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How to Plan a Family Vacation without Emptying Your Bank Account

Family vacations are great for bonding, having fun, and discovering new places. But vacations can also be expensive. Some families end up going way over the budget when planning family vacations.

While it’s important to have fun on your vacations, spending excessively will make the rest of your year miserable. You should never borrow money to go on vacations. You shouldn’t spend all your savings on a holiday either. Here are several tips that will help your family vacation in a budget-friendly manner.

Know How Much You Can Afford

First of all, you need to know how much your budget can afford for a vacation. You will need a monthly budget first to determine this. For example, if you plan to spend $5,000 on a family vacation, how will it affect your other expenses like loan bills and food? You should first calculate all the necessary expenses. Once they are paid off, the remaining is your budget for leisure activities like vacations. You should never spend a penny more on your vacation.

Save in Advance

Sometimes we don’t make enough money monthly to afford that dream vacation. You might want to vacation in the Bahamas, but you probably can’t afford to right now. If this is the case, you should separately save for a vacation. Some people save money for vacations just like they do for retirements. You should do this too. Calculate how much you want to spend on your dream vacation, and then patiently save for it. Your vacation would feel so much sweeter if you don’t have to worry about money once you return home.

Research Tour Packages

If you are planning on buying a family tour package, don’t buy the first package you see. Spend some time researching available packages and compare prices. Also, be aware of deals and discounts offered during holiday seasons like Christmas. These are usually the peak tourist seasons, so vacationers end up spending more on everything regardless of the deals. Some vacation packages may be cheap, but the destination could be expensive. Consider these factors when you make your choice.

Consider Vacationing Locally

Local vacations are the most budget-friendly types of vacations. If you decide to vacation at the next town, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on plane tickets and such. Vacations are about experiences, not how much money you spend. Your family will be able to have fun anywhere if you have the right mindset. So, don’t obsess about going on vacations you can’t afford. Look for ways to have fun locally without splurging.

Think Outside the Box

Vacations have become a consumer industry, like many things. Don’t buy all the advertising claims about vacations. You don’t have to go to the Swiss Alps to enjoy a meaningful and entertaining holiday with your family. So, learn to think outside the box. If you are currently in serious debt, wouldn’t a picnic at the local park be as much fun as a hotel stay in the Caribbean?

Vacations should leave you relaxed, not in debt. So, follow the above tips to stay on budget during holiday seasons.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.