5 Travel Tips For Booking A Family Vacation On A Budget!
Who’s ready for a vacation???
- I’m SOOO ready for a vacation, I already started planning one! If you’re like me and need to get away for some fun and much-needed relaxation, check out these tips. Our family has done a lot of traveling and I figured it was worth sharing what we’ve learned about saving money on family vacations. Depending on what “kind” of trip your family plans to take will determine the best way to go about booking it. Sit back, relax, and enjoy these tips and tricks to book your family the perfect vacation on a budget!
***Pssst… we didn’t’ take into account using mileage or hotel rewards credit cards, but they are a great way to save if you have them
Travel Tip #1
- Booking vacation packages on Expedia can save you over $600! Expedia “claims” you can save up to $603 when you book vacation packages that include flights, hotel, and rental car. We recently booked a vacation package to Hawaii on Expedia instead of using our airline miles, and it actually ended up being WAY cheaper! It didn’t quite save us $600, but it did save us a lot of money. If you’re a frequent traveler, you should definitely sign up for their free Expedia+ Rewards program. You’ll earn two points for every $1.00 spent and member-only Unreal Deal Discounts. After our family spent $5,000 on Expedia and we became a Silver Tier member, we’ve earned 50% off hotel stays (knocking our $120/night hotel down to just $60/night), $124 off any future trip, and 100% off our flight by booking an all-inclusive hotel in Mexico. (That was a really fun trip 😉 ) When you first sign up, you can still get member-only pricing as a Blue Tier member also. Plus, if you shop on Expedia through Ebates, you’ll also earn 10% cash back. Even though Expedia doesn’t always have the best prices, it’s definitely worth checking them out for your next vacation to compare pricing. And if you are a frequent traveler, it pays to use them often!
Travel Tip #2
- Score TONS of freebies when you book Disney vacation packages using Costco Travel! The best part about booking Disney travel through Costco Travel is all the FREE stuff they give you. When we booked our last trip to Disney through Costco Travel we got a FREE Premium Disney Character Dining Experience (one per person, per stay). This was a value of $49 per adult and $29 per child (ages 3 to 9). Our kids loved getting to do that dining experience. It actually ended up being my daughter’s favorite part of the trip because she got to meet a real-life Princess! We also got a FREE Disney Gift Card valued at up to $100 (one per package, value based on length of stay, accommodations at a Disneyland Resort Hotel required). This was mainly used to buy snacks and food in the parks, which was a HUGE help. In addition to these things, we also got a FREE Magical Extras Savings Card valid at select Downtown Disney dining and shopping locations (one card per room, per stay). They also threw in a 15% discount on a Disneyland Resort Park Tour free of charge along with a Collectible Disney Pin with matching luggage tag and lanyard (one per person). We got ALL of those things at no extra cost to use when we booked through Costco Travel. Needless to say, next time your family goes to Disney you should definitely do this!
Travel Tip #3
- Use Cruise.com to get exclusive discounts and cruise details! If you’ve never been on a cruise I highly recommend it. It was like living in a themed hotel that always had stuff to do and made traveling to new places exciting. My husband and I did this one without the kids 😉 When you book with Cruise.com, you’ll get super low prices and exclusive cash back offers like up to $1,700 cash back on Norwegian cruises. This site has the most comprehensive view of your cruise itinerary and actually lets you see the ship you will be traveling on to help you feel comfortable about your upcoming journey. They provide a thorough cruise itinerary that includes the exact time spent in each port, as well as descriptions and photos of each port, including typical weather, shopping tips, and facts about the local government. It also lets you check a ship’s ratings for cleanliness and comfort, as well as descriptions and photos of each deck prior to setting sail. All of this is provided before you book anything! This was my favorite feature because it let me get a feel for the atmosphere of the ship and locations we were visiting before we had even booked our cruise.
Travel Tip #4
- Use Kayak to double-check that you’re getting the best flight deals! If you’ve ever tried booking a flight, then you how difficult it can be to find the best price. We love using Kayak because it aggregates prices from all the popular travel sites like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, and more. That way you can see a variety of price points from different locations and pick the best one. It’s an easy way to double-check that you’re getting the best price on a trip before you book, especially on flights. The thing to keep in mind is that not all airlines are taken into account when Kayak aggregates this data. Some budget-friendly airlines like Southwest and Allegiant aren’t included on any of these travel deal sites. If you like flying these budget airlines, be sure to check their sites individually for prices. While Kayak should not be the only place you check for flights, it is a great way to cut down on the amount of time you spend looking for the right flight at the right price.
Travel Tip #5
- Get low-fare alerts to any destination using FareCompare! If only there was a way to find the lowest price flights without having to spend the time looking for it yourself… Well, they invented this amazing website called FareCompare to do just that! I love setting up low-fare alerts for places I frequently travel, like flights to New York to see my brother. Whenever these flights dip below a certain threshold, I get an email alerting me to the price change. This is especially helpful when planning an upcoming trip month in advance. We started looking for flights on a vacation we had planned to take about 6 months in advance and were able to book the tickets for a fraction of the price! FareCompare also has a travel prediction page that lets you see seasonal predictions for the cheapest or most expensive days to travel. We use this information to search for the right dates to book flights. It has saved LOTS of money over the years!
Ready to plan a vacation???
- We know that was a lot of information, but hopefully, it will help you plan your next family vacation and save LOTS of money too! I know these tips have helped our family for a long time. To recap those tips quickly… just in case some of you skipped to the end 😉 Be sure to check Expedia for vacation packages because you could save up to $600. When booking your next family vacation to Disney, use Costco Travel and score loads of freebies. Set sail with Cruise.com to get exclusive discounts and extensive cruise details to find the perfect one for you. Double-check flight deals on Kayak to save you time and money. Lastly, use FareCompare to set up automatic alerts for the lowest price flights anywhere in the world! Now that you know some of our favorite tips and tricks for planning the perfect family vacation on a budget, we’d love to hear what your tips and tricks are!