Monday, March 7, 2011

Tips for Great Family Travel!

Vacationing with the family is supposed to be fun and not stressful. All you really want to do is be able to spend time with your family and not have to worry about money. The expenses of traveling can be crazy! Here are a few ways to make sure your family vacation is the best it can be, without breaking your budget!

1. SAVE SAVE SAVE! I'm huge on saving money for vacations. I have a separate account especially for vacation. I put about 25-50 dollars every two weeks in that account, and I never let it run dry even while on vacation. When it comes time for our vacation, I use only that money and when we get home, we don't have to worry about bills.

2. Plan ahead. I like to be prepared. I like to know exactly what all there is to do and where when were vacationing. I look up local zoos, attractions, museums, and whatever else I can think of. I make a "schedule" and try to stick to it. That way we all know what comes next, and I know how much money I will spend!

3. Gather supplies. I'm a clearance shopper, so when I see something that I will need on sale I will grab it. We have travel sizes of shampoo, toothpaste, deoderant and other supplies on stock. I also put them in a different area in my closet so when it comes time to pack, I know exactly where they are and I don't have to go searching.

4. Think outside of the box. If you get bored on vacation, there are things that you can do that do that you would normally at home. My kids and I love to go to pet stores to look at animals. We ended up doing that on one of our first vacations while we were waiting for something else. My kids loved it. It may not be all that adventurous, but it's free and fun for the kiddos!

5. Search for free stuff. There are a bunch of free hiking trails, bike trails, and nature walks with guides all over the place. You learn a lot, and it's fun! Don't forget to visit parks too!

6. Stay with family or friends. If your heading to visit family, stay with them if they offer. The costs of motels during the summer skyrocket, and staying with a relative is free! Plus, they might even cook for you!

7. Bring some meals. I know you can really pack a freezer to take with you but you can take some sandwiches or healthy snacks for the kiddos. I always make sure to bring popcorn for an after dinner snack. My kiddos get bored and hungry and hotel room vending machines are super expensive!

8. Give up some perks! I love staying in a really nice hotel, BUT if giving up room service will save me $30, I will do it in a heart beat. I'm not saying to stay in a roach motel, but there are a few things that can be given up to save some money.

9. Sign up for rewards card. I learned this while we were in Indiana. In order to get deals in a certain store I needed to sign up for a rewards card with them. While I may never use it again after I leave, I still save money while I'm there!

10. Check out travel blogs. I love reading travel blogs, and seeing what all is available in different locations. Some blogs have every money saving activity already researched for you!

So, I hope my tips help you! Remember, vacation is fun! Try not to worry about over spending too much, it's a once in a lifetime thing so enjoy yourself! If you plan well, and do your research you will be just fine! Have fun!!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here

No comments: