Family vacation ideas that won’t break the bank!

As summer approaches and school vacation is almost upon us, it’s time to start planning that next family vacation that will create lasting memories for the entire family!  Maybe you’re tired of going to Disney or heading to all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and need something a bit more exciting this summer. With so much information out there, it’s hard to narrow down that perfect vacation, especially while trying to please all members of the family.

To help you get started, I’ve gathered up some ideas and helpful tips which will hopefully save you both time and money in the process. The reality is that vacationing can be quite expensive if you don’t set aside a little time to plan ahead, but with some flexibility on dates, a little advance research, and some ideas to get you started, you may just realize that summer fun is just around the corner.

Idea #1: Rent an RV/Camper.

There are several companies throughout the US that rent out RV’s, which provide your hotel and transportation in one. The daily rental rate can cost just under $100 per night and overnight parking at a campground starts at around $40 per night. Some rental companies even have their own suggested itineraries and apps that can help you find the best places to visit along the way. You’ll have flexibility on where to stop, a kitchen where you can cook and save money on meals, your own bathroom, and you can take as many things with you as will fit inside, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting something at home! The kids will be able to spread out and play while you drive, take a nap and admire the scenic drives along the way.

Idea #2: Vacation Rentals.

There are numerous websites out there that can hook you up with owners that rent out their apartments, cabins, and even entire homes for extended periods throughout the year.  This type of travel has become extremely popular because you often get more space for less money than your average hotel, not to mention that you’ll be almost as comfortable as if you stayed home. These homes are equipped with everything from sheets and towels, to beach chairs and coolers. There truly is a vacation rental to fit every budget, as you can find very nice apartments with amazing views and great amenities for as little as $100 per night for up to 4-5 people. You’ll be able to experience your destination of choice like a local and your choice of destination is unlimited as you can really find rentals throughout the world. Make sure you ask about any additional fees, such as cleaning fees, deposits, and resort fees that may be assessed so that you factor in all costs into your rental.

Idea #3: Cruise.

Being from Miami, the cruise capital of the world, we are all very familiar with cruises and how affordable they can be.  The fact that you can fit an entire family of 4 or 5 in a cabin makes it very appealing from a cost perspective. Cruises include all meals, the accommodations, and so much entertainment onboard.  Many upgraded packages are now available to include all drinks, some excursions and even onboard credits for other extras you may want to experience. With the ever-growing number of cruise lines out there, the variety of destinations you can visit is vast as are the types of cruises you can choose from, whether top-of-the-line luxury or more value-driven options. If you’ve done the Caribbean sailings over and over again, why not try heading over to Alaska, South America, or even the Mediterranean to experience cruising a bit differently.  There are also a number of river cruises that are popping up for destinations world-wide that offer a small-ship experience to absolutely spectacular destinations. Pricing does vary greatly, based on your dates, destination, and how early you book

Of course, there are many other vacation ideas out there that we haven’t touched on, such as visiting historic sites in the US (i.e., Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia), making the journey towards Europe to hit magical countries such as Italy or France, and even going on a soft adventure trip to places like Costa Rica or Peru. But one thing is certain, the time is now to finalize your travel plans if you haven’t done so already for this summer, as the more you wait, the more expensive everything becomes.

Hotels and airlines practice something called revenue management and as seats or hotel rooms start to sell and inventory decreases, the rates just keep increasing until all seats or rooms are gone. Planning a vacation can be a time-consuming process, so if you don’t have the time we recommend using an experienced travel agent or a travel planner that can do all the research and planning for you.

I’ve already started planning my summer vacation to Italy; where will you go?

by Annette Morejon, April 2018

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