dollarsAlthough many families are still taking family vacations in this economy, many of them are looking for ways to cut corners and save money.  I recently came across some money-saving tips from Joel Fan, president and founder of – here are the tips that I think are the easiest to implement and will have the biggest impact on your vacation budget.

  1. Use smartphone apps to your advantage while traveling.  Joel recommends GasBuddy to help you find the cheapest gas near you and ATMHunter which allows you to avoid fees when withdrawing money.  I also like the KidsMealDeals app to find local restaurants with kids eat free deals.
  2. Brown bag it. Make your own lunches and/or breakfasts when traveling.  Also consider bringing snacks with you, rather than buy them on the road.  My family likes to eat breakfast in our hotel room, and I usually pack cereal/granola bars for our trip.
  3. Take advantage of deals. Always look to see if there are discounts available if you are a member of AAA or a similar organization. 
  4. Explore public transit options. Do you really need to rent a car?  For instance, if you are traveling to Walt Disney World, you can you use their free transportation to and from the airport as well as throughout the parks. 

What tips do you have to save money while traveling with the family?