7 Essential Tips for your Next Family Trip
1. Be Flexible
It may be tempting to head out on vacation during holidays, but you will save big if you plan your trip around them. By taking advantage of these less popular times, you could be saving hundreds on your trip from hotels to airfare.
Aside from huge savings, you are also more likely to enjoy yourself more because you wont be fighting traffic, crowds, and other people for parking.
You can check the calendars of many rental properties right on their page to see when their costs go down.
2. Set a Budget
You dont have to break the bank to go on vacation with your family. Before you even leave set limits on what you want to spend on everything from lodging to souvenirs but make sure to leave room for spontaneous activities too.
Pick what you want to splurge on carefully. Is there a huge concert going on? Are there any renowned restaurants in the area? It is ok to blow your budget from time to time to make sure that you are experiencing the best things the area has to offer.
3. Road Trips
Road tripping can be challenging, but it can also save a lot of money and create lasting memories. There are plenty of things you can do to make road trips more enjoyable for your whole family. Make sure that you take breaks often. No one likes being stuck in one place for a very long time. Budget in time to stop, stretch your legs, or just run off some energy.
Portable DVD players can be a lifesaver on long road trips. You can get one relatively cheaply or borrow one from a friend. It will give your kids a welcome distraction to take their minds off of the long trip ahead of you.
If you do choose to drive, always make sure that your car has been completely inspected by a mechanic before hand. Have them check any service lights that have been on, change your oil (if needed), and check your brakes. The most important part is arriving safely.
4. Pack Light
Only bring the things that you have to have. It can be tempting to load up half of all your belongings just in case you might need them, but that just leads to more things that you have to keep track of and carry around. Make a detailed packing list and stick to it.
You can also cut down on the amount of things that you bring for your kids by calling restaurants and hotels ahead of time to see if they provide essentials like cribs and high chairs.
5. Bring Toys and Games
Toys and games are an important thing to make space for when packing. Kids can get bored very quickly so having some of their favorite toys with them can entertain them for a while. Let the kids pack their own toys into a bag that they are responsible for carrying. This will give them some responsibility and insure that their favorite toys get packed.
Double check their bags to make sure that the toys that they picked out will make it through customs if you chose to fly. Toys with water or liquid should be avoided as well as toys like Play-Doh which is considered a potential explosive by the TSA.
Having a kitchen in your hotel room or rental can be a lifesaver. It can also save you a lot of money on snacks and small meals.
If you have younger kids you know how their schedules can be. Often times they are up early in the morning and need some downtime in the afternoons. Kitchens make early morning breakfasts and quick lunches easy to whip together.
7. Beach Hack
No one likes having sand all over everything or all in their car. You can avoid this by bringing along a bottle of baby powder the next time you are at the beach. Sprinkle some on your legs, feet, and anywhere that is covered in sand and it will fall right off! No more mess.