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Make your next family vacation more affordable
vacation 6-5
Money is still tight for many people, but smart vacationing allows families to get away.

The cost of everyday items continues to stretch many people’s budgets, even as financial experts note that inflation is cooling off. When individuals feel a pinch in their wallets, non-essentials, such as vacations, often are on the chopping block. But they may not have to be.

After remaining below three percent for a long time, the U.S. Consumer Price Index began to rise in 2021, ultimately reaching 9.1 percent in June 2022 (it has since fallen to more manageable levels, hitting 3.5 percent as of March 2024), according to Forbes. Although inflation may be “deflating,” typically once the costs of goods and services rise, they are more likely to remain that way. It still may be a few years before consumers grow accustomed to these prices.

Higher prices are exacerbated by the fact that the cost of living is still outpacing what people are bringing home. A 2023 survey from Bankrate revealed that, of the workers surveyed whose wages rose, only 33 percent said their income kept up with or exceeded increases in household expenses due to inflation.

Families who are watching their pennies but still want to vacation this year can rest assured there are ways to travel without breaking the bank.

Visit a national park

National Parks are located throughout the country and around the world. The U.S. National Park Service says that entry to many of these parks is free, and those that are not free charge much lower entrance fees than typical family attractions like theme parks.

Be a visitor in your own city

(or one nearby)

Who says you have to travel far to have a good time? Enjoy the sights closer to home that you may never have experienced. Some day trips to attractions within driving distance can cut costs when a family is traveling together.

Split a rental home cost

Rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO give you plenty of options when traveling. It may be more cost-effective to rent a large home at a particular destination with several bedrooms or sleeping areas and take a vacation with extended family or friends to divide up the costs.

Buy or rent an RV

The RV lifestyle has grown by leaps and bounds. While always a popular way to see the country, RVing interest exploded during the pandemic, when people wanted safer options for getting away. An RV is essentially a hotel on wheels, so the opportunities for affordable vacations are innumerable once the initial RV investment is made. Plus, people who purchased RVs at the height of COVID-19 may be looking to unload their relatively brand-new vehicles at discounted costs.

Tailor splurges

If you want to splurge on a more expensive vacation, cut back on other luxuries, such as limiting how many meals you eat out or how many new vacation outfits you buy. Put dollars toward the most important elements of the trip.