Family Travel On A Budget

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph April 21, 2023
Updated 2023/04/21 at 11:22 PM
family travel on a budget

Are you curious about ways to explore the world with your children while spending on a budget?

This guide provides practical advice on how to plan budget-friendly family vacations.

 Although traveling with kids can occasionally exceed the budget limit, it’s worthwhile to splurge on occasion.

Nonetheless, opting for affordable family travel is the most effective way to embark on numerous trips and explore the world.

To have a successful affordable family vacation, budget travel should be simple and stress-free, suitable for children of all ages.

While some articles offer tips on maximizing points or rewards, they may not be accessible or applicable in all countries, so what other options are available?

There are numerous methods to save money when traveling with kids and before departing to make the most of your holiday funds.

 As experienced budget travelers with two teenage daughters, we understand this fact very well because having children always raises our travel expenditures.

Tips On Family Travel On A Budget                                           

Be Clear On Your Priorities:

What takes priority for you? Is it being comfortable or finding relaxation?

Would you rather dine at fancy restaurants or discover local cuisine? Do you enjoy a fine wine or prefer a local beer?

Would you like to have private transportation or experience public transportation like a local one?

Do you prefer a comfortable hotel room or just a place to rest your head?

Would you rather have admission tickets to all the big attractions or see the country and culture without tourist draws?

It’s important to understand your own needs and those of your family when planning a trip.

Choose the activities that are most important to you, and find the right places to eat.

Everyone is different, so it’s up to you to find ways to make your trip enjoyable and within your budget.

Don’t Compromise On Safety:

Always prioritize safety and never make compromises. In case you perceive the night bus as a safety risk, opt for the train instead.

 If the train has open windows that might expose you to mosquitoes carrying Dengue fever, choose to book berths with air conditioning.

 If there are concerns about traffic safety, avoid carrying your children on the back of a moped and instead consider paying for a taxi.

It’s important not to sacrifice the quality of food for children. If you want to lose weight, consider reducing your own food intake.

It’s essential to have travel insurance. Studies suggest that children can be unpredictable and prone to unexpected injuries.

Think About The Holidays, Festivals, And Seasons:

The prices and crowds will be significantly influenced by all of these factors. It is recommended to look into local variations and holidays.

 If you are worried about finding the perfect weather conditions, it is often best to travel during the “shoulder seasons”.

Alternatively, if you are on a tight budget, traveling during the low season is the way to go.

However, for certain travelers, such as those who are not too concerned about weather conditions, this may not be an issue.

 If you want to attend a major festival, be prepared for increased prices for accommodations and flights.

Maximize Free Things:

Make the most of free entertainment by searching on Google for “Free activities to do in…”.

Be on the lookout for hikes, parks, playgrounds, museums, and scenic areas, as well as self-guided walking tours and complimentary walking tours of cities and towns.

Find Cheap Flights:

You must be adaptable with your departure times and dates and stay away from busy times.

Utilize websites like to compare all available cheap tickets and locate the airline, day, and destination that work best for you. But not usually, prices are lower throughout the week.

Three months prior to departure is considered the “golden period” for reservations.

Choose A Destination Within Your Budget:

Opting for a travel destination with a low cost of living can be a simple way to save money.

 It may seem convenient to travel within your own continent by car or explore a neighboring state, or even your home country like driving down the coast of Australia.

However, it is not necessarily cheaper than flying to an exotic location. Although the airfare may be expensive, the cost of living in many countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and some parts of Europe are budget-friendly and ideal for family travel.

Ultimately, choosing a low-cost destination could result in spending less than a typical vacation or having exciting new experiences with the same budget.

Do Your Research:

To travel with your family on a budget, you must begin preparing before you depart.

This involves conducting research. The initial steps involve purchasing a guidebook like Lonely Planet and conducting online research to find travel blogs, inexpensive accommodations, and their ratings, as well as low-cost transportation options between destinations.

Although it may require a significant amount of time, it can result in substantial savings. Moreover, planning your itinerary can be an enjoyable aspect of the trip.

Don’t Overspend Before Your Trip:

It’s a mistake a lot of travelers make in the beginning.

