If you find that you’re going to be taking a holiday and traveling on a budget, don’t feel as though you have an impossible task ahead of you—there are strategies; people tend to believe that traveling is always expensive. While this may be true to some extent, it is possible to enjoy a great holiday on a budget without maxing out your credit card and getting into serious debt.
One strategy might be to start conserving assets differently in the new year. A great time to start new money habits is when a new year begins. What you’re looking to do is minimize cost and maximize value. Quit eating out. Quit buying designer coffees. Prepare your own meals. Bicycle where you can, or take free transportation options rather than driving should you have them. Some businesses will cover your commute; ask around.
Next, minimize unnecessary expenses to the maximum. Give the kids a budget, but be austere yourself. It’s only for a short while, and by the time the kids leave the nest, you’ll find you’ve established solid money habits which will result in a groundswell of income that is discretionary. Provided you learn the right lessons.
Flourishing From Good Money Habits
But that’s getting ahead of the task at hand: an affordable holiday vacation with the family. Here’s the thing: you want to have good money habits there as well! Avoid tourist traps. Find cost-effective travel solutions, as well as cost-effective lodging. Do you have college friends or relatives? Plan a week going to see them a month or two out—or however long it takes.
Then all you’re down is the cost of fuel, or tickets, and a few tangential expenses here and there. Also, look for programs that will provide you free lodging in exchange for some service. Ever hear of a mystery shopper? Playing the family angle could work out perfect for yours, depending on what the mystery shopping company with whom you work is looking for.
There are other ways you can make this sort of travel work as well. For example, consider the young couple in an RV writing blogs about hotels and RV parks for Winnebago and Marriot. Or how about the travel writer who gets his favorite destinations to put him up provided he does a favorable piece on them.
There are ways to have your cake and eat it, too; and you don’t have to make such efforts your primary focus, either. You can sideline them and focus on your main career, and family.
Another strategic consideration is sourcing affordable accommodation.
Especially if you’re planning a long vacation, this is the way to go. Find a way to maintain a singular residency through the duration of a lump sum. That said, if you’re willing to do a little work during your vacation, you can perhaps even come back with more money than you left with.
Now, mind you, this option may not always be accommodating to a family with young children, but you can certainly cut down some costs with older ones. Shoot, you and your spouse do the vacay work, and only for the kids; voila! For the price of some jaunt to a destination within the US, you just saw Europe for a week.
Just consider that there are at least 23 companies that have paid vacation options, and see if any have a program that you think might fit your family. There are ways to travel on a budget; you’ve just got to think outside the box a little!