How to plan a family vacation?

Group of four people

Published Date: April 28, 2022

Just when we thought that we’re approaching the endemic of the worst pandemic the world has ever faced, the fourth wave of the COVID is on the rise in many states of India (even as we’re writing this blog). As we all know, the COVID virus started to spread across the world in the beginning of 2020, after it was first spotted in the Wuhan province of China in December 2019. So, what does it hold for the future of travel, both domestic and international? Will travel and tourism sector take a hit or continue to run normally. Now, these are fundamental questions that are better left to industry experts. Family, vacation and budget definitely form the core of discussion when planning a trip in the midst of another pandemic. Right, how do you plan a family vacation on a budget, now that’s whether you’re operating on a shoestring budget, or you have a fatter travel budget? Check out this week’s blog on how to plan a family vacation on a budget.

Good timing:
Well, timing is everything for a well-scheduled family vacation. Last-minute travel deals actually don’t exist during school vacations, and if at all you’re able to find one, it can be to undesirable touring destinations. Use your kid’s school calendar to schedule your tour in advance, especially when prices are comparatively down due to low bookings. If your kids are pursuing studies online, you can still make bookings outside the travel peak period when the costs are relatively lower and tourist places not crowded.

Use travel blogs, videos and forums:
Some of the most popular digital sources that effectively help plan a family vacation include travel blogs and videos. Check out travel blogs and YouTube channels (Vloggers) that give you an account of family travel experience including destinations to explore, things to do, accommodation, food, budget, etc. Talk to the blog owner, webmaster or YouTuber through mail or call to find out more on their travel experiences including expenses. There are many forums that retell travel experiences and the overall budget for travelling to exotic destinations. Generally speaking, if you’re arranging a family vacation, you can definitely save same money following the tips and recommendations based on travel experience by seasoned bloggers and YouTubers.

What is your budget?
If you want to swim in the sea, you need to actually swim and enjoy the water. Likewise, if you want to save money on a trip, you actually need to set the budget without sacrificing fun, given there are a lot many ways to spend extravagantly than money-saving as an activity. Interestingly, plenty of mobile apps are available today that actually help track and monitor your spending activities—from passport, accommodation, food to souvenirs. The point here is if there’s no prior planning, it is not possible to establish control over your budget without getting your chequebook out! Advanced booking in many cases is a proven way to control and manage travel expenses.

The extras count:
Just as extras during bowling can change the course of a cricket game, failure to identify unplanned and extra travel expenses, let alone track and monitor them, in a family vacation can definitely burn a hole in your pocket. Though it’s difficult to track extraneous travel expenses and effectively eliminate them, like in the case of business or corporate travel management, they can be still brought down with a bit of an effort. A simple trick is to understand your family’s needs and wants during travel. You can practically breakdown the little details of your trips, and suitably make a ballpark cost estimate, of course without sacrificing the fun part, as seen earlier in the blog. But don’t forget that these “extended” expenses by every means would quickly add up, and throw in some real surprises at you later–definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Talk to your immediate travel network:
Talk to people in your immediate network who have travelled before to your planned destination, and discuss the related expenses. This exercise should be carried out well in advance to avoid last minute budget planning. Don’t make it sound too desperate though. Just get the inputs, and act accordingly to plan your travel budget.

A friend in need is a friend indeed:
This may appeal to you a bit miserly but one of the best ways to save money on any tour is to ask your friends, relatives and distant acquaintances if there’s any possibility of arranging accommodation in their homes you’re likely to visit. You can save on food, accommodation and even transportation charges. But above everything else, there’s greater safety when you stay with your acquaintances, providing they have no objection accommodating your family. Don’t forget to reciprocate their gesture with a gift as a token of love and appreciation, and try to keep their premises in a clean and proper manner. Also, return the formality when they tend to visit your home in future.

Don’t pay for extra baggage:
Airlines all over the world charge a specific fee for extra luggage and baggage that exceeds the permitted levels. If you’re looking to save money in this area, it’s suggested that you carry only the things you really need. Try to avoid things that could add unnecessary weight to your luggage. Pack your bag in such a way that it does not exceed the allowed limit without your having to pay anything extra in the process.

Stay in the airport:
May be an extreme step towards money-saving: staying in the airport, especially if you’re travelling into a country in the late hours of the night, is a welcome step nonetheless. The best part is you don’t have to stay in the hotel room for one night; take a nap at the airport, and then check in early the next day into your hotel room. Airports such as Singapore have hotels onsite on an hourly rental basis. Dubai Airport has stylish single sleep pods if you’re having an overnight layover, or say just 3-4 hours to sit back and relax rather than eight. May be not a well thought-out decision, especially with tired kiddos around, but you still need to kick in some energy.
Talk to us if you’re planning your family vacation this summer We’re the most trusted travel agency in India, and we’ll help you plan your budget better without limiting your vacation to plain holiday packages.