So much family fun, so little money


A lot has changed in the world of kid-friendly, affordable vacations. Today, there are boundless ways families can vacation together at reasonable rates.

A growing number of airlines, resorts, cruise lines, theme parks, entertainment centers, restaurants, and sports facilities have responded with discounts to attract families. Here are a few tips to consider.

Travel off-season, and you may cut the cost of your trip in half. The best deals usually are at outdoor oriented destinations like ski resorts during the months of November and April and national parks in late fall or early spring.

Don’t forget about using frequent flyer miles for free family travel.

Did you know most airlines offer half-price seats for children younger than two? You may be able to use an unsold (free) seat for your toddler if you book your flight during an off-peak time, when the flight is less apt to be full.

How do you find reasonably priced airfare/resort packages? Even with apps and the Internet, consider consulting a travel agent. They can often find deals you would otherwise be unaware of.

The best lodging deals are where kids (usually under 12) dine free, have connecting rooms with parents for free or half price and can access all of the resort’s children’s programs at no charge.

Before you book a cruise, find out what cruise ships cater to kids. Compare costs of “extras” before booking a cruise. On some ships, soft drinks, baby-sitting, and fun clubs, packed with daily activities, are free. On other ships, there are charges for these services.

Meals can be one of the costliest spending areas during a family vacation. The key is to bring along food that doesn’t need refrigeration. Or try to book a place with a kitchenette so you can prepare your own meals.

What are your favorite family travel savings tips? Share with us in the comments!

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