From Diapers to Safety: Budgeting for Your First Vacation with Your Baby
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save up and plan for your next family vacation. Organizing a trip will give you something to look forward to once travel restrictions have eased. But until then, here are some tips to keep in mind for your next outing with your baby.
Bring Your Own Essentials
Packing light can make your trip more convenient — until you have to do multiple grocery store runs to buy the things you need. To avoid spending a lot on the basic necessities, don’t forget to bring your own trip essentials. For your child, this may include snacks, bottled water, and baby formula. Also, prepare a hygiene kit with wet wipes, tissues, bibs and diapers in case your baby makes a mess while you're on the go. While these may seem like small expenses at first, they can easily accumulate and cut into your vacation budget.
Generally, airfares are cheaper the earlier you book a flight. On average, you’ll save the most money when you book around seven weeks in advance. This can net you roughly 10% in savings, which you can then allocate to other vacation expenses.
Depending on your destination, it’s also a good idea to travel off-season. This way, you get to experience the same attractions at a fraction of the cost, and with a fraction of the people crowding the place. You can make your life easier by using bargain finder tools like SkyScanner to find deals on one-way, return, or multi-city trips for domestic and international flights. Overall, planning ahead opens up opportunities for you to cut down on travel costs.
Find the Right Accommodations
After transport, accommodation will make up another large chunk of your expenses (check out our tips on picking the right place to stay when traveling with kids). From hotels and all-inclusive resorts to Airbnbs, each option comes with a different price tag. Again, using apps like Trivago or Kayak can help you find good deals. Additionally, try to find a place that offers family discounts or free breakfast to slash expenses. Lodgings with a kitchen will also save you money on dining out.
If you can, book a mid-week stay instead of a weekend stay, as tourists tend to compete for reservations around the weekend. Alternatively, if your plans are flexible enough, opting for a last-minute booking can snag you a better price tag.
Start A Travel Fund
One piece of advice you often hear from financial advisors is to create a dedicated savings account for travel. This not only keeps you from accidentally spending the money, but also lets you earn more over time. As such, consider opening a high-yield savings account, which is a type of savings account that yields more compounding interest over time — provided, you don’t touch it for a set period. This is ideal for vacations you’re planning for the far-off future, such as when you feel that your baby is old enough to travel with you. Come the time to book you will have a lot more freedom in what type of vacation you choose. Plus, the earlier you start, the better, allowing more time for your earnings and travel budget to grow.
Invest In Travel Insurance
Having medical insurance at home does not guarantee that you’ll be covered during international travel. To protect yourself and your family, you should get travel insurance.
For one, there's trip cancellation insurance, which covers the monetary investment for your vacation in case you can no longer go. Some insurance companies also offer travel health insurance, which can save you a ton of money if you or your kid gets hospitalized while on a trip abroad. This ensures you won’t have to pay medical fees out-of-pocket, which will likely be very expensive. Taking out a travel insurance policy will cost more upfront, but knowing your child has a safety net makes the expense well worth it.
Vacationing with a baby in tow doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you make the necessary preparations. With that said, follow these tips to fully enjoy your next family trip.