Travel expands perspective. Travel helps you find yourself. Travel is fun. Adults love to travel for a variety of reasons, yet parents with young families often hesitate to go on vacations overseas. There are several benefits of traveling with children. Wouldn’t you love to show your kids the world? Take them to exotic lands far, far away? Many fathers believe they simply don’t have the money for big trips, but here are 10 tips to make holidays abroad affordable for your family:
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1. Start a travel Fund
Do your kids really need the latest craze in toys that will be forgotten a few weeks later for the newest thing that beeps, bounces, and beams? Ask for cash on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. You might be surprised how quickly the money adds up.
2. Look for Deals
If the prices in the travel shop at the mall leave you wide-eyed, you’re looking in the wrong place. The Internet has some incredible deals just waiting to be bagged. Love spending time on the water? Do a Google search for boating on a budget. Before you jet off, do read up on boat safety.
3. Travel off Season
The peak tourist season is usually when the weather is at its best. It’s also when prices are at their highest. Consider traveling in the shoulder season (just before or after the peak season). The weather may be less-than-ideal but you’ll get great deals on hotels and flights.
4. Pick an offbeat Destination
A vacation in London or Paris can cost an arm and a leg. World-class cities can be incredibly expensive to stay, eat, and travel in. Your money can go much further in a number of exotic and exciting destinations around the world. Shop for bargains in budget destinations. Give your kids the chance to experience something offbeat.
5. Travel Smart
Hotels can cost hundreds of dollars a night. For the same price, you could get a two-bedroom apartment on Airbnb to comfortably accommodate your family. Search for local hosts who share space in their homes in 190 countries around the world. You’ll benefit from unique lodging and a chance to experience the place like a local. Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft are convenient, cheaper than cabs, and safer than ever with the passing of new legislations. City passes yield major savings with discounts on attractions and activities. Using cash instead of credit cards can save you money on foreign transaction fees, currency exchange rates, and ATM withdrawal fees.
6. Save On Flights
Learn to love the middle seat on flights if the coveted window and aisle seats attract an additional fee. Indirect routes sometimes take longer but are a lot cheaper. Non-refundable tickets are less expensive (you should be able to change the dates for a small fee if your plans change). Travel mid-week when fares are lowest. Sites such as Skyscanner let you compare flight prices for a whole month.
7. Travel Light
All major U.S. carriers now charge extra for checked bags, especially the second checked back. As a family, learn to travel light and beat the baggage fees. A family of four can save hundreds of dollars this way.
8. Eat Like the Locals
One of the biggest joys of traveling is the chance to taste new food and expose your children to different cuisines. Happily, eating like a local will be easy on your pocket as well. Street food is delicious and a bowl of noodles costs as little as $1 in the backstreets of most Asian countries. Instead of meals in restaurants, visit the local supermarket and pack a lunch.
9. Look out for Freebies
Many cities offer free walking tours allowing you to save a packet on sightseeing costs. Some museums have nights when the visitor entry fee is waived. On certain days of the year, national parks offer free entrance. You’ll not only make your family vacation affordable, you’ll also give your children an enriching experience.
10. Ditch Technology
Does your family spend hours glued to smart phones, tablets, and other portable electronic devices? On vacation, ditch technology and make an effort to soak in the sight and sounds of the country you’re visiting. The happy coincidence is that you’ll save a bundle on mobile roaming and data fees. To keep in touch with family, use the free Wi-Fi in coffee shops and public places.