If the monotony of your daily routine has you feeling stir crazy, you might be ready for a vacation. Don’t let the expense overwhelm you. Chad Cotter, general manager of Cotter Travel, offers several affordable suggestions for your next big family trip.
If driving is your means of travel, Cotter suggests heading to Branson or St. Louis. Maybe you already have a season pass to Silver Dollar City in Branson and are craving a weekend getaway with the kids. Cotter suggests looking at your destination’s free activities. For example, your family could watch the Branson Landing Fountain shows one evening, take a ride on the free downtown trolley or visit the Branson Centennial Museum.
If traveling by plane is in your budget, Cotter suggests these locations with great rates:
Clearwater Beach, Florida – If you’re yearning for sunshine, water and the outdoors, this destination might be a good fit for your family. Head to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the kids might recognize Winter the Dolphin from the movie "Dolphin Tale."
San Diego – Visit the San Diego Zoo, go whale-watching or take a city tour.
The Caribbean – With great rates and all-inclusive options available, this location is perfect if your family wants to get a little farther away without spending way too much.
Las Vegas – Vegas isn’t normally thought of as a family vacation spot, but Cotter assures there are plenty of affordable, appropriate, non-gambling entertainment options like Ferris wheels, family shows and roller coasters.
Cotter also recommends a few simple ways to save money on your vacation:
-- Find a place to stay that includes free breakfast.
-- Look for free activities, especially with the kids.
-- Bring your own snacks to the airport or in the car to significantly reduce that food expense.
-- Sign up for reward programs.
“I always recommend getting travel insurance, especially with kids,” Cotter says.