February’s grey skies and cold spells can’t help but fill many a Canadian with a longing to escape. While there’s no doubt that a trip can help alleviate the mid-winter blahs, it can be expensive to get away when you have kids in tow. Don’t let the budget blues clip your wings—these tips will help you master family travel on a budget.
Embrace Cabin Fever
If you’re looking to travel cheap with kids, consider ditching vacation dreams of sun and surf and opt to stay in Canada. Not going far doesn’t have to be boring—there are plenty of fun and affordable vacation options that don’t include air travel. Why not rent a cottage (often available in winter at a fraction of what they would cost in summer) in a nearby winter wonderland and embrace the cozy warmth? There’s no better excuse to spend quality family time together with board games or movies than a comfy cabin on a cold winter night. Renting a cottage also facilitates the affordability of a vacation because you can cook your own meals and save money by not eating out. Better yet, redeem your PC Optimum points towards free groceries to bring with you.
If your heart is set on travelling to a sunnier clime, you can be smart about cutting the cost of airfare by going at an off-peak time. March break, for example, is one of the most expensive times of the year to take off and is best avoided when prioritizing cheap family travel. Try to be as flexible with your dates as possible for the best bargains.
When booking your travel plans, consider using PC® travel services, where PC Financial Mastercard cardholders can earn up to 3x the regular PC Optimum points on their travel purchases.
Don’t try to do it all. When travelling to a new place, it’s common to try to fit in as much as possible. You may feel like you need to hit every family-friendly attraction, museum and event you possibly can, but the impulse to see and do it all can really hamper the actual enjoyment of the moment and will make it harder to travel cheap with kids. The faster you need to move, the more your transportation and attraction expenses will increase—so don’t over plan. Remember that the goal of family travel is to spend time with those you love and not stress yourself out with a long and costly list of must-dos.
Who doesn’t love to come home from vacation with a suitcase full of souvenirs? While it may be gratifying to return with keepsakes, the urge to souvenir shop—or do any shopping at all, for that matter—can really rev-up the cost of a trip. Travelling with kids can be particularly expensive because it can be tempting to let them stock up on mementos, especially if it keeps them engaged and happy. Family travel on a budget is easier when you keep in mind that the point of your trips is to collect memories, not things.
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