franklinsIt’s possibly, some might even say easy, to make a family vacation more affordable. These 6 tips can help.

1. Clip coupons before you go. Even if you don’t clip coupons regularly, do a little research on the attractions you’ll be visiting during your family vacation, restaurants you may want to eat at, and companies that rent cars, bikes and other equipment to tourists. Two-fers and freebies make it a lot easier to splash out on dessert and appetizers. You’ll feel like a hero every time you stretch your vacation dollars.

2. Bring your “mess kit”. When traveling with family, dining out three times a day with the whole crew can get expensive. Dining out with picky eaters can also be a vacation downer. Keep the kids (and yourself) from getting grumpy with hunger by packing simple utensils and lightweight snacks. Consider purchasing familiar staples like cereal and simple sandwich fixings when you reach your destination. This can save you a fortune and make the dinners out more special as well. If your room has a fridge, and you’re prone to midnight snacking, go ahead and get a doggy bag!

3. Make your own souvenirs. Encourage kids to create some of their memories rather than buy them. This can include a travel journal, photos they have taken, rocks and shells that they have collected, ticket stubs, and other non commercial memorabilia.

4. Consider a House Swap. House Swap agencies arrange for you to “trade” homes with another family. The cost of your stay is minimal and for a traveling family, the comforts of “home” make for a more comfortable stay.

5. Pack only what you can carry yourself! No overweight baggage fees and you won’t need to rent a trolley or find a porter or a bellman.

6. Do the free stuff. has an entire section on Free Things to Do in the 50 States.

Want to find out about more ways to save? Attend the Traveling Mom Twitter Party on Monday June 20th from 9-10pm EST, sponsored by . Come for the conversation, but make sure to RSVP to be eligible to win prizes including a $250 American Express gift card, two swag gifts, and a $25 gas card.