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Travel Tips for an Affordable Summer Family Vacation

Submitted by on April 18, 2012 – 8:34 amOne Comment

Planning Family Vacations on a Budget

While traveling during the summer months with family will cause some stress, it doesn’t have to blow your entire budget. Through proper planning and the right tools, families can enjoy a summer vacation at top destinations without skimping on fun.

Here are six top tips for managing the summer travel season without losing your budget or your patience!

1.  Make your plans in advance by booking early. March and early April are great times to book vacations. features hotels in top summer destinations that are cheaper if booked 14 or 21 days in advance. Top Disney hotels can be booked for around $100 a night. Early booking also means your kids have something to look forward to, and you can plan out excursions and a trip schedule that makes the most sense for your particular family dynamic.

2.  Pack right for the trip and likely conditions. Summer in Orlando means heat and humidity. Pack the right kinds of breathable clothing and your wide-brimmed hats. Nothing is worse than an entire family that is sunburned and dehydrated.  It also rains almost every evening in many parts of the country, so light and packable rain coats are vital. You are certainly not getting your money’s worth on travel if no one feels good, so prepare for the weather properly.

3. Review your chosen hotel’s policy on kids staying free. Many don’t charge extra for kids up to 19, but others will even charge for a toddler. Know the fees in advance so you can avoid a disagreement with hotel management.

4.  Travel on the right days of the week. Flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday is a strategy that can pay off with some much discounted rates. You also should consider travel in June instead of July or August as it can be less crowded and you can find cheaper fares.

5.  Consider a vacation “villa”, otherwise known as a condominium type setup that features more space, full kitchens, and other amenities. They are especially ideal for families that would otherwise require two adjoining hotel rooms. The savings on meals can quickly eclipse the expense of the bigger accommodations.

6.  What are the most popular spots for summer? While Las Vegas is very hot, there are great summer deals, especially for hotel stays between Sunday and Thursday. The Caribbean and the Bahamas are also very good during the summer as rates are much lower than during the winter high season. Washington D.C. is another good summer option as Congress is not in session and there are less locals and travelers, so you can see our nation’s majestic monuments and museums without the crowds.

Bonus Tip: Our final tip is for parents to manage their own expectations. You can’t visit Disney World in July and be angry when there are a lot of crowds. Remember you are supposed to be on vacation as well, so expect to contend with other people and show your kids that you’re under control and enjoying your time.

Bob Diener, founder of, is a travel industry veteran with more than 25 years’ experience, which includes founding and, an online booking site that allows users to get unpublished rates and cancel their reservation if need be. He can help your readers get the most out of their stay, offer advice on booking the best hotels, and give tips on avoiding extra airline fees. He can also give tips on the best places to travel for families.


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