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Tips for a Stress-Free Family Vacation

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Green Dot. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s no secret that travel is very important to our family. Even while living on one income, we budgeted carefully to ensure that we could take at least one vacation. Sometimes it was a simple staycation, but regardless of the destination we always made the best of our time together. While most families plan to take at least one vacation each year, I find that not all adults enjoy it. In fact, some will plan solo trips at a later date just to recover from the family trip. I won’t pretend that things always go smoothly, but since I don’t have the ability to take solo trips right now, I try to make the most out of our family vacations. Yes, this means a bit more planning on my end, but I also know that it’s worth the effort. Plus family travel is a great way for me to connect with my spouse and my children. If you find yourself stressing about family travel, today I’m sharing my favorite tips that enable us to enjoy traveling together.

Plan ahead

Narrow down your travel destination so that you’re able to book your hotel and flights as early as possible. This will give you the ability to compare prices and shop around for the best deals. Plus the earlier you select a destination, the more time you’ll have to plan an itinerary and save for your travel experiences.

But be flexible!

Don’t add unnecessary stress to your trip by overbooking your schedule. We always allow the kids to pick an attraction or two that they really want to check out. For the remainder of the trip, we prefer to keep our schedule flexible and enjoy some downtime. We either lounge by the pool or explore local venues. I find that this allows us to truly enjoy quality time together and unwind.

Don’t go into debt

We really enjoy traveling, but that doesn’t mean we’re willing to go into debt to make it happen. Instead, we allocate a specific amount each month to cover our travel expenses. A great way to track our spending before, and during our vacation, is by using a debit card like the Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card. Not only do I control the amount I can spend, I can also get cash back! Yup, up to $100 back in my pocket annually by earning 5% on every eligible purchase I make. That means I get to earn back money to use on our future trips. Woot!

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Have fun without blowing your budget

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to take a family vacation. If you can’t afford pricey flights, book a stay to a destination that’s within driving distance. The thought of buying food making you anxious? To offset the costs, I book hotels or vacation homes that offer a kitchen so that we don’t have to dine out for every meal. Also, while planning our itinerary, I like to include a good mix of paid and free attractions. Before our trip begins, we allocate a specific spending budget for each child. That way they know how much they can spend on treats and souvenirs. What are your biggest challenges when planning a family vacation? I’d love to hear from you!

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