When you have a large family, vacations can be crazy ridiculous. We don't always go on vacation as our family has grown but when it was just my biokids and me, we'd travel multiple times per year. We are actually working toward a cross country trip for next year. In the mean time, here are a few of our vacation trips and "how we afford" them.
Staycations: Family time is the whole point of vacations for us. Luckily, we live very close to a tourist town and in a decent sized city in a good location for make day trips or overnight trips. We are close to Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta. We are in a good location. We like to sleep at home to save money on food and lodging. We will go to semi-local water park, amusement parks, museums, concerts or attractions. We will sometimes have themed days: back yard olympics, Mountain pay, lake day, lazy day. These vacations are fun.
Travel: We do travel with them too. My biokids have been to Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. But how do we afford it? Below are a few of my tips.
1. Plan In Advance: We plan everything from destination to plan activities and dining. This way we know how much to plan to spend.
2. Go in the off season. During non peak times, there are many discounts available.
3. I bring my crockpot! We may eat one or two meals out and the rest of the time we eat in our room.
4. Look online for coupons.
5. Stop at the visitor center and get coupons and discounted tickets.
6. Haggle. You can argue the prices of lodging at the time of booking and it's great. I have been known to get beachfront pent houses for $1000 a week.
7. Check out goosgle for free activities and events going on at your destination.
8. Get a gas app. Lower priced gas makes a difference.
9. Coin bucket pays our way. We pay cash for everything. All change and $1 bills go in the bucket.
10. If flying, take as little luggage as possible by packing several kids together.