Ways To Afford Travel With Your Family


I have heard this numerous times and it’s always hard to hear, but the truth is we just have 18 summers with our kids while they are living at home. I’m the mom already tearing up that my 3 and 1 year old are getting so big, so when I read or hear these phrases I’m a hot mess. But in all honestly it really does go by fast. So it is my hope that my husband and I can take our kids on a special vacation every year. I have a feeling we will mix the type of trip up each year, not every year will be big trips, but hopefully a little International travel, National Parks, Beaches and most definitely Disney, but one way or another, they will hopefully be special.

Many people think they can’t afford a vacation, but if traveling is important to you, you can make it happen. Ways we tried to save for our upcoming trip was getting rid of cable (if we are real here, that’s been a bit of a struggle), trying not to eat out so often and foregoing getting any new clothes for months! But one way to really help afford a trip is finding good deals on your airline tickets. So today I wanted to share 5 tips I’ve learned along the way.

1. Be flexible on your vacation destination. Instead of just one ideal location have fun coming up with a handful of places and then see what flight is the best price!

2. Be flexible on your dates if possible. I know not everyone can do this, but if you can this is another great way for snagging a deal! For example, if going to Europe, the spring and fall tend to be less expensive (airfare and hotels) and also less busy. To get even more specific about exact days you are flying out, a Monday vs. a Tuesday could be a huge price difference so play around and see what days are the most economical.

3. Look for airfare as early as possible and often. I’ve read countless articles on what day and how early you should buy your airline tickets with each saying something a little different, but often they all agree on looking asap and through a handful of different websites. I especially like Kayak’s low fare calendar, Expedia, Google flights and I look at direct airline websites as well.

4. Airline websites use cookies, meaning they save the destinations you’ve been searching. They then use these cookies to slowly increase the price of fares you are shown. To avoid this change the browser setting to ‘private’. Otherwise clear your search history after you do an airfare search to prevent this.

5. Consider where you are flying out of. I’ve found that for international flights better deals are often out of a larger airport hub. Living in Madison sometimes you can find much better deals flying out of Chicago. If you are saving more than a couple hundred dollars it’s definitely something to consider. That being said, on some domestic flights you can find some great deals flying out of smaller airports. It goes to show, it pays to search flights out of alternate locations.

I hope these tips may help if you are wanting to take a vacation with your family. I should mention that most people think we are nuts when we tell them we are taking the kids with us to some places, but I wouldn’t want it any other way! I’d rather take them than not go at all. I’m not going to say it’s easy or always smooth sailing, especially when they are younger, but afterwards we have never regretted taking them and loved the memories made.

Melissa Gammon
Melissa is a mom of a 2 year old and expecting her second child any day now! She's a foodie, loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoys reading a good book, designing, crafting and taking as many family adventures as possible. Fitting that in of course is a juggling act between being a busy stay at home mom, but she wouldn't want it any other way. Before having kids she studied and worked in architecture. She and her husband have lived in Chicago, Norfolk, Va, San Francisco and just recently moved back to Madison. You can also read about her adventures on her personal blog www.defininglovely.com.


  1. Travel is so important! We also make it a priority. We save on most things and spend on money on travel. Another way to save is to be flexible with where you stay. You can get some great apartments from AirBnB for less then a hotel. You may have to use public transportation or drive a little, but it’s also a lot more authentic experience for where you’re staying. I write a family travel blog and often talk about how to afford travel. Happy travels!

    • Thanks for the comment Amanda! Yes! We get AirBnb often as well! In fact we have one for our upcoming trip to France. Look forward to reading your blog on other tips.


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