Parents, let’s face it: Travelling with kids adds up quickly.
Between flights, hotels, and meal after meal out, fun family vacations can rapidly rack up huge bills.
But parents who want to enjoy family getaways without unravelling their budget don’t need to stress about finding the cheapest deals on every little thing.
According to Root of Good‘s Justin McCurry, a father of three who retired at 33 with $1 million in the bank, the easiest way he saves while travelling with kids is changing where his family stays. Instead of searching for hotel deals, McCurry looks for accommodations on sites such as Airbnb or VRBO, where he can book an entire apartment.
Not only does he notice significant savings price-wise, but having a house or apartment complete with a living room, kitchen, and outdoor space paves the way for more savings opportunities throughout the trip.
“A lot of times we’re seeing that we can rent an apartment for $100 per night whereas two hotel rooms would be $200 per night,” McCurry told Business Insider. “We’re cutting it in half and we also get a nice living room, versus two hotel rooms that may not really have anywhere to sit besides a desk chair.”
With a full kitchen, McCurry and his family are able to save on food by buying groceries and enjoying simple breakfasts (hello, cereal) and homemade meals. Having more space also means nights can be spent lounging on the porch or couch, enjoying time together as a family instead of feeling cramped in a small hotel and itching to go out and spend more money.
“Having an apartment with a kitchen in it also lets us cook meals while on vacation instead of always going out to eat because restaurant meals for five people — especially if you’re doing it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day — can really add up a whole lot,” McCurry says.
Similarly, he recommends mixing paid activities, like museums, with simple, relaxing ones, such as a day at the pool or exploring a local park. An additional perk: Those things are often free.
So stop scouring Expedia for days just to save $30 on a 5 a.m. flight. Family vacations are about spending time together — not worrying about every penny spent.