Tips for Affordable Family Vacations

It's no secret that I spend a lot of time traveling with my kids, and that's a pastime that – while extremely important to me – can get massively expensive if I'm not careful. But what I've discovered is that it's totally possible to travel affordably ... so long as you give it a tiny bit of forethought.

My tips for keeping travel costs low (but not sacrificing even one iota of fun):

  1. Plan Ahead. Check to see whether the area that you’re interested in has an “off” season that might offer reduced rates.
  2. Pack Snacks. Concession stands can be ridiculously expensive, so make sure to bring along your own sandwiches and snacks. They’re just as delicious, and (theoretically, at least) way healthier.
  3. Do Your Research. Before you leave, hunt around on local websites for information about free entertainment in the area (park concerts, special exhibits, et cetera).
  4. Eat Local. Instead of heading to an (overpriced) chain for a meal you can have anywhere, find someone who lives in the area and ask them where they go to eat.
  5. Sign Up For Alamo Insiders. It’s a free subscription service that offers 5% off of retail rental rates.

And, of course, a little mooching never hurt anyone – so if you have a friend with room to spare, ask if you can stay with them…while being a spectacular house guest (and offering to return the favor in the future, of course).


Planning a budget-friendly family trip?

Find the closest Alamo rental car location

About the Author

Jordan Reid

Jordan Reid grew up in New York City, studied cognitive neuroscience at Harvard University, and worked as an actress for over a decade before turning her focus to fashion, beauty, entertaining, home decor, and DlY creating the popular lifestyle website Ramshackle Glam. A mom of two, Jordan is the author of two parenting and style books, Ramshackle Glam (2014) and Carrying On (2015); her third book will be released by Random House in 2017.