Traveling On a Budget with Family – 7 Cheap Group Travel Tips

We all love to travel, don’t you? Sometimes it is what restores our sanity after a packed year or month, full of activities, expectations and commitments. What matters the most, however, is whether you can afford to travel with your whole family or not. That is why we have decided to discuss with you about traveling on a budget with family.

My point is, a family vacation can be a wonderful treat. It creates time for you to bond with your family and helps in strengthening relationships. Unfortunately, most people avoid this amazing adventure due to the cost of group travel.

The truth is, well planned family vacation does not require a lot of expense. In fact, if you prepare and organize everything well, you won’t have to break your bank account for a family trip.

1. Timing: Avoid Peak Season Travel

What should I say? Apparently, every single person finds themselves traveling during peak seasons. Most of us just want to flow with the trend, while others are stuck to seasonal events and ceremonies that happen annually in destinations all over the world.

However, you don’t have to always flow with the current. Traveling during peak season can make everything ridiculously expensive. For instance, booking a hotel room in some beach resort in Africa can be so pricey during the summer. The fact that everyone will be traveling to the same destination and booking hotel rooms hurriedly makes pricing to go up.

For that reason, if you decide to visit the same place sometime later in the year, for a quiet vacation with your family, you might be surprised how cheap traveling and tourism could be. That is why, I recommend off peak trips if you want to travel on a budget with family.

2. Luggage: Don’t Over Pack and Consider Luggage sets

If you are going to save money from your group travel, you need to focus on how much load should you carry on the trip. Excessive packing will definitely add transportation cost to your budget, therefore, do not over pack.

I would recommend from 5-piece to 3 piece luggage bag sets depending on how many people are going for the trip. Putting all your belongings in a set of coordinated bags will simplify your travel. It will also make tracking your load much easier. Instead of letting everyone pick their own favorite travel backpacks for the journey.

Luggage sets makes bulky travel look less complicated. They are also spacious enough for most travel gear and essentials. Furthermore, the set pieces are designed with a similar look, making them easy to keep an eye on. Either way, do not let your travel stuff drag your budget.

3. Shelter: Try Late Bookings and Cost Sharing

Just like I mentioned earlier, timing plays a huge role in travel budget management. Say, you were planning to book a hotel for your vacation. It is advantageous to do your booking the last minute. This way, you might be lucky with the pricing. For instance, the management might be desperate to sell out a pending room.

Even if that won’t be the case, you might end up getting some special treatments. Say, you might get the chance to bargain for more towels maybe. Besides all that, there are even more ways to make your family trip cheaper. You can consider teaming up with another family for cost sharing purposes.

It is way easier on your budget to rent a villa and share the cost with a second family, than booking a hotel room for each family member. This however, needs a lot of caution. Let the other family not be a bunch of strangers.

If you are camping instead, the story is way different. Because in this case, you are going to need a kind of shelter you install in the jungle and still feel safe and comfy. This should not worry you though, because there are great family camping tents designed for group camping. All you need to do is pick the right group tent that fits your budget.

4. Sleeping: Don’t pay extra – Go for sleeping bags

If you are booking hotels and renting villas for your trip, then you won’t have to worry about your sleep. Though, it might get very difficult to find comfort away from home, at least for most people. Sleeping becomes a huge problem when traveling, more so when the destination is way off your default.

This does not mean you have to go extra on your budget to get good sleep while on your trip. There are great hotels worldwide that charge reasonable booking fees with great beds. My worry is mainly on those out in the wild for camping, or out on a road trip.

This however, applies to any kind of travel, not only camping. You can always go for sleeping bags. This will greatly cut off bed fees from your budget. Plus, backpacking sleeping bags are very warm and protective. You can use them anywhere; I use mine to sleep in the car sometimes. You should try it.

5. Meals – Check the Local Eateries

Meals are major concern in every group travel. I mean, people got to eat on vacations too. Remember, food is not one of the things you are taking a break from. Depending on how many people are part of your family trip, you have to make a great decision on your meals to avoid spending a lot of unnecessary money.

This first thing you need to consider doing is finding out how the locals survive in your travel destination. What do they eat and how much does it cost them? In most cases, if not all, eating as a native from local eateries will save you a lot of money. Besides, you will get to enjoy less-commercial and delicious food.

Nevertheless, if you are not booked in a hotel or planning to eat with the locals, then I’m guessing maybe you are planning to cook. This is another brilliant approach. In this case, you need to travel with a backpacking stove or anything of the sort. Be flexible and travel with cooking aids and lightweight cookware for backpacking.

6. Navigation: Choose Apps over Expensive Guides

Almost for every travel destination, there are travel gurus who have already written a travel guide. These guides have all the information you need to know about that destination. From the best hotels to book, places to be, best eateries and so on. Unluckily, most of these guides are either costly or not very helpful after all.

That is why; you can always rely on a map, mobile app and/or a portable handheld GPS. These are very economical options a regular traveler should consider, a GPS for instance. This device will help you navigate through cities, seas, jungles and even caves or more. Unlike a travel guide that can be of use to a single travel destination, a handheld GPS device will remain helpful everywhere.

7. Extras

There is more to travel than just the few mentioned points above. I mean, if we could list them all, you would give up reading. Though, I wouldn’t mind discussing a few more ways to manage an easy budget while traveling with family.

Actually, how much you spend on your family trip also depends hugely on the activities you will be involved in during your stay. What will you be into? Is it scuba diving, boat rides, game drive, rural tourism or sky diving in Dubai?

The choice of such activities will definitely determine how much you spend on your family trip. The good news is; you can still have a great family time doing all these fun activities at reasonable costs. For instance, consider dealing with local agents and freelance service providers.

For example, services like bikes for hire and boat rides may be offered by individuals and local groups. And the best part is; these local services come with greater experiences at lower costs, because they are less commercial.


What more can I say? As at now, we both agree that the budget won’t keep us from golden times with family on a vacation. Traveling on a budget is easy even for those with big families. All you have to do is make important decisions that will help you manage your spending during the trip.

Don’t let money come in between you and your family time. They say; money can never buy happiness. Find a way to avoid having your vacation ruined by money matters.

Founder and author at Tho Dia Media, loves photography and travel.