Things To Know

3 Top Tips for Cheap Family Travel

Budget travel is a way of life for some folks. They love to travel and they want to stretch their budget as much as they can. Every great bit of savings they find is a bit of victory.  Budget travel with kids is harder but also more essential.  Here are my best ideas for saving money in ways you might not have thought of.

3 Cheap Family Travel Ideas: 

fireI think the United States offers an incredible deal in terms of cheap family travel. I mean, this is a country where you could still travel almost for free. I say that because this is a place where you’re still allowed to camp, virtually anywhere in the country as long as you stay – I mean, there’s certain rules, you have to stay in a State or National Park, you have to stay a certain distance away from roads. I never pay for camping when I’m in this country, and I’ve camped half an hour outside of New York City.So there’s an awful lot of great opportunities for cheap family travel, if you’re willing to go old style.

keyThe other thing is, don’t forget that these incredible social networking sites have come up where you can swap your apartment or your house for another apartment/house virtually anywhere in the country or abroad. And I have an awful lot of friends who are doing that very successfully and you have an awful lot of flexibility.

houseNow, more and more people are doing short-term sublets of their apartments and houses in in center cities and outer —but still convenient—residential neighborhoods and suburbs. So you can stay in somewhere like New York for very little per day, relatively speaking. So I think getting outside of the usual tourist grid, which is very easy to do in this country offers incredible savings.

And of course, on the flip side, if you live somewhere the people want to visit you can rent your place our while you are away or do a home swap.  This can save a bundle or offset the cost of your trip by quite a bit.

Finn Olaf Jones, a financial analyst-turned travel writer, focuses on traveling economically and adventurously with his family. He contributes to


  1. October 20, 2014 at 9:25 pm — Reply

    I think Mary hit the nail on the head. National Parks are great value specially if you have an annual pass and actually use it. I love visiting the US and have 2-3 trips planned in the next 6 months but the exchange rate between Canada is getting worse.

    • October 21, 2014 at 9:22 am — Reply

      I didn’t know about the parks pass. Great tip!

  2. October 19, 2014 at 9:58 pm — Reply

    Great and very useful video! Love all these tips. I just wish I’m not as paranoid to let strangers into my house or I’d be house swapping 🙂 Budget should definitely not be a hindrance to travel though. The National Parks offer some of the cheapest attractions in the country and it still amazes me how many Americans I know haven’t been to the one nearest them!

  3. October 18, 2014 at 8:43 am — Reply

    Asia is the best plce in the world for decent inexpensive hotels. On our honey moon we stayed at a holiday inn in Hong Kong that was very stylish — lobby pianist, rooftop pool, nice rooms — for Less than $80 a night. And that was a splurge compare to what we’d paid elsewhere!

  4. October 18, 2014 at 4:21 am — Reply

    Anything is possible really. I love saving money on things like flash hotels and stay somewhere cheaper and friendlier. Asia has some wonderful accommodation and helpful owners. We use housesitting sites and airbnb (although there are issues with that in NYC and Barcelona now I believe.

  5. October 17, 2014 at 9:04 am — Reply

    Great video! We did Cambodia for our honeymoon and had the best time…definitely worth looking at those lesser traveled to countries. And even places like NYC, definitely easy to do it for cheap with a little pre-planning…tons of free days at museums, as well as dollar pizza joints and super inexpensive authentic restaurants in Chinatown:-)

    • October 17, 2014 at 10:34 am — Reply

      yes, much of asia is cheap once you get there and more kid friendly than one might expect. the airfare is the killer. And yes, cities like NYC do offer plenty of cheap and free things to do and eat. Many are great and usually less touristy!

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