Simply put, travel can be overwhelming and downright costly, so I've put together five tips to help you save up for a vacation with your family this winter. Whether you follow your stomach on vacation or any use other motivating factors, I've included some tried-and-tested methods I've used with my own family:
A great way to help save money for a trip is to look to AIR MILES reward miles to do some of the heavy lifting. Reward miles can be redeemed for flights, hotels, and car rentals—the three major costs on any family vacation. I'm already collecting miles by shopping at places like the LCBO, Metro, and Shell. Erica Ehm tipped me off about the advantages of signing up for an an American Express AIR MILES Credit Card, because while it can take a while to normally earn reward miles to save up for a vacation, I could earn twice the reward miles when shopping at participating Sponsors by swiping both my AIR MILES Collector Card and my American Express AIR MILES Credit Card. The credit card options are varied to accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles, from luxury travelers to moms and dads trying to get the best deal on their family vacation. This means my normal grocery shopping can help me collect reward miles at two times the pace I normally would, and use them to help us save on our family vacation.
Let them know that while you are saving for your trip, you are going to try and save money with economical meals. Every time you would normally consider going out to a restaurant for a meal, stay in and make a similar dinner at home. Take the estimated savings and put them into your vacation savings.
In addition, every time your family has a vacation-saving dinner, put $20-$30 into the fund. This can include dinner from the freezer or pantry or having a fun breakfast-for-dinner night like pancakes and eggs or grilled cheese with tomato soup. The kids will love seeing how their actions can contribute to a fun family goal! For me, since we're often tasting delicious food on our trips, it's easy for the kids to relate this savings plan into a delicious vacation.
When it comes time to book your trip, there are many ways that you can save some extra money! Many hotels will include breakfast in the price of your stay so this can end up being quite a large opportunity to save. If you're away for a week and have a family of four it can easily be worth three to five hundred dollars!
If you're a coffee drinker, you'll be amazed at how much you spend ordering coffee out of the home. Every time you make coffee at home or opt for a regular cup o' Joe instead of a fancy latte or cappuccino, drop $4 into your vacation savings. If you've got two adults who would normally order a few high-priced drinks a week, that can quickly add up!