If you’re not like every other family, then Austin may be the perfect destination for your family vacation, after all, the city’s motto is Keep Austin Weird. I’ve been to Austin and loved it. Most of the time it is a fairly priced destination (that is unless you visit during SXSW – which is not really “family-friendly”, but even so when you have more than two people going on a trip, things can get expensive. How much does an Austin vacation cost? Let us take a look at some numbers:
- $795 – the average cost of a 1 week trip to Austin for one person.
- $1590 – the average cost of a 1-week vacation to Austin for two people.
- $3178 – the average cost of a 2-week vacation for two.
Sure, the prices for kid’s meals, etc will be cheaper, but this all ads up. If you are starting to plan, we’ll give you some tips on how you can save money on that dream Austin Vacation for your family.
When to Go to Austin to Get the Best Prices
First of all, skip early March. The SXSW festival happens there yearly so the city will be packed, flights to Austin will cost a bundle, and the city will be packed with people and traffic.
The best months to visit weather-wise are between September & November or between March & May. Why? Temperatures average somewhere between 70 & 80. Any other time it will be intolerably hot. Locals will also be using all the attractions where you can beat the heat, so you can expect prices to be inflated and lines to be long.
How to Find Cheap Flights to Austin
When talking about “cheap flights”, I want to change the focus to affordable flights to Austin. Cheap flights often come with hidden fees and annoyances. You may arrive at the airport and be surprised to hear that you are not all sitting together and that in order to do so, you need to pay extra. When you’re booking your flights make sure to check for baggage fees, cancellation fees, food policies, etc.
Affordable Austin Transportation
Austin itself is really pedestrian-friendly. The streets are comfortable to walk on and the city is small. However, if you are going to explore outside of downtown Austin, you will need a car, particularly because the buses and light rail in Austin leave a lot to be desired. Uber is a very valid option, but using these often can add up, so check out the different car rental sites for special deals and packages.
How to Save Money on Restaurants & Eating Out In Austin
The great news is that Austin is a food paradise. There are also plenty of inexpensive restaurants in Austin, particularly when it comes to Tex Mex and BBQ. You absolutely need to check out Franklin BBQ, Garrido’s, and Chuys.
That being said, the average spent per adult per day while vacationing in Austin is $30 per day. This is an average and probably includes meals more high-end restaurants (Like Uchi – some of the best sushi in the USA) that aren’t so cheap. So it is important to begin by looking for Austin restaurant coupons. You will also want to research restaurants that offer kid’s deals like kids eat free.
You can also save money by choosing where you stay carefully. My favorite choices when traveling with the family are Airbnb or a good family hotel. Let’s see why your accommodations can make a big difference in your meal budget.
With Airbnb, you can get an entire home that costs the same or less than a hotel. Because you’re getting more than just a room, you can have multiple bedrooms, a living room, and most importantly – a kitchen. Breakfasts are seriously overpriced at most hotels, so saving on breakfasts and making snacks at home can really help curb your spending.
In this case, you may only get a room (so you’ll be stuck with the kids). The good here is that these hotels will have pools, video games, and other amenities to keep your kids occupied. They also tend to offer meal packages like free breakfast for kids or kids eat free.
Austin Restaurant Week
Some of Austin’s best restaurants participate in this yearly event. They usually offer two prix fixe options, one for lunch and one for dinner at deep discounts. If your kids are a bit older, this is a great way to spend time with them, enjoy a grown-up meal, and save on food.
Ticket Packages for Austin Attractions
If you’re going to Austin with your kids, chances are you’re not planning to stay at the hotel for an entire week. You want to find the best and most affordable things to do with kids in Austin. Here are a couple of our staff’s favorites:
- Barton Springs Pool
- Zilker Botanical Garden
- Austin Nature Center
- Zilker Botanical Garden
- Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
- Congress Avenue Bridge
- Laguna Gloria Sculpture Park
- Mayfield Park
- Texas Military Forces Museum
- Mount Bonnell
- South Congress Avenue
- Texas State Capitol
- The Bullock Texas State History Museum
- Elizabeth Ney Museum
- Austin Zoo
- Hawaiian Falls
- iFly Indoor Skydiving
Consider getting the ATX Pass. With it, you get free ticket purchases to over 100 of the best attractions and things to do in Austin…and not just for one day. The ticket for an adult ticket is usually $95 and kid’s passes run about $45.