Money Saving Tips for Traveling Abroad with Children


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This post is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare Global, but all opinions are mine.

Traveling abroad with my children is one of my biggest parenting desires. I grew up in Europe and was lucky enough to travel all Europe when I was young. But who am I kidding? Taking four kids to Europe is no cheap undertaking. It will take a lot of planning and saving. I’m already working on money saving tips for traveling abroad with children, and here are the first five I’ve come up with!

Money Saving Tips for traveling in Europe with Kids

Money Saving Tips for Traveling Abroad with Children

Travel during the off-season if at all possible.

This gets a little tricky with kids in school, but summer vacation is the most crowded and expensive time to head to Europe. If at all possible, head overseas in the spring or fall to take advantage of better pricing on airlines and accommodations as well. While the weather could be worse at those times, it could be even better! Think spring bulbs at Keukenhof in the Netherlands and fall foliage at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany!

Rent a house instead of a hotel room.

Renting a house makes a lot of sense especially when you’re traveling with children. It’s not that hard and it’s a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel. Another huge benefit to a house is the kitchen! You can save so much money by using a kitchen instead of a restaurant. HomeAway, Airbnb and VRBO are all places to look for quality rental homes in Europe.

Bakery in Paris

Limit eating out by using grocery stores & markets.

You can save a phenomenal amount of money by hitting the grocery stores, bakeries, and markets instead of eating out at restaurants. I have such fond memories of traveling through France when I was 8 or 9. I wish I had a picture of my dad walking down cobblestone lanes with baguettes under his arms (they were wrapped and he was trying to look French :-)), a chunk of nice cheese, and a bottle of water. We enjoyed memorable meals near fountains and in parks for pennies on the dollar by buying groceries instead of ready cooked meals at restaurants.

Use public transportation.

I love public transportation in Europe. It’s economical, fun, and lot cheaper than taking a cab. While it can seem daunting to take public transportation in a country where you can’t speak the language, it is doable. Prepare ahead of time by studying a map and arrive at the terminal or station with a plan. In our travels, I have always found the workers to be friendly and helpful, and many of them also speak English. So don’t be afraid to ask questions if you get stuck or lost!

Consider travel medical insurance.

If you’re kids are anything like mine, you really need to think hard about medical insurance as it’s likely that your US coverage won’t protect you in case of accidents overseas. A basic travel medical policy can cost about the same as a nice meal at a restaurant. For a 7 day trip, that’s only a few dollars a day. Check out UnitedHealthcare Global for more information on how medical travel insurance can help you find quality care overseas, keep costs in line, handle translation services, arrange transportation home, and even bringing someone from home to be with you. Medical travel insurance can even handle non-medical problems such as helping find lost passports and luggage if you choose those plan options.

Thank you to MEDX for sponsoring this post. Be sure to learn about international travel insurance plans from UnitedHealthcare Global whose call center is there to help you 24/7.

Why You might consider medical travel insurance for international travel

Have you traveled overseas with your children? I’d love to hear your experiences! 

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. The Hubby and I don’t have kids, but we are traveling to Tuscany for the month of June. We are renting a lovely “villa” and will be doing a lot of cooking at the house. We’re having family and friends come as they can. Cycling and eating good Italian food. I think I’m in heaven! 🙂
    My parents took my brother and me to Denmark for 10 weeks when I was 7. My dad was Danish. We rented a house on his home island and traveled from there. I’ll never forget that summer experience.

  2. We traveled internationally frequently before kids and to The Netherlands to visit family with my son, but since we had our twin girls we haven’t been back. The girls are turning four next week, so I think it’s high time we planned another visit soon!

  3. Great Tips! We did a trip to London & Paris this February with our kids & it went great!! It was off season, so it was cheaper to fly & find a place to stay. We used the subway system to get all over and stayed at a place that included breakfast and afternoon snacks. It was a fabulous trip! Pinned this post for future reference 🙂

  4. I was lucky enough to be able to go abroad (visiting relatives) in my teens, and then for a summer in Europe in my early 20s. Nothing like it!

    I stayed mostly in youth hostels, and many of them provided some degree of kitchen facilities, which helped. And we pretty much lived on bread, cheese, and fruit for lunch – they are all so good, and generally quite inexpensive!

    One note – if you get travel insurance, make sure someone back home knows about it, and you carry obvious contact information with you. A while back a close friend of ours was involved in a very serious accident while traveling, and was unable himself to provide any information – there were all kinds of delays (during which, let me be clear, he *was* treated) while people hunted down the correct family members. And we had no idea whether or not he *had* any kind of travel insurance, which would have been extremely helpful bringing him back home.

  5. Growing up as a missionary kids, I never had to think about the details. I was that traveling kid, oblivious to the things my parents went through to prepare. Great ideas. Thank you as always!!

  6. When we finally get the chance to go to Europe again, travel insurance will be on our packing list. I know our current health coverage won’t cover everything overseas, so I’d rather be safe than sorry.