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Planning a family vacation on a budget takes planning and a bit of strategy. Financial expert Mark Lamkin from Lamkin Wealth Management shares five tips for planning a budget friendly family vacation:
1. Plan Early: The sooner you know where you are going to go and how you are going to get there, the earlier you can start making plans. Choose your destination and your mode of transportation carefully. If you can plan your trip several months in advance, you are ahead of the ball game. You can start saving money by cutting back all throughout your budget. Go line by line and see where you could work a bit harder at saving money.
2. Weekdays: Try to travel when everyone else isn't. Instead of staying a weekend, try just staying on weekdays. You'll beat the tourists and you'll find lower room rates.
3. Pick a hotel with perks: Stay in a hotel where you have access to a free breakfast or a kitchen area. You'll save money eating a few meals at "home" rather then around the town. Likewise, be sure to pack plenty of snacks and beverages for the kids. The mini bar and the hotel gift shop are big budget breakers, so be prepared for hungry kids by packing some food from home.
4. Coupons: Sign up for coupons and deals for the city you will be traveling to. Check Groupon, Living Social, Restaurant.com, etc. for discounted entertainment and restaurant options.
5. Set strict spending limits: If you decide you are only going to spend a certain amount at the theme park, don't go over budget. Emotional purchases are very common when we're on vacation because we're having so much fun. Make sure you stick to your guns
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