Tips to Explore Big Cities During Low Budget Family Trip

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

Planning on going for a vacation with your family and worried about your pocket? No matter how much a person earns, when traveling to a distant place with family budget is always a prime concern, which decides what place you are going to spend your holidays at. The point is not what your vacation budget is; instead it all comes down to how well you have planned your trip. You can still have the trip of your dreams without worrying about burning a hole in your pocket by doing some brainstorming research and planning everything well in advance. Here are some tips you can use while planning your dream vacation:

Travel Cheap

Plan your vacation well in advance to avail discounts on airfare. There are various discount sites that combine flight segments of various airlines and gives you a great deal at very minimal charges. Moreover, tickets booked in advance save a lot of bucks. Don’t forget to check the fare of round trip tickets which surprisingly are sometimes cheaper than the one way tickets. You can also choose to go for connecting flights and though it sucks it can also save a good chunk of your money. Also remember that these days’ airlines charge extra for carrying more luggage, so travel light with one bag per person.

Embrace Public Transport

Tourists usually take a taxi since it is the laziest way to commute, but try saving those dollars by embracing public transport. Rail, metros, subways and buses are the most convenient and cheapest option to commute within the city. You just need to have a clear idea of the public transport system of the place you are visiting and considering that all the information is available on the internet these days a little research will save a lot. Moreover renting a car is not a very good option if you are planning to visit a big city like San Francisco as you might encounter parking problems plus the additional burden of parking tickets.

Choosing the Accommodations

Hotel charges have a major share in your traveling expenses so if you choose your bedding place wisely you can save a lot. Usually smaller towns on the outskirts of cities are much less expensive, so if you don’t mind a few minutes ride you can always consider this option. Instead of getting two separate rooms you can choose a suite which is comparatively cheaper than two bedrooms combined. Do an extensive research and pre-book your hotels, as during the holiday season it is difficult getting a room, and you might have to end up paying double if you leave it to the last minute.

City Tour

Choosing a city tour is a good option as it gives you a complete overview of the place when you are running short on time. One day mini tours will take you to all the tourist spots you want to visit anyway and usually are quite informative as well. For example, if you are visiting San Francisco, which has loads of iconic landmarks and tourist sites you won’t want to miss a city tour which will cover all the destinations from Golden Gate and Bay Bridges to Alcatraz and Pier 39.

Save on Tickets to Art Galleries, Museums and Others

If you are an art fanatic or a history buff, you sure would want to visit all the art galleries, museums and historic landmarks. Though many of the museums and art galleries have free entry there are some places where you will have to buy tickets. During holiday seasons with large number of tourists buying these tickets might be expensive, if you haven’t booked in advance. If you are lucky you might even get some discounts for pre-booking. If you are visiting San Francisco, Alcatraz will be a must see. Alcatraz tours last minute tickets might be expensive, so check the Alcatraz tour prices in advance and book your tickets.


If eating is your way to enjoy a new city you sure will need ways to eat and drink for cheap. You can order as takeout instead of dining in, if you prefer food over ambiance. If you want to pamper your taste buds at a fancy upscale restaurant go down to the basement section where entries are cheap. Don’t forget to relish in the local street food. Also eat with the season. You are likely to get more tastier and less expensive food if you order what’s in season.

The photo is of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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