These family travel budget tips will make traveling as a family both CHEAPER and EASIER. I’ve brought in a family travel expert — Preethi of Local Passport Family. When it comes to saving money to travel as a family, Preethi is a totally pro. So far, she has traveled to:
- 48 Countries (WITH KIDS!) 😮 ✈️🌍
- 54 National Parks 🏞️
Here are Preethi’s Top 5 BEST Tips to save money on your family travel budget: 💸
#1: Airbnb your home to fund your Family Travel Budget 🏠
Preethi has helped fund her family’s travels by listing their home on Airbnb. Her tips for doing this most successfully:
Market to other families on AirBnb
As a mother of five children, Preethi’s home is already set up to be a great place for kids. Preethi has learned they have better success on Airbnb when they rent to other families. When business travelers rented their family home, it wasn’t as good of an experience — for the renters or hosts. Families liked that essentials like cribs or high chairs were already available. Also, families loved having a safe neighborhood as their home base for their vacation.
#2: Find Flight Deals like the Pros 🛫
When Preethi and her husband had fewer kids, they could manage with travel hacking (accumulating credit card points and airline miles). Now that flying as a family requires buying so many plane tickets, finding cheap flights is key. They take advantage of their Scott’s Cheap Flights Premium Membership, drive to other airports if needed, aren’t afraid of budget airlines, and always check the cost of various baggage fees.
Going Premium Membership
Most people start with Scott’s Cheap Flight free emails, but Preethi has decided it makes sense to pay for the premium membership. Although the Premium membership isn’t free, Preethi says it has paid for itself multiple times over. When you’re buying so many tickets, the savings multiply! This option is especially great if you can be flexible on dates or destinations.
Drive to Other Airports
Sometimes making a short drive to a less-convenient airport can mean HUGE savings on flights. Before booking your flight, check large airports within driving distance. Google Flights is a quick way to check a lot of airline options.
Don’t be afraid of Budget Airlines
Preethi said they have found great deals on regional budget airlines (e.g. Norweigen, RyanAir, etc.). Sometimes all it takes is a willingness to pack your own snacks and you can cash in on HUGE savings.
Research Baggage Options
Before deciding how many bags to take, research the cost of the airline’s baggage fees. Sometimes it’s cheaper to check one or two larger bags than many smaller carry-ons.
#3: Get Creative with Accomondations 🏡
Considering staying outside the city center
Sometimes you can save thousands by skipping the expensive hotels in touristy areas. Instead, consider staying in a home outside of the city center. But occasionally, you’re better off staying near all the action and saving on the cost of ground transportation. Explore a few options and see which is the best fit for your family.
Consider a Home Exchange
Preethi and her family were able to stay in Paris for a month by exchanging homes with another family. Staying in another family’s home is a great way to see how a local family actually lives — outside of the busy tourist areas and traveling to the city center as needed. She has had great success trading homes on HomeExchange.com.
Travel Off-season by Using Your School’s Indepedent Study Option
How does Preethi’s family manage to travel abroad for a month at a time? Preethi’s children are in public school, but once or twice a year, they use their school’s independent study option. Travel can be a great way to supplement your children’s education. Talk to your children’s teacher and school district to ensure you are supporting their educational goals.
#4. Eat Like A Local
Hit the markets or grocery store
Although eating out at restaurants can be fun, eat like a local by hitting the local market to buy in-season foods and staples. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be able to find the local flavor of the area.
Raise Adventurous Eaters
Preethi’s kids have been exploring new foods since birth using baby-led weaning. One philosophy she teaches her kids is, “you don’t have to love everything you try.” New foods don’t have to be your favorite. Consider having a weekly “Global night” where your kids can practice trying new foods and flavors. Start small by having them smell a new spice.
Preethi’s Free A-Z Global Children’s Book Club includes a recipe for every new country.
#5. Play Like a Local: Find free activities
Finding free activities like nature parks and playgrounds is not just about the cost savings! In our everyday lives at home, most of us gravitate toward free family activities, such as going to the local park. So the best way to meet local families is by hitting up those free activities. When Preethi and her family were in Pisa, they went to a quiet local beach. That free beach day ended up being the highlight of the trip! They were able to meet lovely local families who gave them great tips about other places to visit and restaurants to try. Interacting with local people is often the highlight of travel.
More from Preethi @LocalPassportFamily
Get more great travel tips from Preethi by:
- Checking our her blog LocalPassportFamily.com
- Following her on Instagram @LocalPassportFamily
- Joining her A-Z Glocal Children’s Book Club