Families on a budget can still travel where they want to go

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Lots of laughs and a crowded room in the Jesse Knight Building accompanied Kimball Benson’s class teaching participants how to travel cheaper with a family.

“A vacation doesn’t have to be fancy or extravagant,” Benson said. “It’s a lot of relationship time. My family’s favorite vacation was to St. George climbing on some rocks.”

Attendants received a handout with websites and a description of what deals they can find on those websites.

As listeners took a quiz about their traveling interests with an i-clicker, Benson explained the importance of having an annual couples retreat.

“It renews that relationship,” Benson said. “We’re talking about love and life, and the marriage relationship is number one, and while kids are important, they’re number two. You come home and you appreciate the kids more, and they appreciate you more, as well.”

His biggest tips on finding cheaper airfare were flexibility and being aware of what deals are out there.

He said Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best days to leave for a flight, and the best time to book a trip is Tuesday at 3 p.m.

“Airfare is the most annoying, but when you beat it, you beat the system, and it’s a great thing,” Benson said.

He suggested searching for one-passenger flights first because the sites will display the cheaper prices for just one rather than displaying the standard price for a family of four.

While giving attendees tips for a cheaper way to travel, Benson also offered his own insights from his own travels, including the time he tried to find the cheapest flight by booking one from Salt Lake to Los Angeles, then back to Salt Lake and finally to Hawaii. He said knowing what deals can be offered is vital to making travel easier and cheaper.

“Sometimes driving a couple hours to the bigger airport can save you money that you wouldn’t be able to save otherwise,” Benson said.  “Don’t shop too early or too late.”

He said the best time to book flights domestically is less than three months in advance and internationally less than four months in advance.

For a whole trip, he said, sites like priceline.com can offer great deals for a full package of airfare, rental car and hotel expenses.

“Planning out the activities for a trip before you leave can save you a ton of money,” Benson said.

Staycations are one of Benson’s favorite getaways. He said as a family, you can stay home and just go out and do an activity locally for a couple of days to gain experience and get a break from work and the stresses of everyday life.

Stephanie Morgan from Rocklin, Calif., said she found it interesting to hear about all the different sites and ways to find deals for traveling.

“I’ve tried a lot of these things, but he showed you how to look farther to find even better deals,” Morgan said.

She said Benson was an entertaining speaker who suggested useful tips to make traveling with her family less costly.

“It was fun to hear his warnings of what not to do, like the best days to fly and the best days to purchase tickets,” Morgan said.

Her son, Alex Morgan, who is studying exercise science, said Benson inspired him to try to visit the places he wants to go.

“I like that he said to pick a place you want to go, and then schedule it,” Alex said. “People always have a dream of where to go, but they never do it because they think it will be too expensive.

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