Many parents would love to take their children traveling. Experts agree that encountering new cultures and new languages can have a beneficial effect on a child’s mental and social development. The barrier, more often than not, is money, or the lack of it. Traveling with a family can be expensive…but it doesn’t need to be.
The most important thing if you want to travel is to make it a priority. When you fix your family budget, put travel saving aside as one of your highest priorities. If you don’t have much spare cash, that means sacrifices. It might mean:
- Rarely eating out.
- Running a cheap car.
- Getting the cheapest seats for every show.
The result of all this austerity will be that you are saving, saving, saving for your next great trip.
Flexibility can come hard to a growing family. Home-schoolers have a distinct advantage here, while most families are restricted to school vacations. Even so, if you shop around, you can get significant savings by comparing the prices for a day or so each way and by choosing the right season.
Just occasionally there is a fixed event that you decide you simply have to attend (a solar eclipse, for instance) and then you might be stuck for flexibility and time to save. This is probably one occasion when you may want to take out a loan to fund your trip. If so, get a good rate, for instance by looking at http://bestpersonal.loans/.
Always be on the lookout for offers, and don’t be ashamed to take them up. Sometimes you can pick up a good deal just by sitting through a timeshare presentation.
Always check the offers pages in the papers and look in the windows of travel agents when you happen to be passing. If you do a bit of research, you should be able to assess what is the cost of a full-price vacation for the same place and know if you are really getting a bargain.
Finally, of course, it is important to travel economically. Almost everything you spend money on when traveling is an opportunity to cut costs.
- Always go on the cheapest flights. If you hire a car, never pay for any of the extras, and remember that, in many countries, public transport is a far better way to get around.
- Put up with budget accommodation. You can find really economical accommodation if you are prepared to stay in the less popular areas.
- Provide your own food as much as possible. Have breakfast in your room, and at least one picnic every day.
See the World
Taking kids on adventures abroad is good for them and it is also good for you as they can share with you a whole new way of looking at places and interacting with people. It costs more than traveling alone or as a couple, but the memories you will share in years to come are beyond price.
Photo: Jeff Turner