How to Budget Travel for a Single Parent

Three Methods:Saving for Single Parent TravelPlanning Budget Friendly TravelAvoiding Incidental Vacation Spending

Single parent households are increasingly common. If you are a single parent working hard to make sure your children have every advantage, then saving for family travel may seem difficult. Travel exposes children to new cultures and teaches them how to adjust to new situations. Single parents can still travel with their families within their country or abroad. It requires saving over a period of months or years, making smart travel purchases and choosing a trip based on what you and your children will enjoy most. See how to budget travel for a single parent.

Method 1
Saving for Single Parent Travel

  1. Image titled Apply for a Credit Card While in College Step 9
    Earn miles on a credit card. If you already use and pay off a credit card, then make sure each dollar spent is giving you airline mileage. If you are confident that you can make most of your purchases on a credit card and then pay off the balance each month, you can rack up enough mileage for 1 to 2 plane tickets per year.
    • Some airline miles rewards cards give you 2 or more miles for every dollar spent. Make sure you do not choose a card with a dangerously high interest rate, especially if you are uncertain whether you will be able to pay off the balance each month.
    • Do not avoid mileage credit cards with an annual fee. Some cards give you 2 miles (3.2 km) per dollar spent, but charge $50 to $100. Doubling your mileage and earning 2 plane tickets will save you money on travel, even if you pay an annual fee.
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    Decide if you would prefer weekend getaways or 1 big trip. Ask your children what they would prefer as well, which will get them more involved with the trip. Several small trips within a day's drive may be more affordable than a week-long trip to another country.
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    Set aside a little bit of money each month. Many banks offer Very Important Purchase (VIP) accounts that let you set up to a certain amount of money aside each month. Although they do not always offer the best interest rates, you can choose how much to put aside and the date when it will become available.

Method 2
Planning Budget Friendly Travel

  1. Image titled Find Dialysis Centers While Traveling Step 3
    Plan in advance. Last minute travel deals rarely work with kids, because they have plans, camps, school and possible trips to see another parent. Many travel organizations offer discounts to people who book early.
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    Choose your destination based on what your children will enjoy. The best way to curtail complaints and ensure a good time is to define what your children will enjoy most. For example, a child is probably more apt to enjoy a theme park when they are 8 and a European trip when they move into their teenage years.
    • Although you may want to go far away for a vacation, you are more likely to believe your hard earned and budgeted money is well spent if your children are excited about the trip.
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    Book a shorter vacation. Children may not crave a 2-week vacation, like many adults do. Short cruises of 3 to 6 days and packages of 7 days or less will cost less while still affording you time away from home and work.
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    Travel in the off-season. Travel to Europe during the fall and winter. Travel to South America, Central America or the Caribbean in the summer or fall.
    • The weather might be rainier and slightly colder or hotter than the peak seasons, but you can save thousands of dollars in airplane tickets, hotels, excursions and other travel costs.
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    Book group travel. There are a few different options for taking advantage of group travel discounts.
    • Book a specially organized trip for single parents. offers exactly this kind of trip. They choose a few destinations each year that include good activities for children. You can choose which trip works best based on your budget.
    • Organize a group trip yourself. If you have a sports group, church group or friends with children who are also interested in travel, you can contact a group travel provider and travel agent and ask for quotes on certain destinations. The price will go down as you sign up more people. Ask if travel is free for the group leader.
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    Ask for discounts and specials. Travel agents will try to book your trip without discounts, but they can usually throw something in, if you ask for it. Ask about cruise vouchers, upgrades, free excursions or other incidentals, if they can't offer an up front discount.
    • If your children are small and picky eaters, then an all-inclusive package is preferable. Most resorts offer food to please all age levels.
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    Pay a little to the travel company each month. If you book group or all-inclusive travel well in advance, you may be able to pay a few hundred dollars each month, instead of paying a thousand or more dollars all at once. Although you would pay the same amount, you can set up a monthly budget without dipping into your savings.

Method 3
Avoiding Incidental Vacation Spending

  1. Image titled Stay Awake During an Alaskan Winter Day Step 9
    Book an all-inclusive vacation package. This type of package includes hotels, food and activities. These are common in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, in parts of Mediterranean Europe and on cruises.
    • Most all-inclusive trips will cost more up front than non-inclusive trips. If you plan to eat and spend time at the resort, you will save money that you would have spent during the vacation.
  2. Image titled Get Through Airport Security with Kids Step 2Bullet1
    Pack minimally. Baggage costs are rising, so try to split a suitcase with your infant or toddler. Baggage weight can also make you less mobile at your destination, so make sure older kids and teenagers pack only what they can wheel or carry in airports and in cities.
    • Test your child's baggage before leaving. Ask older kids to cart their suitcase up a flight of stairs and tow it for a mile on city streets. This will help to convince them to pack lightly.

Things You'll Need

  • Mileage rewards credit card
  • VIP account
  • All-inclusive package
  • Discounts or upgrades
  • Monthly payments

Article Info

Categories: Budgeting