Save Money on Family Vacations

Tips to reduce costs on summer travel.

| June 11, 2012


Save money on your family vacation by choosing a destination close to home, such as a water park. Kids of all ages will love the adventure.

Courtesy Great Wolf Lodge

Families are always looking for ways to enjoy vacation time together that maximizes fun, while minimizing the budget. With focus on the costs of gas prices, a recent AAA report indicated that these days families are opting to take shorter distance road trips, or “nearcations,” as they make their travel plans. 

Family travel expert and mother of three, Suzanne Rowan Kelleher of, knows the challenges of planning a great family vacation while looking to save. “When I want to cut back on travel spending, I start by picking a destination within driving distance of my home,” says Kelleher. “My kids are always happy to have a quick travel time. They’re always thrilled to visit an indoor water park with fun activities like Great Wolf Lodge, and my husband and I are happy to avoid the high cost of airfare.”

To help your family reduce costs on summer travel, Kelleher offers the following tips:

Plan ahead. While spontaneous weekend getaways are fun, the best way to save vacation dollars is by planning ahead. Keep in mind that most resorts offer the greatest variety of available room options, package amenities and overall savings when stays are booked further out in advance. 

Be flexible. Remember that the highest rates for hotels and entertainment stops are typically on weekends. To save money, plan a midweek getaway, or start your vacation on a Sunday to take full advantage of off-peak discounted tickets and overnight stays.

Book online. Websites allow vacation planners to easily view best available rates, compare alternate dates for travel, room styles, amenities and package plans. If you have a destination in mind, sign up to receive the location’s newsletter, which often includes discounts and special promotion codes via email. Many sites, like, also feature online chat assistance.

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