Friday, 14 February 2014

Getting in a State — How to Save Money on Family Holidays to America.


With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the all-important summer holidays! Family trips can be some of our greatest childhood memories but, as a parent, you may be wondering if travelling too far is going to be financially possible. Here are some tips on how to save money on family holidays to America:  

Do your research
Speak with friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues to find out where they’ve been to the States. Ask them if they’d go back. Probe for details on their flight prices, hotel deals and which attractions they felt were truly worth the price. If you’re heading to Florida, for example, you may want to buy Miami Seaquarium tickets or Zoo Miami tickets before you go so you don’t have to include it in your spending money while you’re there. Extend your research online and check out money saving websites and search for discounted tickets. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save (and possibly a little pleased with yourself!)

Book early or book late
Booking well in advance of your travel dates often saves you money — and not just a dollar or two, either. Travelling on certain days of the week — Tuesdays, for instance — are also known to generally cost less, so start looking for flights today. That being said, if you are quite flexible about when you travel and are willing to risk waiting until right before travelling to book, the Internet can also reward you with some tremendous last minute holiday deals.

Choose your dates wisely
If you’re tied to the school holidays as to when you travel for a trip abroad, consider booking a family getaway right before the kids go back to school. The last week of August and the first week of September are usually significantly cheaper than the rest of the summer. Another bonus? The weather in Florida is nice and hot at this time of year, so you’re sure to come back with a tan.

Negotiate
Don’t be afraid to use your negotiating skills when speaking to hotel managers or tour operators. Although they may like you to believe they are, their ticket prices aren’t set in stone. If you’re travelling with a large group or booking a last-minute deal they may be able to be swayed to drop the price a bit. A travel agent may also be able to negotiate a package deal if you’re heading somewhere popular.

Bring what you can with you
Finally, bring snacks, entertainment for the kids and as many toiletries — especially sunscreen —  as you can with you. These items will undoubtedly cost more if you have to buy them in the airport or at the hotel. The currency exchange rate will also have a say in your budget and you don’t want to end up paying more than you would have at home.

All it takes is a bit of planning, a bit of surfing the Net and a touch of common sense and you can find yourself hitting the States, or anywhere else you choose to visit, for much less. Those parents having to put up with their kids’ tantrums because the budget wouldn’t allow them to pay for ice-creams all around, toys, rides, etc…. that’s not going to be you. You can enjoy your holiday stress free.

*Image by pixelsound, used under Creative Commons licence.
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