Tipid Mommy shares: How to have a budget-friendly family vacation!

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Want to make the most out of your travel fund? Try these simple budget hacks!

My husband and I recently celebrated our teamwork as parents at a Beach Resort in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.

It has been our family tradition to visit different beaches whenever we have special occasions in our small family. It is our way to switch off and spend alone time with our family and with God.

Being known as a practical and “budget-conscious” couple, our friends asked us how to have a budget-friendly family vacation.

Most of us think that only well-off families can travel, but the truth is: everyone can, as long as you put it in your priority list!

Like for example, instead of spending for your favorite frappuccino, why not save it for a family travel fund? We just need discipline, patience, proper planning, commitment to our travel goals and saving habits.

The author with her husband JC and son, Zee. (photo courtesy of Grace Maulion)

Here are our family's simple tips on how to save on your next family travel!

1. Plan your bookings ahead of time

Plan your resort, hotel or airfare early, so you have ample time to look for promos, best offer and compare prices. You can also wait for airfare promo rates and score best deals. We are fans of Land Travel “long drive” destinations because it saves us from airfare expenses. (Our 4-year old boy will already be charged full airfare fee)

2. Ask other people’s options and suggestions for activities and accomodations

Seek advice from friends about their tried and tested accommodations, activities and even tour itineraries.

You can also join group tours organized by travel agencies if you are comfortable to travel with a group (depending on your travel goals, which are not our options as of now. Aside from the fact that our son Zee is too young, our main travel goal is to have quality time together.)

3. Prepare packed meals and try the local flavors

During our last vacation, we found this an effective method to cost-cut on our travel meal expenses, so instead of driving thru a fast food chain, we brought our own breakfast and had our meal while on the road, it saved us money and gave us a healthier meal option, too.

Also, if you are go for local eateries, you can save a lot because they are 50% more affordable compared to restaurants! Plus, you get the chance to mingle with local people and try their local delicacies.

photo courtesy of Gracie Maulion

If you want to eat in restaurants, you can search restaurant options ahead of time and browse their menu in advance so you can include it in your total travel budget.

You can also bring your own water jug and snacks instead of buying from convenience stores on the road! Buy your snacks beforehand from your favorite grocery stores (lower prices compared to convenience stores in gasoline stations or in resort shops). A bottle of mineral water typicalls costs about 25 pesos, which is already equivalent to your 5 gallon mineral water at home. Just prepare ice the night before.

3. Travel off peak

Resorts offer higher rates during peak season, off peak months are June to October. If, like us, your family occasions fall under peak season, then your best alternative would be to schedule it on a week day. You will also enjoy the privacy and tranquility of having the whole resort mostly to yourself.

4. Reuse or borrow stuff

We don't buy new #OOTDs for our getaway. We usually use our old swimwear and outfits instead of buying new sets of clothes. I guess, investing in quality products are much more advisable than buying new stuff every single time you will travel. You can also borrow from your relatives instead of buying new stuff. (Thanks to my sister for letting us borrow her action camera!)

If you do decide to shop to replace old stuff, it is good to buy during “end of summer sales” because swimwear, dry bags, sunblock and waterproof stuff will definitely be sold at discounted prices.

5. Save up for your getaway!

You don’t have to feel guilty after travelling if you already included it on your monthly budget.

My husband and I are freelancers and small entrepreneurs (no fixed income per month). So we joined a saving challenge or known here in the country as “paluwagan”. We tried to lower our food expenses and we didn’t buy new stuff as much as possible so we can save for our weekly paluwagan contribution.

Here is a scenario. Let’s say after canvassing and checking rates, you come up with Php 10,000 travel budget goal.

And you can only set-aside Php 300/week for the travel fund, you can save that Php 10,000 travel fund in 8 months.

You and your family can travel once a year with 300/week. Amazing right?

So there you go moms and dads, let me know if you have other travel saving tips, so we can all enjoy a vacation and the gift of travelling with our family.

Let me share to you this quote:

"Fill your life with memories, not things.
Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

It is good to invest in memories, celebrate the gift of family and experience new things together!

This was originally published on Tipid Mommy and has been republished with the author's permission.

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