Tips for Saving Money on Vacation Transportation

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Transportation costs can eat up a large portion of a family's travel budget, even after reaching your destination. Thankfully, there are more ways to get from place to place then ever before. Here are some helpful tips for saving money on vacation transportation that will stretch your family's holiday budget.

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Tips for Saving Money on Vacation Transportation

Take a Walk

In many congested cities in Europe and Asia, walking will get your further, at far less cost (free!) and with less hassle and stress than driving a car. Download walking apps onto your smart phone to guide your feet. If you have a FitBit or other step-counting device, you can celebrate the many thousands of steps you've taken with a fine meal at the end of a walking day. Just make sure to pack proper walking shoes.

Bakfiets cargo bikes ~ Tips for Saving Money on Vacation Transportation

Popular ‘Bakfiets' of the Netherlands (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Rent or Borrow a Bicycle

Bikes rule the streets in major cities like Kyoto and Amsterdam. Bicycling provides a lovely and leisurely way to explore a new destination. biking is kind on the wallet and good for the legs, too!

Bicycle rental shops or city-sponsored bike shares, like Vélib in Paris, CitiBike in New York or Cycle Kyoto, offer visitors economical transportation options as well as convenient access and drop-off points. Rental shops may offer tandems or bike seats for kids, or even cargo bikes (bakfiets) that can hold two small children, making for more than a few family-friendly transportation options.

All aboard the train! Tips for Saving Money on Vacation Transportation!

All aboard! (Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye)

Board a Train

Traveling by train is often more affordable, convenient and fun than air travel. With the popularity of Harry Potter and Thomas the Tank Engine, young children may find train travel a more magical and exciting way to move.

City passes to popular European cities often include free public transportation on subways (a type of train!) for children under certain ages. Train companies like SBB in Switzerland allow children under 15 to travel free throughout their extensive train system, when riding with a paying adult. Pass holders can be also be eligible for free museum entries and local bus service. ~ Tips for Saving Money on Vacation Transportation

Try Ridesharing

In the brave new world of getting around cities and towns while on holiday, the rise of the ridesharing economy has been a real game changer. Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have transformed the taxicab industry around the world. They've created a competitive marketplace, and consumers are the winners. There are more choices and services to choose from, and at less cost for a traveling family. Here are three tips make the most of your ridesharing experience.

1. Download a ridesharing app.

Not sure which app is good for you? Check out before you leave on vacation. Here you'll get the full low-down on the most popular ridesharing apps and companies operating in the country and cities you plan to visit.

Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular companies around the world. Both company apps allow you to enter your location, ultimate destination, and the number in your traveling party. Download the apps and input your personal and credit card information before you leave home so you're not dependent on spotty, insecure WiFi at your destination. Other rideshare options include DoorDash, Drizly, Postmates, Shipt, Sidecar and Washio.

2. Use passenger promotion codes and earn credits.

Both Uber and Lyft offer free first ride credits and other promotions to entice you to use them. New Lyft users can get a $50 ride credit when they sign up for the service. Users of either of these rideshare brands can earn more free ride credits when they invite friends (or even a spouse with a separate phone) to take their first ride.

3. Use the online Uber Fare Estimator.

Avoid nasty fare surprises by researching and estimating your ride fare ahead of time. The Uber Fare Estimator gives you instant pricing on Uber rides so you can plan your transportation budget. You can also search according to cities and popular destinations in real time.

Do you have any tips for saving money on vacation? Share your suggestions in the comments below!

A Note from The Curious Travel Mama: Travel Mamas received compensation from related to this post. All opinions are my own, as always. Photos in top collage purchased from Pink graphic provided by

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She started traveling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about the travel experience and the value of traveling as a family. She is the founder of, and contributes to many online and print media publications around the world. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom or Instagram as @itsclaudiatravels.

  1. I’d add that it’s important to note which airport you’re flying into when going to large cities with multiple airports. The on-ground transportation from ‘budget’ airports can be expensive enough to cancel out any savings. Hiring a driver with a private car company may sound expensive, but with a family of 5 (too big for a single taxi) it’s often the cheapest way to get from outlying airports!

  2. Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says

    Such great tips! In NYC ride sharing apps are very popular, especially for moms who are usually traveling during off-peak hours.

  3. Precious Leyva says

    My husband and I have talked about taking our family to Universal studios in the near future. However, I have been wondering how we will get around; we have a fairly large family, so transportation is important. I’m glad that you mentioned looking around for passenger promotions. I’ll have to search around and see what we can find to stay within our budget.

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