I wasn’t always as financially savvy as I am now. As a matter of fact, other than shopping, traveling has been one of my favorite hobbies. Having kids didn’t change that, it just made me become more creative in stretching a buck. And I always know where the nearest bathroom is located.
Tip 1-Comparision Shop for everything. Travel sites like kayak.com allow for you to get prices from orbitz, expedia, travelocity, priceline and bookit.
Tip 2-Look for coupon and discount codes on your travel. Slickdeals.net always has cheap trips and hotels as well as forums for orbitz codes.
Tip 3-Do your research. Don’t plan a trip because it is cheap. Check when hurricane season is, when conventions are being held. If you are planning on going away for Valentine’s Day, you don’t want to go stay at a hotel holding a comic book convention.
Tip 4-Be Flexible. We booked our flight to Vegas for 5 days in April. We were flexible, making the trip go from $400 per person to $230 per person. We flew later in the day from Philly but we flew nonstop. We planned ahead to get a shuttle but they were so full we opted for a taxi. I had preplanned the route to the hotel so we didn’t get ripped off.
Tip 5-Let the kids control the trip-I traveled with a 6 week old. This taught me, there is no schedule when traveling. Be happy you even make your flight. As long as the baby is fed and dry, and you make your destination, it has been a success.
Tip 6-Always pack snacks. Our famous Vegas trip, we sat on the runway for 1.5 hours. I was so starving. I bought a snack box halfway through our flight and nothing was edible for me. I drank 3 diet cokes and was so hungry I had a headache. Then we drank. If I had my kiddie supply of snacks, I would have been set.
Tip 7-bring conveinence meals. Although I am not endorsed by easy mac and don’t eat it myself, it has been a godsend. We go to the beach and cook it in our hotel. They also make oatmeal that cooks by adding hot water or cooking in the microwave. I pack snacks like cheese and crackers, fruit and peanut butter and jelly.
Tip 8-Restaurant.com is your best friend. I keep reading blogs about people buying the gift certificates for only $4 for a $25 GC. I jumped on board and there are so many options. People buy them and use them at Disney to save.
Tip 9-check groupon, and living social for other local deals.
Tip 10-TripAdvisor.com-The forums tell you everything you need to know. I read these daily for places we frequently go. There are trip experts that can answer specific questions. You can also get hotel ratings.
We travel all the time. This month alone we have been to Great Wolf Lodge, Ocean City Maryland and Atlantic City NJ. Trip Advisor had tips about bringing extra bathing suits to Great Wolf, Restaurant.com had Phillips Seafood for Atlantic City and the tourism website for Maryland had a great calender of free events. Previous trips to Virginia Beach I found out about free movies every Friday night at the boardwalk which made for free entertainment. I pick up the local freebie papers and find out about flea markets, carnivals and breakfasts which the proceeds go to charity. We never do the same thing twice even though we frequent certain destinations. Being a family makes vacations more expensive but they are always fun and we have life long memories.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the Toyota Sienna and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here