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Top 10 tips for getting away with great family travel deals

We love going on vacations with the kids - we want them to be world travelers and see beyond their backyard.  I was born and raised in England, my parents are not travelers and so I did not see beyond my home town until I went to College and found there was so much of the world to see.  In Europe, its easy to travel with public transportation which makes traveling on a budget amazing as you can visit several cities in Europe easily in just 1 week.  In America, distances are much further from place to place so things are more expensive, plus now with the economy the way it is traveling by car, plane and boat can cost an arm and a leg especially with a family as you need to factor in more head count.  Even though kids are half the size the price of traveling with kids doesn't quite work that way.

So here I post my top 10 tips for getting away with great family travel deals

1.  Our biggest source of money for vacation comes from our credit card points.  We put all our monthly expenses and bills onto our credit card and we earn one point per dollar.  It soon adds up, but you must be disciplined in not spending over your budget and pay off the credit card bill as soon as the bill comes as those savings from the credit card points will be lost from the credit card charges.

2. We try to book in advance but sometimes this might not work to our advantage as closer to the date there are awesome deals to be found.  I sign up with all the airlines email notification service so that I can find out when their deals pop up.  Sometimes they are restrictive so be prepared to be flexible.

3. I also sign up with companies like hotwire who sell complete packages.  These sites can bring you a better deal with the whole shebang than when priced out separately with different companies.  Do your homework and compare apples to apples.

4.  Try to travel off season as prices will be significantly lower.  Find out when the cutoff dates are.  We usually travel in the fall because of the off season prices, the weather is actually better as its not too hot and not too cold. 

5. Do your research on the area you intend to visit.  Visit the city website as there will be deals on local places to stay, see and eat. 

6. Consider a house swap.  You get the opportunity to stay in a warm welcome home and return the favor.  Of course the stars have to align but its a more economical way to save on hotel bills, plus you can do your laundry and relax with more space.

7. We try to visit places where we have friends and relatives as we can stay at their place at no charge and just the return of a good meal out.

8. Sign up with and find gift certificates at a wonderful price for restaurants in your chosen area.

9. As a blogger I would recommend googling travel blogs as they are very knowledegable in their field and you will find deals that may nnot be apparent to the general public.

10.  If you intend to visit a place many times consider buying a pass, this will be more cost effective over time. 

Happy traveling

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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