We, Indians, love to travel; travel and take pictures and update our social media profiles with some of our travel goals. But let’s admit that traveling can be pretty heavy on pockets and we certainly don’t believe in spending our hard-earned money on unwanted things. We try to save as much as we can while traveling by coming up with some interesting ideas that might be absurdly crazy to others! But hey, who cares till it’s not burning a hole in our pockets? Here are 10 Top Tips for Budget Family Trips on how to plan a trip on a limited budget while keeping it organized and simple!
1. Pick your destinations wisely
If you have a tight budget choose your destinations which are nearby your home town. If budget is not a major concern go for a long distant place. Here is a list of places in India one can explore on a shoestring budget in India as per his location.
- Alleppey – Kerala
- Gokarna – Karnataka
- Rishikesh – Uttaranchal
- Darjeeling – West Bengal
- McLeodganj – Himachal Pradesh
- Gangtok –Sikkim
- Kanyakumari – Tamil Nadu
- Hampi – Karnataka
- Nainital – Uttaranchal
- Lonavala – Maharashtra
- Munnar – Kerala
- Udaipur – Rajasthan
- Varanasi –Uttar Pradesh
- Shillong –Meghalaya
- Ooty – Tamil Nadu
- Shimla – Himachal Pradesh
- Khajuraho – Madhya Pradesh
- Jaipur – Rajasthan
- Kasol –Himachal Pradesh
- Dehradun – Uttaranchal
- Itanagar – Arunachal Pradesh
- Pushkar – Rajasthan
- Digha – West Bengal
- Kodaikanal – Tamil Nadu
- Amritsar – Punjab
2. Consider seasons, festivals, and school holidays
This travel season is self-explanatory. Book a trip during the most popular times of the year and you’ll have to contend with higher crowds, longer lines, and a slower pace. You may ask yourself: why would anyone want to travel during this time? It just so happens that usually high season, or peak season as it is also referred to, occurs when the region’s weather is at its nicest. It could also be that many people have time off due to holidays or school breaks. For instance: summer break in India is usually the peak time for travel because families are able to travel together. However, there are spikes in travel around Christmas and February or March due to the holiday season and spring break, respectively.
The low season, or offseason, is the polar opposite of peak season. Usually, the weather is less than ideal, but the crowds are few and far between. Visiting during this time may seem more dismal, but the prices will be unbelievably lower. Businesses like tour companies and hotels still want to make a profit, so you will often find the best deals of the year during the low season.
Shoulder season is the balance between high and low season. Prices and crowds are generally lower, though regions may not be as much of a ghost town as you’d find during the low season. Many times, shoulder seasons fall in spring. If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, shoulder season is definitely the time to travel. Locals won’t be burned out from dealing with the demands of high season. Therefore, you’re more likely to succeed in striking up a conversation with them in pubs, shops, or parks.
3. Find the cheapest flight
For those who are obsessive about exploring new destinations, traveling must never stop. But air travel requires money and one of the major things that can help you save it is to cut down on your flight expenses. The truth is, you can cut the rate on your flight bookings at any time of the year. All you need to do is follow these simple tricks which I mentioned in the below link.
4. Find free things to do
This strategy will low your total cost. Free things to do like walking tours, trekking, lay on a beach, hiking, visit a Museum, people watch, visit a temple, mosque, or church, etc. These are fabulous ways to experience a new destination for free.
5. Bargain on accommodation booking
Staying could be a major part of traveling notably after you are together with your family. For a family vacation, you can’t pay night merely in a homestay or in hostels. Better the hotel better the price. But you don’t perpetually able to pay a hefty amount on hotel bookings. A few hacks will assist you to cut this price. So what should you do? To help you save money on accommodation, here are a number of tricks that I mentioned in my article, “15 tricks to get a cheap room in a star hotel or resort”.
6. Travel overnight to reduce hotel costs
Long distances such as Bombay to Delhi, Delhi to Varanasi, Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri, or Delhi to Udaipur can be covered time-effectively using overnight AC Sleeper trains, city center to city center by overnight buses can save a hotel bill too.
7. Reduce transport costs
Use local transport as much as you can. Avoid tourist buses, taxis, and pre-booked tours. You can always get there cheaper yourself. There are exceptions to this rule, sometimes a family will travel cheaper in a taxi than on a bus with 4+ tickets. Research costs thoroughly. Find out how much a taxi fare from a to b should be before you enter into negotiations with drivers. Just Google it!
8. Save on food and drinks
Buying food from shops and markets is usually cheaper than eating in restaurants and cafés. Purchase your lunch or dinner from a roadside Dhaba and take it to the hotel room to consume. This is the most cost effective option I often apply. Lodging that includes breakfast can save you money. Check that it’s a good breakfast, not just toast. A guesthouse with kitchens or accommodation with simple catering facilities can save you money. Travel with a knife for cutting fruit, a bottle opener for wine or beer, a spoon, fork, or bowl for anything else you can buy.
9. Don’t spend big before you travel
Pre-travel costs can add up, think about needs and wants to cut them down cost. Shop around for travel essentials. I got a good deal online on my fantastic new stroller after comparing prices all over India.
10. Slow travel is budget travel.
The less frequently you move, by air, rail, or bus, the lower your transportation costs for the trip will be. You will often get a better rate on lodging if you stay a few more days. That applies to online bookings and face to face inquiries in India.
Make Sure You Have Fun! At the end of the day, we all travel for enjoyment. Don’t beat yourself up overspending a bit more occasionally. Spoil the kids with a fancy dessert; enjoy a cocktail on the beach if you want one. We like to get as much travel as we can for our money but if we go over budget, so what? We can make more money later, but we’ll never have this time with the kids again. What do you think? Any budget family travel tips you would like to share?