Travel with kids for less
With Spring here and Summer not too far behind, travel time for families is gearing up if not already upon us. Those of us not hitting the road for Spring Break are thinking ahead to that great American pastime, the family summer trip.
I myself am planning such a journey with my one year old son, my husband, my two dogs. Unlike last year, when I took a similar trip with Mr. Pickles (who was a newborn at the time) I am pregnant this time around. Even though he/she isn't with us yet, that unborn baby still counts as a whole other person when it comes to taking trips.
He/she also counts big time when thinking about cost. Sure, my new baby isn't costing me anything now, but planning for the future means saving, saving and more saving. So, how to have fun and travel on a budget, especially with a family? Well, check out these travel tips for families. They're designed to help you save money when you hit the road (or the skies).
Some of the tips are obvious, such as not traveling around the holidays. In my experience, though, that's the one time we all have off to actually go visit relatives or take a vacation. It is true that gas prices--which have been leaping up lately--go up even more around certain holidays, such as Fourth of July. Airfares too creep right up there, so watch out for cheap fares and act fast when you find them.
Other tips are more helpful, such as signing up for email alerts to cheap fares. Even though I've chosen the road trip method of vacation rather than trying to load my one year old (and dogs) onto a plane, I still get daily email alerts from sites such as Kayak just in case something really good pops up. If not for me, I can always recommend the fare to a friend (who can then come visit me!).
If you choose to rent a car rather than take your own, there are plenty of tips for saving money with that, too. Tips include comparing rates, seeking out rental companies away from the airport, looking at mileage, etc.
And, if your destination does not include staying with your parents, there are tips for getting deals with hotels as well. Those tips include booking in advance (naturally!), as well as staying in the business district, which in my experience is always cheaper (I'm staying there for my upcoming trip to Jazz Fest and it's costing me roughly half of what it would to stay in the French Quarter).
While some of the tips seem like common sense others look like the real deal. Take a look and let us know what you think--any on there that don't work? Any not on there that should be? If you have a special tip for saving money while traveling with your kids let us know!