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How to Take A Family Vacation For Less Than $500

How to Take A Family Vacation For Less Than $500

7 Tips to Take a Family of 5 On A Week Long Vacation And Spend $500 or Less.


I don't know about you, but the holiday's always seem to leave me feeling like I need a serious vacation from everything.  Whether it's the busyness and stress that comes from rushing around, or just the general onslaught of cold whether that picks up during the holiday season, all I know is that at the start of every New Year, I start to crave a family vacation and all that it entails.  I start daydreaming about that warm sand under my feet and the relaxing sounds of the waves splashing back and forth.  But then reality starts to set in again, and I ask myself, how on earth can I take my five person family on an affordable vacation that won't break our tight budget?  

If you are like me and feel ready for a long vacation after the holidays, but also have a tight budget to work with, this post is for you.  For two years now my five person family has taken a week long vacation for less than $500 dollars.  If you'd like to learn my 7 tips on how to vacation on the cheap, please keep reading!


Are you ready for my 7 ways to take a big family on a long vacation for $500 or less?  Here they are:

1.  Drive to your destination.

When it comes to big families, the key to keeping a vacation cheap starts with driving.  As we all know, plane tickets are not cheap, and if you have a lot of people in your household, they are really not cheap.  Load up the car with your sweet family members and drive to your destination if you can.  This one tip will save you hundreds of dollars.   It will also probably be less stressful in the long run too. 

2.  Stay with relatives. 

This is another tip that will save you big!  Hotels are not cheap, especially for a week!  If you have family that you can visit and stay with during your vacation, please take advantage of it.  It will really save you money.  I am lucky enough to have family in south Florida, so when we go on vacation during the winter, this is exactly where we go and we stay with my family.  After reading an article in Daily Mail Online about how hotels are not washing sheets - you can view that article here - I sort of just completely lost my desire to sleep at a hotel anyway. 

3.  Leave your pets with friends or family.

leave the family pets with relatives to save money when go on vacations

Do you have pets?  If so, then you know that the kennels are not cheap.  Why not leave your animals with a friend or family member to cut the cost? Your animals will most likely be happier in a person's house instead of a kennel anyway.

4.  Plan ahead. 

Not planning for vacations months in advance is a big hidden source of over spending on them.  Why should you plan ahead?  Because this way you will have enough time to buy all the items you will need, such as bathing suits, towels, swimming gear, etc.  I always find great deals on these summer items in the fall when summer is over.  If you are able to plan your vacation and know you will be heading somewhere warm come winter time, stock up on vacation items when they go on sale after the summer ends. 


5.  Skip the restaurants and opt for groceries instead.

skip eating out when on vacation to help save money

I know that there is always the urge to eat out night after night when you are on a vacation, but guys, this will really drain your funds.  Eating out is not cheap, and we are prone to make impulse decisions when we order our food in a restaurant environment.  I know this because I worked as a waitress for many years, and I saw how people over spend on food and drinks at restaurants.  Instead of wreaking havoc on your vacation budget with eating out, buy groceries and cook in the place you are staying at.  Chances are that even one night of eating out will be enough to make you feel like you got your vacation in.  My family likes to eat out the first and the last nights of our vacation, but we live off of basic groceries during all the days in between. 

6.  Schedule activities that are free.

vacations can be cheap with kids because kids enjoy simple activities

I am constantly shocked at how  many free activities there are in any city, for both kids and grown ups.  Try to keep your activity list restricted to as many free things as possible.  Splash parks and museums are great sources of fun for children and they are also usually free.  My kids enjoy splashing around in the waves and looking for sea shells for hours.  My sons really loves to look for crabs.  That's one of the great things about kids, they have fun doing a lot of things that don't cost anything at all!  

a boy holding a crab is a cheap activity for family vacation

For adults, think anything with nature - hiking, walking, swimming in the ocean; all of these things cost nothing. 

7.  Take vacations during times when it's expensive to live at home.

go on a family vacation when you will save money not living at your house

What I mean here with this point is that, if you can take a vacation during the winter, do it, because you will be saving money on heating your home while you are gone.  My family loves to vacation during the winter time, and I always think about how much we are saving on heating the house when we are away.  It always helps to reduce that mommy guilt I have about spending on the vacation itself.

I wish you a wonderful, and very inexpensive, family vacation!  Here are a few pictures of our latest family vacation in 2017:

palm tree full of coconuts

man climbing coconut tree

father and son on the beach

children enjoying the beach

How to Take A Family Vacation For Less Than $500

If you would like to read more about how to save money and live frugal, please also see my page, Saving Money, which is located at the top of my site. You may also enjoy my mom life articles which can be found under my page, Motherhood, which is also at the top of my site.  To get coupon codes for the brands I work with, see my page, Coupon Codes.

Please feel free to check me out on my other platforms here: Instagram, Pinterest, Flipboard, StumbleUpon, and Bloglovin'

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Just a makeup mama who loves to play, and slay, with her makeup.  Learn my beauty secrets and explore my world at: The Makeup Equation

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