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5 Money-Saving Tips for Taking Kids on a Big City Vacation

Do you dream of taking your kids on a big city adventure, yet dread the idea of a big city price tag?

My family loves taking adventures to explore big cities. But, trying to keep these adventures frugal is a constant learning experience. Throughout our frequent travels, we’ve made (and have since learned from!) huge mistakes along the way. So, on each trip, we try to save more and spend a little less. That said, today, I’m back on the blog to share my favorite ways to save big on big city adventures!

1. Free Attractions & Parks

money-saving tips for taking kids on a big city vacation

Most big cities offer discounted or free admission to fantastic museums, galleries, and parks as part of city-funded attractions. This is your opportunity to save money on keeping the family entertained while exploring the destination of your choice.

My family’s personal big-city favorite is the National Mall in Washington D.C. where you can explore countless museums and even a zoo all for FREE!

And, in New York City, there are plenty of free museums for you to explore, from the American Folk Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, New York Public Library, and the 9/11 Memorial. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the inexpensive carousel in Central Park. Your kids just might recognize the surroundings thanks to their favorite movies!

Planning an adventure on the west coast? Be sure to expand your knowledge by checking out the following museums in Los Angeles: the California Science Center, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and Travel Town Museum—all at no cost to you and your travel tribe!

2. Plan Ahead

money-saving tips for taking kids on a big city vacation

I’m definitely a planner by nature, and often, my family jokes that I need to be more spontaneous—except, of course, when it comes to planning our vacation schedule.

Nothing makes for tired kids or cranky spouses like not being well prepared. So, when it comes to our family adventures, we all know where we’re going and when, and how we’re planning to get there ahead of time.

How is that possible? Well, when visiting a big city, if you don’t take advantage of parking apps, discounted tickets, and dining reservations ahead of time you’re missing out.

Not to mention, sticking to a plan is also a great way to keep yourself and your family safe. It is very easy for someone to pickpocket or identify that you’re a tourist if you appear to be stressed and distracted.

3. Day Trip

Nothing hinders your plans for a big city vacation like searching for a hotel room and finding out it’ll cost you a pretty penny (think $500+ to stay for one night in an uber cramped hotel room in the middle of the city)!

So, why not take a day trip instead? Most of the time, you can quickly hop on a train or bus and head right into the heart of the downtown area for almost the same cost as parking your vehicle all day long. Your family can accomplish the top items on their ‘Big City Must-Do List” and you can spend that cash you’d initially reserved for a one-night on additional adventures or a tasty dinner.

4. “Five Blocks” Rule

Have you ever heard of the “Five Blocks” Rule? The idea is that if you walk five blocks further from a major tourist attraction or site, you’ll find better food at better prices. I don’t know about you, but I would happily walk a little further for a delicious, local lunch than pay for an overpriced chain restaurant because of its convenient location.

5. Ask a Local

money-saving tips for taking kids on a big city vacation

My favorite travel advice for getting around big cities and saving money is to ask someone who lives or frequently travels to your destination of interest.

Reason being, they can give you insider information, a list of the best places to eat, and the places to avoid. Nothing disappoints my husband more than finding out after our trip that the best pizza place in town was located across the street from the “okay” pizza place we decided to go to instead.

Don’t know a local? Ask a local you come into contact with. Think the people who work at attractions, your resort, or museums. Chances are, they’ve probably lived in the area awhile and will happily give you advice on where to go and where to eat.


Now that you know these some money-saving tips and tricks to traveling to the city, make your vacation dream a reality, and call your Resort Specialists at Tripbound today at 1-888-816-5214!

We have affordable and spacious big-city vacation everyone in your family will love.

Have a favorite tip we missed sharing? Or additional insight based on your travel experiences? Share with us in the comments below!

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