How to enjoy your family for half the time and effort

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The best way to spend your time as a family is by going on vacation together, but to plan the best memorable vacations that don’t break the bank and don’t take so much effort and energy on your side is a complete science that we are willing to teach you.

Image courtesy of Loren Kerns Follow on Flickr.com

Image courtesy of Loren Kerns on Flickr.com

It is all about giving priority to the way you spend your money and taking advantage of any and every sale available.

Any family that is looking for a lot of fun for a little money can read these great ideas and you will all achieve your fun and stress free goals:

  • Do some online research on your destination together with your kids. Get familiarized with all of the activities and tourist attractions for the family available in the areas you will visit. Look for local coupons and sales.
  • Talk to the kids before leaving. Make sure they understand that that the trip is a group collaboration moment and everyone has to pitch in and participate of the budgeted activities without increasing the price for any of them, basically, let them know that sticking to the budget is part of their responsibilities, if they don’t help the family with that, they won’t be able to enjoy all the things the trip to that particular place can offer them, kids love to help so you will find no problem in this.
  • Stay at a place where there is refrigerator and a kitchen (it doesn’t matter how small), in case this isn’t possible, find a place where breakfast is included. You shouldn’t be wasting time and money looking for a place to have breakfast at. Your vacation time should be spent having fun not finding a place to eat.
  • Find the way to have a picnic for lunch and sometimes even for dinner when possible. Take things like sandwiches to a theme park or the beach, choose food you can take with you to a pool at night or to visit a landmark during the day, remember this is going to be entertaining for your children as well, restaurants are not a fun place for them anyways.
Image courtesy of Mike Foote on Flickr.com

Image courtesy of Mike Foote on Flickr.com

  • Have a good souvenir strategy to resist impulsive shopping habits. Encourage children to collect objects, they love doing this, tell them to keep things like patches, pins, stickers or postcards. Keep the change in a specific place before your trip and talk about only buying the souvenirs that you run into during your trip. Make your trip eco-friendly and pocket friendly with reusable water bottles so you don’t have to buy a bottle of water every time someone is thirsty.
  • Alternate expensive attractions with free ones or almost free ones. Choose watching a baseball minor league game instead of big league one, this could be really fun as well, you would be doing the things that are typical to the place you are visiting but for a smaller price or even for free, remember children don’t pay attention to the price tag, they only pay attention to the fun.
Image courtesy of Nathan Schock on Flickr.com

Image courtesy of Nathan Schock on Flickr.com

  • Make a reservation for a rental car before you begin your trip, this way you could plan your itinerary in advance and manage your time and money more efficiently. Just make sure to get the best price possible for it. Some companies make the search a lot easier than others, for example there are some tools that some companies have on their website that allow you to compare the prices of different cars in different web pages and even inside their own site, this way you can choose the best option for the best price available and for the time you need it. Don’t be afraid to start a thorough online search before your trip, you won’t want to do it any other way in future trips.
  • Take a look at vacation packages, there are many places and companies that specialize in packages for family trips that include food and tours, this might be a little bit overwhelming for families that want to follow their own bit and don’t want to be told the waking up or going to sleep time but for some other families, leaving their itinerary in the hands of experts and for less money than an “independent” trip, sounds like a very good and fun deal.

Finally choose a place where your entire family will be happy, fun activities for kids and fun activities for adults, remember that you and your partner need some time for adult fun as well.

A pizza for dinner, an evening at the beach watching the sunset or a rainy morning watching cartoons are all things you can do together for free and realize that the best moments in life are the least expensive ones.

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