You shouldn't need another vacation after your vacation
Sure, a family vacation is a great idea—until the credit card bill arrives. The good news is, with a bit of flexibility, you can have your vacation and keep your bank account intact too.
- Plan a domestic trip. You can drive, and skip the airfare. Don’t forget road snacks, such as Fruit Roll-Ups, Nature Valley bars and Cheerios—the crunchy O’s make great snacks for little ones.
- Avoid hot spots, which hike their prices during key travel times.
- Sign up for an exchange. Perhaps you'll find a family willing to vacation in your hometown. Search for holiday house swaps online.
- Bring your own food and avoid costly meals out. However, you don’t want to spend your entire vacation in the kitchen, so pack easy dishes like an Old El Paso Taco Kit, Hamburger Helper and Green Giant canned veggies.
- Leave mid-week. Travel on Wednesday instead of Saturday, when everyone is flying or driving and the cost of airfare and gasoline is at a premium.
- Book late — or early. Three weeks before your departure date is a good time to start your search. Check out travel sites online, as well as your Saturday local paper.
- Travel in a group. Many tour operators will offer you free airfare if you organize a medium-to-large group for travel.
- Ask for discounts. If you have a CAA card, use it to get better rates on hotels and car rentals. Ditto for your credit cards, as some of them offer breaks. Check it out before you depart.