Planning an affordable family vacation

With a bit of planning you can stretch your travel budget further.

While a family vacation can seem out of reach financially, with a bit of planning you can stretch your travel budget further. Stephen Menon, associate vice president, credit cards at TD Canada Trust provides simple and effective tips to enjoy a fun-filled family vacation without breaking the bank:

• Plan to spend – Budget for all costs associated with your travel and take advantage of rewards points. Look for a card that lets you redeem points on all anticipated travel related expenses, including airport transfers, taxes and extra baggage fees.

• Find the deals – Watch for deals on travel or group discount websites, such as Expedia For TD.

• Involve the kids – Choose a few activities within your budget and let your kids to choose which ones the family gets to do. This will get the family excited for the trip while ensuring you stay within your budget.

• Book last minute -The key to taking advantage of last minute deals is being flexible with your travel dates, so look for a travel rewards card that lets you book any time, any way, without restrictions or blackout periods.

• Read the fine print – Your vacation budget can easily go off track if you don’t familiarize yourself with the fine print. A package might be advertised at a great price, but taxes and fees can come close to doubling the cost. Know what’s included with the cost of your trip and whether you can save money by booking activities prior to reaching your destination.

• Pack smart – Bring essentials from home – such as food, water and toys to entertain the kids – instead of having to restock while on vacation as prices may be inflated. Making a list and packing in advance will help ensure you have everything you need.

Menon adds that many travellers may not be aware of the benefits their travel rewards credit card can provide at no extra cost.

“Before your next family vacation, take the time to learn about the benefits offered on your card, such as zero liability, complimentary trip interruption insurance or travel medical insurance so you can worry less and enjoy your vacation.”