How To Get The Most From Your Family Vacation Money

The past few years for our family have been dominated by extreme frugality, side hustling, and having babies.  We usually head to the family cabin in Maine for a frugal family vacation in the summer, but we’re actually considering taking a vacation somewhere new in the near future.  We don’t have anything definite planned just yet, but you can be sure that we will make sure to get the most from our vacation spending.  

 

 

While we have the epic road trip planned to celebrate our financial semi-independence, there are some experiences that are just better at a young age.  Goofball is already over seven years old.  We want to make sure that the kids experience fun adventures, just without backtracking on our debt progress.  Here are some ideas that might help us get the most bang for our vacation buck:

 

 

Timing

 

You can easily spend thousands of dollars on a family vacation.  Vacations to tourist hot spots tend to involve expensive hotels and activities.  One perfect example is a family trip to take in all of the theme parks in Orlando.  Most people assume that there is no way to avoid the high prices.  However, if you’re willing to have your kids miss a little bit of school, you can save big by going at non-peak times of the year.  Check out the best times to go on vacation with the kids on roughguides.com.

 

 

Different Options

 

The fancy resorts and top amusement parks are popular because everyone wants to go to them.  And everyone wants to go to them because that’s where they think every other “normal” family is headed on their vacation.  Do you know how many people visit Disney World each year?  In 2014, the number exceeded 19 million.  Queues for the latest rides often leave people standing to wait for four hours.  It makes you wonder, can the five-minute experience possibly be worth waiting all that time?  You will end up spending so much of your vacation time standing in a line.

 

Another option is to head to a beautiful, unique location that’s a bit less popular.  I just heard about Chinquapin in North Carolina (chinquapinnc.com) for the first time, and it looks amazing.  Not only are you surrounded by impressive natural attractions, but the price tag is much cheaper.  

 

 

Thinking About The Kids

 

Ultimately, we will plan a family vacation based on what we think the kids will enjoy and remember.  If given the choice, most kids will choose the bright lights and characters they recognize from television over a hike in the woods.  But our children have such a good time just going up to Maine and exploring Acadia National Park.  They learn so much and often bring up their good memories of our most-recent trip.

 

Instead of wasting our time and money, we should try to plan our family vacations by focusing on the what will truly bring us joy.  Cbsnews.com has some other great tips on how to really enjoy a vacation from work.

 

 

While we may be considering spending some money on a family vacation, that doesn’t mean we’re just going to book an expensive package deal and put on a pair of ears.

 

Kids can have just as much fun on an adventure trip in the wilderness as they can at an amusement park.  And we’re not about to get back into the habit of doing things just because it’s the norm.  

 

Tell me about your favorite family vacation in the comments.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I agree that young kids enjoy family vacations that aren’t focused on a theme park or cartoon character. Last year we took our youngest 3 (12, 9 and 7 at the time) to Newfoundland. Although we went to plenty of attractions, they were all history based, no kid themed places to be found in that beautiful province actually. They enjoyed the natural beauty of the rugged coastline, seeing puffins, dressing up as vikings and eating local cuisine. They are still talking about it over a year later. Although not the cheapest vacation we could have had, it was much more enjoyable for all of us than a trip to Orlando. Although we do intend to take them there when they are a bit older and more patient 🙂

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