Travel with Kids Tips
It is almost that time of year when you wonder can I afford a vacation. You know the little voice in your head that goes over your expenses and charts your income. Then you think I bet I can but I have to make some choices on what to spend my budget on. These are my Travel with Kids Tips to save money and have a good time. There are really four large expenses to consider as you.
- How will you get to your vacation?
- Where will you stay?
- What will you eat?
- What will you do while you are there?
I know how to reduce all four of the above costs. You need a map, plan, wish list, and creativity. I recently took a trip to Hampton, VA with my family. I am a big fan of road trips so because of this and the fact that driving to your vacation destination can save some money, we decided to drive. I have three children so I decided to do some research to find things that could make the trip go as smoothly as possible and keep them entertained for the 2 hours drive. These tips work when we drive 11 hours away to Rhode Island each year and 13 Hours to Florida.
If you intend to fly then I suggest you fly out on Tuesday. I also suggest you create a profile on a site and set up alerts for deals on your destination. I start early and usually wait until I think I have the best deal possible.
- Where will you stay?
We save a lot of money by using our credit cards and building up hotel points. I also suggest Air BNB. The best tip I have received is to look a couple miles out from your destination if you have a car you can save a lot of money by not being directly in the city. I know it may be a bit annoying but you can save hundreds a night. I always suggest a room with a kitchenette.
What will you eat? This is my favorite way to save because it is the easiest. You may think I am crazy but I feel like meals are the worst budget busters there are. We bring our Power Air Fryer and we cook one meal a day. When we travel we eat out for one meal a day. We usually make it a large lunch closer to dinner. I am able to cook a large breakfast and bring a snack for the kids. Then we eat lunch out which is typically 35% less than dinner per person. What have I made in our Power Air Fryer Oven?
I have made everything from fried pickles and baked chicken fingers recipes to fried fish, pizza, chicken, potatoes, and even burgers. I know my husband thinks I am crazy bringing it along but it is the perfect answer to staying within budget. I love how easy it is to use and how versatile it is. You just can’t go wrong with it and it helps us stay gluten-free and dairy-free so my husband doesn’t get sick when we are away. We spend $50- $100 for a family of five when eating out for dinner. We know that having our Power Air Fryer Oven saves us at least $75 a day. It is easy to use with preprogrammed options, easy cleanup and accessories to help you cook almost anything it is worth the cost.
What will you do while you are there? I look at the location I am going to and a google what free things are there to do in and then I put in the place. I have found so many wonderful locations that I had no idea were free. You can see what I did in Hampton, Va for free. We explored the city, history, and even met some animals.
The most important thing about traveling is creating memories and not debt that will live on long after the trip is gone.
Real Advice Gals Tips for Happy Travelers:
I came up with some really great free activities that kept them entertained.
The first thing I did was go on google and look up places where I could download some free printable games. The best place for these I found was
I found quite a few games that can be played multiple times without becoming boring. Instead of printing out multiple pages of the same games what I decided to do was to take report covers/ sheet protectors and slip the games inside. This way instead of using them one time and throwing them out, they could be used over and over again with dry erase markers. When we were done with the game we would erase and have new sheets. This is also nice because if a mistake was made it could be erased easily.
Kids also like to help and feel like they are doing something important so another good idea, especially if you are driving, is to go to a site like MapQuest to print out some driving directions with a map your kids can keep track of. This ends up serving two purposes, they can help tell you when you are going to be approaching exits and they can keep track of how far you have gone and how much you have left until you reach your destination. For multi-day trips, make sure you mark on their map where you plan on stopping for the day. If you are flying instead of driving, you can also give your child(ren) a copy of your flight information with your estimated time of arrival. Have them help you out finding your gate at the airport.
For a car trip, I found a lap table at Family Dollar that was great. It fits right in their laps and has compartments that can hold pens, crayons, markers & coloring books. They also have an area to place drinks so they don’t spill. This provides a great space for them to play games, write, draw or color. Make sure you have a little cooler for drinks and snacks. This way you don’t need to stop as often and it helps save some money by not having to stop at travel plazas for food which generally costs more there than anywhere else. Also a child who is not hungry tends to be a happier child so this helps save some of your sanity as well! Snacks that are easy to eat on the go can be the best, for example, cereal bars, crackers, peanuts and granola bars. Try to find drinks that have caps to help avoid spills. Always remember that since you are traveling with children that you do need to make stops so they can get out, stretch their legs and use the restroom. On our trip we made the plan to stop every 2 hours so my daughter wouldn’t get too restless.
Another great idea is to pack a bag with little toys as rewards for good behavior. They don’t have to be anything expensive, little toys like party favors do the trick. Make sure your child(ren) don’t see these toys ahead of time. To make it even more fun for them wrap them up. Then set a time, say every hour or 2, that they are good to give them a toy from the bag. It gives them a great incentive to behave and something new they can play with. If your child(ren) are old enough, let them pack a car bag. Have them put in some toys, books, coloring books, crayons, stuff they really like. Give them the bag ahead of time so then they know how much to bring. If you have them bring their favorite things, chances are they will be happy.
If you plan on taking a multi-day trip, borrow or buy a small portable DVD player. We decided to leave early in the morning. For one thing, it helped us avoid traffic. For another, my daughter did get tired and decided to take a nap. This can really help de-stress your trip. Bring a travel pillow and blanket for your child to use in case they get sleepy. I was very surprised when we arrived at our destination. I was happy, my daughter was happy and there had been no complaining or stress involved. We had a great time thanks to a little ingenuity and planning! If you follow these tips, I’m sure you will have a great time too!
Travel with Kids Tips