Traveling with other families can save vacationers big on condo and vacation house rentals and on food costs and other expenses when everyone chips in. Vacationing with others also takes some preparation and flexibility. Here are some tips to make multi-family vacations work best.
Get the Best Deals on Vacation Rentals
Traveling and bunking with other families means you can split the cost of huge beach house or lake cabin, saving big on the cost of renting a house for your family alone. A larger rental will cost more, of course, but a bigger house rental is not much more expensive than its smaller counterpart. Split between two or more families, the cost savings are attractive. Google “vacation rentals,” search on Craigslist.com, or rent a yurt for your large clan.
Map Out the Expenses Early
Avoid hard feelings during or after a group vacation by ironing out financial details, particularly everyone’s share of the rental house. A family with more kids may pay a slightly larger share of the rental fee. Or that group may choose to chip in more money for food expenses. Whatever the solution, make sure each family agrees on how to share expenses ahead of time.
Share Dining and Grocery Expenses
Renting a vacation house with a kitchen already saves money otherwise spent on dining out at pricey tourist restaurants. Split the expenses evenly by grocery shopping together for the food that will feed everyone for the duration of the vacation and evenly splitting the bill. That way, all parties have a hand in the shopping choices, as well as a share of the expenses.
Leave Time for Your Family, and Yourself
Even the closest of relatives and the best of friends need some time apart. Schedule a day or even a few hours to shop, walk on the beach, nap, or just hang out with your nuclear family. Meet up with the rest of your group rested and with a renewed appreciation for your fellow travelers.
Spend Time (With Each Other), Not Money
Entertain each other during your trip and resist the pull to spend money on expensive entertainment. During the day, flock to the beach together and let the kids play in the surf while the adults sunbathe or join in the fun. Or plan hikes or free sight seeing activities. At night, plan a cookout that lasts into the late evening. Bring board games, old photographs and wedding videos for reminiscing, and chill out on the cheap.
The best mulit-family vacation takes a little planning. Remember to decide on how to divide expenses at your vacation destination, spend some time alone or with immediate family, and save money by entertaining each other. Above all, enjoy good times with your family and friends. These memories are the ultimate souvenir.