From our very first trip as a family of three, to our very first trip as a family of four, those journeys were really about just being somewhere different. If the opportunity to relax came up, well that was a bonus. Fun? Of course, but a different kind of fun from what we were used to. Seeing the world with a baby or toddler in tow can feel totally daunting at first, but my family is living proof that those travels get easier and easier.
And now we’re at this place where we can actually do stuff. Now my family travel ideas include things like learn an activity together, or go on adventures we can all take part in. Now my kids can handle longer flights, can pick up a sport faster than I can (ahem, snowboarding), and are starting to discover travel dreams of their own.
Vacations are not just about soaking up the sun anymore! We’ve made some plans and have some goals, but according to a recent TD survey, these types of trips are perceived as being more costly. They certainly do feel that way!
While attending a family wedding in Mexico last year, my then-eight-year-old daughter participated in a “Little Bubble Maker” program, where she learned to SCUBA dive and went down to a small reef. Since my husband has his PADI license, we would one day all like to get certified, and go diving together as a family. At age 10 you can get your license, but I might actually wait until Bub is ready to go so that gives me another four years to get my nerve up.
Either way, SCUBA is not an inexpensive pastime, and the thought of adding another level of expense to our vacation budget is a little daunting, but TD has some tips on how to make this kind of travel more affordable:
• Know how much to save: Calculate the full cost of the trip, including all associated costs, such as transportation, accommodation, transfers, tips, activities, meals and travel insurance.
• Create a vacation savings account: Have full sight of your expenses – through a monthly credit card statement for example – to identify where day-to-day savings can be made. Then put those extra dollars into a high-interest savings account, which can grow into a nice holiday fund. For example, saving $25 a week can generate $1,300 in a year to spend on your vacation. It helps to start saving as early as possible.
• Look for free or inexpensive activities: Research prices online and see if savings can be made by booking activities before reaching your vacation destination.
• Use your loyalty travel rewards to help save on travel costs: Use a travel rewards card to pay for all of your everyday purchases, and then redeem the loyalty travel rewards earned on those purchases to help reduce the overall cost of the trip. Remember, to benefit fully from using any credit card, pay the balance on time and in full.
I’m looking forward to the kind of adventures with my kids that I dreamed about during those very first family trips, and I feel so grateful that now my kids share those dreams as well.
Do you have big family travel ideas and goals? Please share in the comments!
Many thanks to TD for supporting this post.