Home is where the heart is. That is, until the travel bug bites you. Time at home is always good for the soul, but sometimes you need to explore another country to broaden your horizons and gain a new perspective on things.
This is harder to do when you have a family to care for. The more family members you have, the bigger the dollar sign gets on your world travel plans. Don’t let that number intimidate you into throwing away all your travel dreams. There are many things you can do now and strategically plan for later that will make family travel much more feasible.
Start a Travel Fund
Traveling internationally will be much nicer on your wallet if you already have a travel fund you can dip into. It’s something the whole family can get involved in and will be a worthwhile goal for everyone to strive for. Here are some ways you can budget that will make everyone happy:
- If you are already saving for things such as retirement, buying a home and an emergency fund, add your travel fund to the mix too. Saving regularly for your next international trip will mean steady and sure progress.
- When possible, take public transportation or ride your bike to save on gas.
- Eat from home as often as you can. Eating a home-cooked meal is not only better for your budget, it’s better for your health too.
- Only purchase things you will actually use. If you’re paying for an unused gym membership, it’s time to cut ties. Any wasteful expenses will harm your travel plans.
Keep an Eye on the Sky
When is the best time to book international flights for you and your family? Probably when most people aren’t flying.
Traveling during the off-season not only saves you money on airfare, it will also save you money on things like hotels. Plus, you won’t have to deal with crowds at must-see locales as much.
You should also use airline miles if you have accrued any. It’s important to own at least one credit card that will help you gain airline miles if you want to save money and travel at the same time.
Also make the flight as stress free for you and your family as possible. It would be a shame to save all that money but start your journey on the wrong foot because of a lousy flight over.
Sharing Is Caring
Instead of traveling with just your family alone, why not invite another family on your trip? You can pool your money together and rent a house out instead, saving you a nice sum of money versus staying at a hotel. You’ll have more room and access to many amenities, such as a kitchen and washer and dryer.
If you want, turn it into a family reunion at a location no one will soon forget. Or, you could always use a hospitality travel site where you either lodge or swap homes with other people who are also looking for an international trip. With this option, housing is completely free.
Food on the Go
Balancing your food budget is a very necessary component of your travel plan. That being said, you need to bring snacks. Period.
Buying food from the airport or in touristy areas will cost you an arm and a leg when normally it’s much more reasonably priced in your hometown. Prepare for this by bringing food from home and eating in on some days when you travel. Also, if you just go a few miles away from the more tourist-centered areas, you will find that food prices are less expensive as well.
Follow the Locals
If you want the best (and most budget-friendly) international experience for you and your family, you need to travel like a local. Tourist hotspots are renowned for inflating prices well above their value. It can sometimes feel like a small fortune is needed to spend any sort of time in these areas.
However, people do live in these extravagant locations, or at least relatively close. The locals will know where all the affordable restaurants are. That’s why you need to follow them.
Not in a stalkerish sort of way, but see where the locals eat and when they visit certain attractions. Locals will know the best times and places to visit. You will also receive a more authentic travel experience by living the way the locals do.
If you’re a family on a budget, traveling can still be a part of your life. A travel fund is essential to making your international dreams come true. You’ll also need to know when the best times are to fly to that destination.
Not only will it be less of a burden on your finances, but you’ll also enjoy the trip exponentially more with less crowds. Think about whether or not traveling with another family is an option for you as well and always make sure you have some food from home on hand.
Don’t forget about the locals either. They will be instrumental in helping you find low cost alternatives and a better experience overall. So get packing and start saving for an international family trip of a lifetime!
Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/en/girl-measure-asia-pretty-beauty-1822480/