If my family wants to take a vacation, we have to cut costs in a big way. Not just some corners here and there, but think more along the lines of big savings. In order to take a family vacation this year, we had to trim costs by fifty percent. This was no easy task, but with some financially-savvy moves and some strategic know-how, my family was able to cut our vacation expenses in half. Read on for a look at how we’re saving over $2,000 on our family’s road trip to Maine.
Rather than traveling during the height of the summer, when everyone seems to be on the road and looking for some adventure, my family decided to take our trip before the summer rush begins. By traveling in the off-season, our family is not only avoiding the crowds, but reducing our overall vacation expenses. Lodging and gas prices are cheaper, there are less people on the roads and we can avoid the summer crowds at our destination.
Driving vs. Flying
My husband and I already knew that flying was not an option when we looked at the cost of round trip airline tickets for our family of four. In total, our round trip tickets from Philadelphia to Portland, Maine would have cost us a grand total of $2,456. Rather than shelling out that kind of cash, my family decided to drive. While a road trip has its own set of related travel costs, we found a cheaper way around it.
Savings with Our Car Rental Company
Typically, for long road trips gas mileage is a huge factor. Not for us, though. We secured a mini-van rental through a local car-sharing company that offers low rates and spacious vehicles. Our weekly cost is $425 and the van comes equipped with a gas card, which means that we do not have to worry about spending any unneccessary money at the gas pump. The gas card acts as a pre-paid debit card and counteracts the need to spend our own hard-earned money on the road.
Free or Low Cost Family Entertainment
The reason why we chose Portland, Maine for our vacation is simple. It offered a lovely retreat from our normal hectic lifestyle, plenty of things to do and sights to see, and a wealth of free or low cost family entertainment for my family to enjoy. We did not need to shell out hundreds of dollars on amusement parks, museums or tours because this area is chock full of low cost entertainment that my family will soak up.
Hotel Accommodations Help Save Money, Too
Our hotel accommodations also helped save us money, as well. Our hotel offers a full, hot complimentary breakfast every morning, and our hotel room has a kitchenette where we can prepare our own meals.
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