11 Tips for Cheap Travel With Kids

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Watching airplanes

Traveling with the little ones in your family needn’t be an expensive or stress-filled holiday. No matter where in the world you’re traveling, you can usually find quality discounts for food, accommodations, cheap car hire and places like museums and monuments.

There are also many things you can do to ensure your holiday runs smoothly. Below, you’ll find some of our best tips on traveling with your children:

  • Make sure you have proper documentation. Check on the travel documents required by your country. In many areas, even infants require travel documents. Secure these at least two months before you leave, or you could be stuck at the airport without a place to go.
  • Expect a slow(er) pace. When planning your holiday, make sure you’re realistic. After all, you likely won’t be able to fit in as many activities as you can when you travel with adults. Plan fewer activities so you can enjoy each day and you won’t feel like you’re running out of time.
  • Pack a first-aid kid and medications. Instead of worrying about buying medications in an area you’re not familiar with, pack a first-aid kit that includes things like ibuprofen, cough syrup, bandages, and more. Having this with you can save you a lot of money should you need it at some point during your stay.
  • Consider a home exchange. If you’re a family of four or more, a home exchange may be a nice option to consider. Websites like VRBO and Airbnb let you “exchange” your home with someone else who’s traveling, or rent out an entire flat or home. Not only are the rates usually much less expensive than a hotel, but you’ll have access to a kitchen where you can make your own meals instead of dining out for every meal. You may even get lucky and find a home that’s already childproofed.
  • If you get a hotel, ask for “extras.” Some hotels offer special deals like a free breakfast or lunch for children. Be sure to ask the hotel staff if this is available.
  • Rent gear when you can. If you have young children who need things like a playpen, car seat, or stroller, check with your accommodations and see if they have them available for rental. Many times, renting them at your destination will save you the stress of carrying them around while flying and may even help you save on baggage fees.
  • Take advantage of kid’s clubs. Some hotels have programs designed especially for children, where they can spend an afternoon with other children. If the service is affordable, it could be a good chance for you to get out and explore the area on your own.
  • When booking, ask for deals. Whether you’re dealing with hotels or transportation, be sure to ask for discounts for families and children. Although they may require stays or travel during off-peak times, they could save you quite a bit of money.
  • When riding a train, be aware of kiddie discounts. Most train companies offer free fares for infants and toddlers and reduced fares for those in grade school.
  • Take advantage of open-air markets. Many cities have open-air markets where you can buy fresh produce and baked goods. Instead of dining out, make a picnic for your family and save a lot of money along the way.
  • Avoid famous restaurants. Popular restaurants that are well known among tourists can be some of the most expensive you’ll find. Instead, eat dinner earlier (around 6 or 7 p.m.) and find a relaxing café or pub that’s off the beaten path.

The above tips can go a long way in helping you save money when traveling with young ones. Be sure to keep them in mind when you’re planning your next holiday.

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Laura Murphy

by Laura Murphy

Laura Murphy has lead the eclectic vagabond life, traveling here and there and now has settled into the perfect gig for the perpetual itinerant: writing for the cheap car hire site NovaCarHire.com! She's learned a thing or two about saving money on travel and hopes you follow her on her quest to share her lessons with folks who have a traveler's heart, if not the budget.

One Response to “11 Tips for Cheap Travel With Kids”

Derek Swain


I didn’t realize that you may be able to get special discounts on your hotel stay depending on the time that you schedule your stay. My wife and I are thinking about taking our children on vacation to celebrate their performance in school this year, but we need to find a spacious hotel room that we will be able to afford since our newborn son needs a quiet place to sleep. Maybe we should consider our needs as we look for a place to spend our vacation.

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