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5 Tips for Finding Budget Family Vacation Deals

Budget Family Vacation Tip 5: Time Is of the Essence

Pick vacation dates before searching for travel deals.
Pick vacation dates before searching for travel deals.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Flying by the seat of your pants might've worked for a couple's weekend getaway; not so for the family vacation. If there's a dream destination your family is itching to see, figure out the off-season dates first to find the top deals for transportation and lodging. Or, if you don't have a must-see attraction in mind, pin down when your family is free to skip town and let the bargain hunt begin. Either way, let the calendar guide you toward the maximum savings. Time is also of the essence when scouring vacation deals, since offers are often valid for a limited window or might include black-out dates.

Also, if travel bargains seem too good to be true, you can bet that they won't be around forever. Hot deals rarely last long, which means you need to be prepared to pull the trigger when you run across the right one. Otherwise, that once-in-a-lifetime family package to Panama City, Portland, the Pyrenees or elsewhere might evaporate -- or sell out -- before you get your travel ducks in a row.