Home Instagram Pinterest Facebook Twitter Google+ RSS Contact
Home

11 Brilliant Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

This post was written by me through an activation with HireInfluence on behalf of Howard Johnson Hotels. Although I received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are mine.

Summer is vacation time! The kids are out of school, the days are longer, and the summer sun beckons you to get away and relaaaaaax. But the costs of a family holiday can add up quickly. Worry not, traveling families. You CAN take the kids on a fabulous summer getaway without going broke. Read these 10 tips to save money on family vacation and learn how to score 20 percent off your Howard Johnson Hotels stay this summer.

11 Brilliant Tips to Save Money on Your Family Vacation

1. Set a budget for souvenirs.

Rather than constantly fielding pleas to buy tchotckes in every gift shop during your travels, set up a budget for souvenirs before leaving home. Tell children exactly how much they will be allotted before your vacation begins and then stick to it! This will help children understand the value of money and how to budget properly. If they spend all their dough on the first trinket that catches their eyes, they will need to deal with the consequences.

Set a budget for souvenirs before leaving home ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

Set a budget for souvenirs before leaving home (Photo credit: Nomadsoul1, Depositphotos.com)

2. Sign up for rewards programs.

You might be surprised by how quickly you can rack up airline miles, rental car upgrades, and hotel points by joining rewards programs. With Wyndham Rewards, you earn points with every stay at any of their hotel chains, including Howard Johnson Hotels.

Earn free hotel stays when you sign up for rewards programs ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

You can earn free Howard Johnson hotel stays when you sign up for Wyndham Rewards (Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson Hotels)

3. Bring your own snacks.

Buying travel snacks like ice cream cones and funnel cakes can be tough on your pocket book and your waistline. Instead, pack your own healthy snacks like protein bars and trail mix. You can also stop at a local grocery store or market after you arrive to buy some fresh fruits, nut butter, bread and whole grain crackers or cereals. Stock up on some bottled waters, too, rather than throwing away cash in vending machines to stay hydrated.

Bring or buy hearty snacks to save money on your family vacation ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

Bring or buy hearty snacks to save money on your family vacation (Photo credit: greatandlittl, Depositphotos.com)

4. Save on pet sitting.

Once of my family's biggest travel expenses over the years has been pet sitting. Instead of forking out tons of cash for your pet's overnights, choose a pet-friendly hotel. Nearly all of Howard Johnson's 400 properties welcome pets to stay with their owners on vacation. Be careful, though, not to leave pets in cars in summer. Even a few minutes in a hot car can be dangerous for our furry friends.

Bring your furry friends along to save money on pet sitting ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

Bring your furry friends along to save money on pet sitting (Photo credit: tomwang, Depositphotos.com)

5. Cut transportation costs.

Vacation transportation costs can add up quickly. If you'll be staying somewhere close to attractions, you may be able to avoid the expense of renting a car by walking, renting bicycles, or using public transportation. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft can get you to farther destinations, too.

Save money on transportation by bicycling, walking, or using public transportation ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

Save money on transportation by bicycling, walking, or using public transportation (Photo credit: Deklofenak, Depositphotos.com)

6. Choose a hotel that includes breakfast.

Included daily breakfast is such a money and time saver. When most kids wake up, they want to eat right away. It's so convenient (and tasty) to grab included breakfast at Howard Johnson Hotels, and then start your day's adventures without delay.

Free breakfast at Howard Johnson Hotels saves money AND time ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

Free breakfast at Howard Johnson Hotels saves money AND time (Photo provided by Howard Johnson)

7. Look for free things to do.

Many destinations offer free activities for families. For example, public beaches and local parks don't cost a thing and are super fun for families. Often museums and other attractions will offer free entrance one day per month, so check ahead and plan accordingly. Do a web search for “free things to do” in your destination before you go, too.

Public beaches are a free and fun option for family vacations ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

Public beaches are a free and fun option for family vacations (Photo provided by Howard Johnson Hotels)

8. Hit up happy hour.

Many family-friendly restaurants offer happy hours in the afternoons with discounted drinks and appetizers. Children often need to eat early anyway, so take advantage of affordable happy hour menus.

