See The Family This Summer

In this day and age, extended families are often living far and wide across the country or even around the globe. Family members move for a variety of reasons; a higher paying job, better weather, more opportunities, different culture, educational pursuits, etc. It’s wonderful for family members to be able to live wherever they want, but it usually means you don’t get to see one another as often as everyone would like. This summer, it’s easier than ever to visit family members wherever they are! Here are some tips to see the family this summer without blowing your budget.

Travel and See Family

Entertain Different Options for Accommodation

Hotels are convenient, but they can certainly put a dent in your budget. It’s not uncommon for hotel prices in major metro areas to reach into the hundreds of dollars for just one night. Thankfully, you have some options. The first option is to try booking hotel accommodation through a site that represents several different hotels, and then sign up to get price drop alerts. This works if you plan your trip to see family well in advance of your travel dates. The second option is to stay at an Airbnb or a VRBO. These are both more affordable alternatives than major hotel chains. Yet a third option is to stay at a motel or an independent hotel instead of a major brand hotel. Since you’ll be doing lots of things with your family, you probably won’t be spending much time in the accommodation anyway, so a less luxurious room might not make a difference in the quality of your stay.

Seek Out Free Activities

There are free activities no matter where you travel; you just have to spend some time looking for them. One great resource is the state and town websites where you’re going. For example, in Florida, you can visit the Saint Pete Clearwater website and instantly see a list of things to do in the area, broken down into categories like attractions, arts & culture and parks & recreation. Every local government has a similar site. Another way to find free activities where you’re visiting is to take time to read the local papers. Town events will be listed either in print or online, and they are often free of charge. Finally, you can make your own fun with family members. Pack a picnic and a Frisbee or football and spend the day in a local park. Go on a family bicycle ride. Even going window shopping together can be a fun day excursion.

Save Money on Gas

Once you’re at your extended family’s new home, you’ll certainly be driving around doing some sightseeing. Summer gas prices are usually higher than in cooler seasons. Save on gas money by downloading gas saving apps on your smartphone. Try apps like GasBuddy and Gas Guru to start with. When you do have a destination, use Citymapper to ensure you get there in the fewest possible miles. If you really want to save extra money on gas, consider opening car windows instead of running the car's air conditioner. Air conditioning really uses up more gas compared to not running the A/C.

Save Money on Prices

When you do decide to do something, save money on tickets by using smartphone apps like Groupon and Goldstar. These apps let you pay less based on retail ticket prices. Use them for things like theatre tickets, zoo entry fees, museum fees, zipline adventures and much more.

Eat Like a Local

One of the biggest budget busters on vacation is eating out at restaurants constantly. When you’re visiting family members, it’s understandable that you don’t want to clean out their refrigerator. But eating at restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks can quickly empty your wallet. Instead of spending all that money on restaurant food that probably isn’t that healthy anyway, try eating like a local. Stop in at local grocery stores to buy pre-cooked food from the deli. Many bigger grocery stores these days have a wide selection of food items that are already cooked, healthy and nutritious, right behind the hot foods counter. Many larger supermarkets even have salad bars where you can load up with all the salad toppings you prefer and you can take the salad with you on the go. This is not only a more affordable way to eat while visiting family on vacation; it’s also healthier than a lot of restaurant food offerings.

Don’t let money constraints prevent you from seeing family this summer. At PIE you can find affordable flights that are designed to provide you with the travel experience you are looking for. Make your plans today, your family members will be glad you did!

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