Gone are the days when making time for each other was easy. Today, the majority of families are now living in a nuclear set-up, many couples are working, the daily grind leaves them with little time to spend quality time, and the few who live in a joint family face limited privacy. Thus, family trips in such scenarios become an essential part of building connections & memories. As these are the memories that we rely on later!
Additionally, some families enjoy exploring & gaining experience from different places & cultures. However, the main purpose of any family trip is to create a lifetime of memories together!
During the pandemic, tourism companies were concerned that due to COVID there might be a major downfall. Interestingly, a recent survey conducted by FICCI and Thrillophilia revealed more than 50% of people plan to travel within the next two months alone, and 33% plan to travel twice what they did in 2019.
roadblocks to planning a family trip!
Rising travel expense: Before the pandemic, traveling was not that expensive. However, post-covid the travelling dynamics have been changed completely. The lockdown made families restless and thus the desire to get a vacation was heightened. There were assumptions made that COVID could impact the tourism business, however, post-covid changed the entire scenario, as people were keen to travel.
Now majorly family vacations are 3-4 days long, but covid has spiked the ‘weekend break’ ideology among families. Data by FCCO stated that around 43% of people fall under this category. Secondly, work from home situation led many families to work from the mesmerizing view of the mountains. There are few couples without kids, who moved their work locations from Mumbai to Goa.
All this seems beautiful, but since the traveling demand increased so did the traveling expense. The basic economic rule of demand & supply is applied here! Since the demand for traveling has increased so does the traveling cost. From flight tickets to accommodation prices, the expenses have skyrocketed. Being the breadwinner of the family, planning a family trip can be an expensive matter if you plan efficiently!
Now, how do you plan efficiently, you may ask? Well, it’s simple, make sure you don’t plan your holidays at the last moment. Last-moment planning always comes at a price. The travel cost is expensive, including hotel booking, flights, etc.
Planning your family trip in advance can make your trip cost-efficient. Research the place you want to visit, pick the dates (prefer a long weekend to avoid too many leaves from the office as it may get deducted from your salary) and prebook to benefit from the value for money!
Time Constraints: Another roadblock is more of an emotional one. I mean who doesn’t want to spend time with their family or go out for a vacation, right?
Everyone wants to do that. But since covid, people have become more sincere toward building an emergency fund. As a result, almost every person is now focusing on earning both active and passive income, leading to time constraints.
However, due to this people have become busier and end up postponing their vacations. You could avoid going during the peak season, as prices are high & tourist locations are crowded. Pick a time during the off-peak season!
how to plan a fun and budget-friendly trip?
Being the breadwinner of the family, planning a trip becomes solely your responsibility regarding finances. Without breaking the bank, you can enjoy a memorable family vacation with a little creativity and careful planning.
Decide your budget and pick a holiday that best fits: Decide how much you can comfortably spend on your family vacation before you begin planning. For example, if you’re a family of 4 (2 adults + 2 children) and you decide to go to a hill station, then a minimum of 35K – 40k should be your budget. Be sure to include all the expenses, such as transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, and souvenirs. When you have a clear budget in mind, you can make informed decisions and prioritize your spending.
Planning in advance: Planning well in advance is the most crucial part of holidaying within the budget. There are three major essential costs while planning a holiday – Travel, Hotels, and Food. This allows the travelers to do research to find out the best mode of transport, and the best suitable hotel (some prefer the hotel to be in the heart of the city they are traveling to, some prefer far from the hustle & bustle, some prefer hotels that are friendly to kids & pets). Booking the travel tickets & hotels well in advance will reduce the travel cost substantially and also help you get your preferred hotel & tickets that suit your convenience.
Additionally, planning allows you to create a detailed itinerary and help you optimize your time as well.
Being flexible on accommodation: On discussing with one avid traveler, he laid down a beautiful suggestion. According to him, when he travels for overseas holidays where most of the time is spent sightseeing and doing activities outside the hotel, he prefers a low-budget hotel or even a bed & breakfast set-up. However, when he is traveling within India where he spends an equal amount of time in hotels & sightseeing, he doesn’t mind spending on a good hotel or a resort.
Choose destinations that offer affordable activities and accommodations – as Indians, we love anything that is “value for money”.
Flexibility is key when it comes to travel dates: Travelling during peak season increases the cost of everything. It may make sense to at times plan holidays during off-peak season. Flights and accommodations are less expensive, and tourist attractions are less crowded. For example – traveling to Switzerland during the peak season – (i.e. Summers) one will enjoy the lovely weather, and the scenic beauty, and one travels a little light. One can travel during the winter season as well. The hotel & travel tickets will be cheaper compared to peak season prices. One can find snow, try skiing and take advantage of the post-season discount on shopping during January. One can plan to spend Christmas & New Year there but a few things may be expensive, as that’s the festive season.
Explore Free and Low-Cost Activities: Now one can pre-book the tickets to the tourist attractions well in advance. Pre-booking the ticket to Burj Khalifa & Dubai Aquarium well in advance in comparison to buying on the spot can save you about 150 Dirhams per person (approximately INR 3400 per person).
Create Memories, Not Expenses: Remember, the most valuable part of a family vacation is the time spent together, creating cherished memories. Focus on the experiences rather than material things. Engage in activities that promote togetherness and quality time, such as doing fun activities, playing games, or even catching on friends in overseas locations. These moments will be the ones your family remembers most fondly.