Summertime is around the corner, and trips that take everyone in the family away from their routines—parents from work and household responsibilities, kids from school and homework—can be a great bonding experience for families. We are all too familiar with the planning, and even more so the expense of family vacations. Factor in airfare, hotels and or home rentals, and food—it all adds up fast!
Luckily, there are lots of ways to take family trips together without racking up credit card debt, or even spending too heavily. Take advantage of some of the following tips to have a fun summer trip without breaking the bank.
Stay Outside the City Center
You can often save a lot of money by staying a bit outside the center of a city with all the tourist attractions and then taking public transit or traveling in to see the sites. These sleeping arrangements might also give you a quieter spot at night and give you a chance to see part of a city you wouldn’t visit otherwise. And, the travel to the city center on public transit can be part of the fun.
Use Your Kids to Get Deals
There are lots of restaurants, hotels and attractions with deals for kids, so try seeking those out when you make your travel plans. Also, some places go the extra mile to offer discounts to families with kids. For example, all eight of the Great Ohio Lodges (www.greatohiolodges.com) in state parks in Ohio offer a “Stays for A’s” program, where for every A on a child’s report card, the lodges will knock $10 off the nightly rate. Of course, there’s a limit, $50 per night, or 5 A’s.
Check for Mobile Apps
Many companies have apps where they offer discounts for signing up. They also coupons within the app that you are able to use on the spot. When visiting gas stations, food places, department stores, etc—check to see if they have an app first. I can almost guarantee there will be some savings!
Pay Attention to Your Receipts
Many places are now printing receipts with coupons attached, or on the back. You may have to complete a survey, but hey when you can get a free meal it isn’t much of a hassle!
Check Places Before to Sign up for Savings
Many places have email lists, where you are able to sign-up and they will send you a coupon for savings within 24-48 hours. Therefore, if you plan ahead you will be able to check for savings ahead of time.