Cheap Vacations for Big Families

Nothing should stop families from traveling. Whether your family is big or small, an affordable vacation is possible. Contrary to popular opinion, planning cheap vacations for big families isn't only about location. A combination of location, travel strategies, and anticipating the needs of your family can get you out of town for a price that won't break the bank. Keep reading for tips on the best way to travel cheaply.

cheap entertainment family vacation

1. Keep Entertainment Costs Down

One challenge families face is paying an individual entry fee per member of the family for attractions or museums. Anticipate this problem and choose a location that has low entertainment costs. Maybe that means visiting a national park that charges one entry fee per vehicle, where a variety of entertainment - from hiking to picnics to swimming to biking - is waiting inside.

2. Eating Family Style

Big families often have big appetites. When families choose a vacation rental, you can eat family style instead of paying per entre. Whether you choose a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains or a cottage in North Carolina's Outer Banks, you can fill the fridge with affordable and healthy food from local farmers' markets or grocery stores. Kitchens also allow families to pack picnics and keep snacks and drinks at hand.

3. Drive To Your Destination

Another significant cost of travel is airfare. Instead of paying for a ticket for each member of the family, look closer to home. Many people are surrounded by fun destinations that they never get a chance to visit. Whether Virginia's Eastern Shore or the beaches along the coast of Texas are nearby, pack up the car and head somewhere new. Not only will you cross an interesting destination off your list, but you will get your family somewhere they can relax at an affordable price.

big family on vacation

4. Just for Groups

One guarantee of cheap vacations for big families is the group discount. Whether you have a big family or are planning a family reunion, there is strength in numbers. For example, some museums, concerts, or festivals offer discounts (and sometimes even early admission) to larger groups. If you have a destination or event in mind, research the group angle. Tour guides from New York City to Yellowstone also offer discounts when groups cross a certain threshold.

5. All About Timing

One of the best ways to stretch available dollars is to be very particular about when you travel. Although it is tempting to travel during school break and in the summer months, these are the busiest and most expensive times to get away. Instead, plan long weekends and take advantage of "dead zone" travel periods, such as immediately before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Less demand often equals lower prices for families.

6. Last Minute Deals

One of the best ways to travel on the cheap is to take advantage of last minute deals. Sign up for newsletters from airlines, car rental companies, and attractions of interest. In addition, don't just wait for the news to come to you. If you have your eye on a certain vacation rental property, contact the owner and make an offer. Owners from Florida to California and everywhere in between will often accept a low last minute offer instead of their property remaining empty.

7. Be Spontaneous

Many big families run into one problem: focusing on a narrow list of locations. The best way to travel cheap is to be spontaneous. Instead of trying to find a cheap flight or vacation rental at a single destination, expand your horizons. Ask yourself where you can get the most value. Let the cheap prices guide you to a destination that you might not have considered otherwise. Spontaneous travel will give your family trip a sense of adventure too.

Cheap vacations for big families might actually be easier to plan than cheap vacations for small families - thanks to sizable vacation homes, group discounts, and other factors. All you need is an open mind and a plan!

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