Skip to Content

Family of 4 Vacation Budget: How Much Should I Budget for a Family Vacation?

There exists evidence that vacations make families happier, more focused, and healthier. However, vacations also come with a temptation to overspend and possibly end up in a financial crisis.

Keeping that in mind, much should a family of four spend on a vacation?

On average, the cost of a vacation for a family of four is $ 4,580 or $ 1,145 per person. The prices could be higher depending on where you go, for how long, where you stay, and factors like taxation.

In this guide, I’ll talk further about what your vacation expenses might be as well as offer tips on how to spend less when enjoying a vacation with your family. Keep reading!

What Is The Average Cost of a Family Vacation?

You’ll recall that families of four will spend about $4,500 on a vacation.

That said, determining the average cost of family vacations is tricky for several reasons, most of which I touched upon in the intro.

The bottom line is that the budget that you come up with depends on the frequency of your family travels, the type of vacation you want, and how much you can save.

How To Determine Your Family’s Vacation Budget

What should your own family vacation budget look like?

The first part of formulating the family vacation budget is deciding how much you can save.

You can put your tax returns, a bonus at work, overtime pay, or any extra cash towards your family vacation savings.

Alternatively, you can sacrifice some conveniences such as weekend family dinner outs and add that money to your vacation savings account.

Saving those pennies can be a significant game changer.

For instance, if you save $300 per month, then a year later, you’ll have $ 3,600 saved so your family can have a good vacation.

Setting a saving goal and tracking your monthly savings will make it possible for your family to go on vacations at least once a year.

Planning For A Family Vacation

Planning is easy once you have your budget decided.

Begin by picking several vacation options you know your family would be interested in. After that, find out which options fit your budget.

If some destinations are too high-cost, you can always cut the budget by either staying in a cheaper hotel or cooking for yourself instead of eating hotel food.

After choosing a vacation spot that suits everyone, it’s time to consider the expenses.

Determine the means of transport you will use and its costs.

You can search online for various vacation packages to get an idea of what will work best for your vacation. Know how much a flight, road transport, and lodging will cost.

Don’t forget the small things that also cost money. They may include administrative costs, meals, special gear, home/petsitting while you are away, and entertainment costs.

How To Handle The Budget When on Vacation

Want to keep those expenses down when on vacation? Of course, you do! These payment options will help.

  • Prepay: Prepaying is the best method to pay for your vacation. All the expenses are taken care of so you can relax and get excited about your vacation. You might be able to better deals by paying for the costs ahead of time.
  • Carry cash: Carrying cash is also an option, but it is risky if the cash gets lost or if someone tries to mug you (which could happen!). With cash in hand, you can at least easily monitor your spending.
  • Use a Budgeting App: There are budgeting apps aplenty that you can connect to your checking account to monitor your spending down to the last cent. An app like this comes in handy to guard you against overspending.
  • Use a Credit Card: If you have a debt-free credit card, you can add all your daily vacation spending to the card. Do make sure that you log into the card’s app daily to keep track of your total spending.

Tips For a Budget-Friendly Family Vacation

Despite that the average cost of a vacation for a family of four is high, you have many ways to make your savings stretch further. Here are some tips to help you create a budget-friendly family vacation.

Avoid Car Rental Insurance

If you are driving instead of taking a train or flying and decide to rent a car, you need to be careful about the insurance costs.

Rental cars often have expensive insurance costs that can bog down your vacation spending.

If a rental car isn’t covered by your current auto policy, then choose a shorter-term policy. Besides cheaper rates, a short-term policy also comes with a better deal from your present policy provider.

Settle for All-Inclusives

Going for all-inclusive cruises and hotels could be just what you need to stick to your vacation budget. Most resorts will include the cost of food, room, and activities in the overall cost.

Even still, you must be cautious and know what’s in the inclusive package before booking. Otherwise, you could be surprised with a hefty bill at the end of your vacation.

Be On The Look Out For Free Attractions

This is one of the best tips when working with a tight vacation budget for your family.

If you know where to look, you can find countless free attractions for a family of four, including museums, national preserves, and beaches.

Check for Discounts

Before you embark on your vacation, begin digging around for discounts for events, hotels, airlines, and restaurants. You’ll shave down the costs of your vacation with coupons!

Avoid Traveling During Peak Vacation Season

If you can get the kids out of school and take some time off work, vacationing outside of peak season such as during the winter is going to mean a much cheaper vacation for you. There will be far fewer crowds as well!


With proper planning, saving, and budgeting, you can take your family of four on a relaxing, restorative vacation at least once a year. I hope this guide helps you prepare for your vacation!