3 Hidden Ways Having Kids Makes Travel More Expensive

Traveling with children can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges, including unexpected expenses. While many parents are aware of the obvious costs associated with family travel, such as airfare, accommodation, and meals, there are also hidden expenses that can quickly add up. Here are three hidden ways having kids makes travel more expensive.

1. Additional Transportation Costs

When planning a family trip, it’s easy to focus solely on the cost of airfare or train tickets. However, once you arrive at your destination, you may encounter additional transportation expenses that can catch you off guard.

Rental Car Fees: Depending on your travel itinerary, you may need to rent a car to get around. Rental car fees can quickly add up, especially if you require a larger vehicle to accommodate your family and luggage.

Public Transportation: While public transportation can be a cost-effective option in some destinations, families with children may find it more convenient to use taxis or ride-sharing services, which can be more expensive.

Parking Fees: If you’re driving to your destination or renting a car, don’t forget to budget for parking fees. Whether it’s at the airport, hotel, or tourist attractions, parking fees can significantly impact your overall travel expenses.

2. Entertainment and Activities

Keeping children entertained while traveling is essential, but it can also be costly. From admission fees to attractions to souvenirs, entertainment and activities can quickly eat into your travel budget.

Attraction Tickets: Many popular tourist attractions charge admission fees, which can quickly add up for families. Theme parks, museums, zoos, and aquariums often offer discounted rates for children, but these savings may still be substantial, especially if you plan to visit multiple attractions.

Special Events and Shows: If you’re traveling during peak season or special events, such as holidays or festivals, you may encounter additional costs for tickets to shows, concerts, or performances.

Souvenirs and Gifts: It’s hard to resist the allure of souvenir shops, especially for children who want to bring home a memento of their travels. Budgeting for souvenirs and gifts can help prevent overspending on unnecessary items.

3. Dining Out

While dining out is an enjoyable part of the travel experience, it can also be a significant expense for families, especially if you have picky eaters or dietary restrictions to consider.

Restaurant Meals: Eating out at restaurants for every meal can quickly add up, particularly if you’re dining at touristy or upscale establishments. To save money, consider opting for casual eateries, street food vendors, or self-catering options like picnics or grocery store meals.

Kids’ Menus: While many restaurants offer kids’ menus with discounted prices, these options may still be more expensive than preparing meals at home. Additionally, children’s appetites can vary, leading to wasted food if they don’t finish their meals.

Snacks and Treats: On-the-go snacks and treats can also contribute to your dining expenses. Whether it’s ice cream cones, smoothies, or snacks purchased at convenience stores, these small indulgences can add up over the course of your trip.


Traveling with children can be a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories as a family, but it’s essential to be aware of the hidden expenses that can arise. By budgeting for additional transportation costs, entertainment and activities, and dining out, you can better prepare for the financial realities of family travel. With careful planning and resourcefulness, you can minimize expenses without sacrificing the quality of your travel experience. Remember, the key is to focus on creating meaningful moments with your family, rather than the amount of money spent.

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