Happy hour can save your family money on vacation ~ 11 Tips to Save Money on Family Vacation this Summer

Happy hour can save your family money on vacation (Photo credit: bhofack2, Depositphotos.com)

9. Get free WiFi.

WiFi is one of those vacation costs you probably don't even think to include in your budget. Of course you want to share those darling family vacation pics on Instagram and Facebook, but many hotels still charge way too much for WiFi. Thankfully Howard Johnson never charges for WiFi, so share away!

Share your precious family vacation pics via social media with free WiFi at Howard Johnson Hotels

Share your precious family vacation pics via social media with free WiFi at Howard Johnson Hotels (Photo provided by Howard Johnson Hotels)

10. Choose a nearby destination.

You need not spend tons of money on airfare for a vacation from the ordinary. Instead, choose a destination within driving distance. You could even check in to a local hotel and act like a tourist in your hometown. It's amazing how separating yourself from nagging household chores and errands can bring a family closer together.

11. Save 20 percent on a Howard Johnson Hotel stay this summer.

Howard Johnson Hotels want to help you get away this summer. That's why they're offering a 20 percent discount when you stay two or more nights. And Howard Johnson knows that pool-time makes any summer vacation more fun. Thankfully, most of their properties include pools for making splashy family vacation memories. Summer is calling…book and save now!

Do you have any tips or questions about how to save money on family vacation? Let us know in the comments below!

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. 20% off is a huge savings! We love Howard Johnson, so scoring some savings on staying there is perfect for us. Their hotels are always so comfy!

  2. robin rue says:

    I am loving all of your tips. We do some rewards programs and have saved big over the year.

  3. I have become an expert on saving money so that I can travel. The last year I went to Hawaii and I had no debt whatsoever when I got back. What you did is exactly what you did. You hit the nail right on the head.

  4. I follow many of these tips when I travel with my family. I love the 20% savings that Howard Johnson is offering – Need to look for some weekend trips with the kids!!

  5. I really have to keep this in mind on my next trip. It’s usually the transportation costs that get me going over budget!

  6. Excellent ideas! I love reward points and I also love being treated like royalty when using those points. Because David and I are vegan we always bring our own snacks. When we have the whole family with us we always looks for free breakfast. I’m going to look in to Howard Johnson Hotels in my area!

  7. You have literally laid out the perfect map to saving money! I am saving this for our Disney trip next summer!

  8. Amy Desrosiers says:

    We save on vacation by drinking water at restaurants and setting budgets for everything!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      So smart, Amy. Sodas and cocktails really can push up the total on a restaurant bill! My husband and I like to bring a bottle of wine and corkscrew with us so we can enjoy a nightcap without the hefty bar charge.

  9. Claudia Krusch says:

    I will have to sign up for the rewards program. We love to stay at Howard Johnson Hotels. It is so important to set a budget.

  10. Elizabeth Lampman says:

    I am always looking for ways to save some money on our vacations. Rewards programs are a great way to save. I look for free things we can do in the cities we visit.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      We often like the free activities just as much or more than big ticket items when we travel!

  11. These are some great tips to help save on vacation. We use those coupons we find in travel brochures to buy meals or even souvenirs!

  12. These are great tips to save! We just got a puppy and have been concerned about how to travel with him. Knowing we have an option of a hotel that will take us, and our fur-baby is perfect!

  13. Yes, to all! We love to travel and it’s made possible by careful tips like these!

  14. Katrina Gehman says:

    I love rewards programs especially for hotels. I save them up so i can use them when i really need them.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      I like to use my hotel points for one-night stays before or after flights. It just seems like a fun bonus night, then.

  15. Really helpful tips. Especially bring snack and limit the souvenirs. My son always nags to buy sparkling souvenirs That will reduce greatly costs to buy things that don’t really matter.

Speak Your Mind

*