For the Frugal Dad: Finding Cheap Deals for Family Vacations

Some of my favorite memories date back to family vacations. In retrospect, our best vacations weren’t terribly extravagant. In fact, they were quite the opposite. We stayed in relatively cheap hotels and usually purchased vacation packages months before our actual departure date. I still learned so much from every trip we went on, and my dad wanted to save international adventures for our middle school and high school summers.

If you have young kids, in elementary school or younger, I recommend taking domestic vacations until your children can really grasp the cultural differences and excitement of visiting a new country. Additionally, you may have greater spending power when they grow up a bit. That being said, there are tons of ways to find great deals for frugal dads wanting to take their families on a quick getaway. Depending on your preferences and personality, you can either find deals last minute or by planning way ahead of time. Here are some tips for you!

If You Want to Plan Ahead…

If your kids have started school already, you probably have limited vacation time. Unfortunately, commercial airline companies are well aware of this fact, and prices sky rocket around summer and Christmas time. Therefore, planning ahead can save you hundreds of dollars on your family vacation, if you book your tickets months before. If you are interested in taking your children on a Disney vacation, book your tickets 4-5 months ahead of time, and go right before peak season starts.

Plane tickets skyrocket in June. If your kids get off the last week of May, leave the SAME day classes end. Get home before the lines get too long and the hotels get too expensive. I recommend using Expedia, Kayak, or Priceline. Priceline can be particularly good if you plan ahead of time, as you can bid on prices for hotels and vacation packages.

If You Are A Last Minute Dad….Find Some Last Minute Deals

Continental, now merging with United Airlines, puts out great last minute deals every Tuesday. If you are not set on a particular location, you can definitely get ideas for locations and great deals every week! Also, you can find last minute deals on Expedia and almost any travel website. This is particularly useful if you choose to take your kids on vacation during off season (not summer of Christmas time). If they are young enough, they will probably enjoy the spontaneity of a last minute vacation!

John Steinbeck once wrote, “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” Remember that exposing your kids to new locations and ideas can make them better world citizens. Be frugal, but be sure to splurge a little on vacation!

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @

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