5 Tips for Finding Budget Family Vacation Deals

Budget Family Vacation Tip 1: Travel Off-Road on the Cheap

All-inclusive cruises can fit the family budget.
All-inclusive cruises can fit the family budget.
David Sacks/Getty Images

One common budget travel tip suggests picking a vacation spot within a reasonable drive, rather than flying somewhere [source: Massie]. For instance, a family of four heading from Atlanta to Washington D.C. could potentially save around $700 by hitting the open road [source: The Associated Press].

But don't rule out off-road options, either. Many airlines allow children under 2 years old to sit in a parent's lap free of charge [source: Huddleston]. Discount airfare sites also offer family flight and hotel deals; going during off-peak travel times, referred to as "dead weeks," can lower prices even more. By preparing for a vacation well in advance, you can also take advantage of airline reward programs and regular e-mail alerts about on-sale fares and travel packages.

Or, if your family wishes to test out its sea legs, airlines often partner with cruise lines for travel deals and discounts. Since cruises commonly come with all-inclusive rates, you may be able find a ship that fits your family budget. Don't impulse purchase, though. Shop around online to compare destinations and cabin rates, and also read the fine print to understand what amenities the cruise fare covers -- and what's out of pocket [source: Stapen].

Related Articles


  • Bailey, Christine K. "How to Save on Family Vacations." SheKnows. Dec. 3, 2010. (Oct. 18, 2011) http://www.sheknows.com/videos/articles/820998/Tips-for-finding-family-travel-deals
  • Business Week. "Do Us a Favor, Take a Vacation." May 21, 2007. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_21/b4035088.htm
  • Huddleston, Cameron. "10 Tips for an Affordable Family Vacation." Kiplinger. April 27, 2007. (Oct. 18, 2011) http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2007/04/traveltips.html
  • Lee, Anne C. "Value Vacations for the Whole Family. CNN. Jan. 27, 2011. (Oct. 19, 2011) http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/27/pf/saving/family_vacations.moneymag/index.htm
  • Massie, Meg. "Top 5 Tips for Cheap Family Vacation Ideas." AOL Travel. Dec. 2, 2010. (Oct. 19, 2011) http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/12/02/top-5-tips-for-cheap-family-vacation-ideas/
  • Stapen, Candyce H. "How to Plan the Perfect Family Cruise." Nov. 27, 2004. (Oct. 19, 2011) Budget Travel. http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/how-to-plan-the-perfect-family-cruise,3800/?page=1
  • The Associated Press. "To fly or drive: Which is cheaper?" MSN Money. (Oct. 19, 2011) http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/TravelForLess/to-fly-or-drive-which-is-cheaper.aspx
  • U.S. News. "15 Best Family Vacations in the USA." (Oct. 19, 2011) http://travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Best_Family_Vacations_in_the_USA/
  • Wiley, Kim Wright. "Conquering Disney." Fodor's. Jan. 31, 2008. (Oct. 19, 2011) http://www.fodors.com/news/story_1379.html


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