to go, the experiences and the people we want to see.

I’m glad you’re taking your vacation and hope you’ll share some photos with your boy. As always, if you want to see more features for my money, head over to Kiplinger.com/Cope. In the meantime, stay safe, stay blessed and I’ll see you next time. Peace.

Links and resources mentioned

About Madeline Dennis

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