Regardless of how long or how short your trip may be, it’s important to be ready.

You, therefore, go shopping to buy the necessary equipment, some new apparel, and other items you spot along the way.

In the end, you had already spent a sizable sum of money, which is problematic should you want to take the kids within a budget.

Spend sparingly, especially if you plan to visit nations with low costs of living. Everything will be available there and at much lower costs!

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t really need that much!

Lodge In Hostels:

A good method to save money is to opt for hostels as lodging.

Despite the common misconception that hostels are only meant for partying, they have evolved significantly and now offer family-friendly accommodations.

It’s important to conduct thorough research on hostels and their amenities before booking them for your family.

However, they can be an excellent option for cutting down accommodation costs.

 Hostels often provide kitchen facilities, laundry services, and discounted activities, which can aid in cost-effective family travel.

Ensure To Book With Free Cancellations:

If you’re planning a trip with teenagers, it’s advisable to book lodging with a free cancellation option, which you’ll surely appreciate. is one of the finest platforms for finding such accommodation.

This strategy assists in discovering affordable lodging options by estimating a budget for a nightly stay, keeping track of prices in the desired location, and potentially securing a more cost-effective and improved accommodation in the future.

Create A Daily Budget:

One of the largest ones that will most significantly aid in your travel budget is this one.

 Have a daily spending limit that excludes lodging. This only applies to food, admission fees, and other products like souvenirs.

Setting an everyday travel budget enables you to take advantage of what you want while still planning a family vacation within your means.

Leverage Cash:

One effective method to control spending while budget traveling with children is to withdraw cash from an ATM at your location and keep track of your expenses by physically handling the money.

 You can divide the withdrawn amount into daily portions and monitor your spending on a daily basis. By doing this, you will have a better understanding of where your money is going and how much you have left over each day.

Avoid Credit Cards:

Many individuals use credit cards or other payment methods while on vacation with their families without realizing the amount they are actually spending.

This can lead to overspending on travel expenses and ultimately result in accumulating debt during the trip.

When the bills for expenses you did not plan for on your vacation begin to arrive after you return home, your fond memories of your trip with teenagers get overtaken by shame, worry, and stress.

Budget For Tours Beforehand:

People enjoy researching new travel destinations or discovering places they would like to visit while watching something.

To ensure you have enough funds to explore popular tourist spots, museums, local theme parks, or amusement parks during your family vacation, it’s a good idea to check the admission fees for these places.

It’s easy to exceed your budget at amusement and water parks due to the additional expenses.

To determine the cost of entry for a particular destination, visit their official website and save accordingly.

You can keep track of your savings by creating a spreadsheet or taking notes on your phone. Once you have saved enough for one site, move on to the next if you plan to visit multiple locations.

This is a proven budget travel strategy for families that can save you a lot of money.

Consider budgeting for attractions such as museums, wildlife parks, historical sites, amusement parks (including extra activities), landmarks, aquariums, and water parks (and decide if you require a cabana).

What To Consider when Budgeting For A Family Trip

family travel on a budget

Exchange Rate:

When deciding on a place to go, it’s important to consider the exchange rate.

Opt for a location that has a positive exchange rate, as it can result in significant savings for you.

Understand the costs of food, beverages, and entertainment. Several online options such as Google, XE, or OANDA can assist you in determining this.

 Additionally, you can utilize a currency conversion app on your mobile phone.

Input the amount you want to convert and the two currencies being converted, and the app will offer you the most recent exchange rate.

 If you believe you’re overpaying, you likely are.

Low Visa Fee Or Free Entry Destinations:

When deciding on a travel destination, it’s important to factor in visa expenses.

 If you’re planning a family trip, it’s wise to choose a destination that has affordable or even free visas for non-citizens.

This will help keep costs down and make the trip more budget-friendly.


It is possible to enjoy all the activities you desire without missing out. The key is to plan and budget accordingly. With careful planning, you can still have an amazing family vacation that includes a range of affordable options, such as fun activities for kids, free events, exciting beach entertainment, scenic national parks, and any other attractions that will make your trip unforgettable.

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