Travel season is upon us! It is time to plan a trip, come up with some great deals, and put the plan into action! This is our favorite time of year! We’ve done big trips, like Disney, and we have done small trips – like a weekend away to Sea World. No matter where we go, however, I am always looking save money and cut the budget as much as possible! I have to have funds for a bunch of stuff that the kids will want and then never play with, right?
So, here are some simple tips that get me the best bang for my buck!
1) Plan ahead. I know, easy to say, hard to execute! With fast paced lives, it is hard to know when is a good time to get away. But the more you can plan ahead, the better the deals you can get!
2) See if there are any package deals through your airlines! When we went to Disney, I checked out Southwest.com’s site first. Sure enough, not only were they offering a great rate to fly, but they offered a discount on the hotel room and a free meal plan! Total savings were over $750!
3) Take only what you need! We pack our suitcases to the hilt when we travel and then come home with clothes we never wore in an extra suitcase that we did not even need. Not only did we buy another suitcase to bring home things we purchased on our trip, we had to pay another baggage fee! OOPS!
4) Drive! I know – with gas prices so high it might actually be cheaper to fly! But when we looked at our weekend getaway to Sea World, it was cheaper to pay $3.00+ a gallon than to take a value deal with an airline, pay for parking, baggage fees, and a rental car, it was way cheaper to drive!
5) Take entertainment for your kids! By taking coloring books, games, and other distractions, you eliminate your need to buy them!
6) Take snacks! We had a bag with just snacks for the kids. This kept us from having to stop and buy things for the kids to snack on when out!
7) Use your Credit Card points! Many of us have points on our cards that we do not even know we have! We have a Disney debit card which saves us on lodging, park tickets, Disney merchandise purchases and more. And we earn them just by using the card.
8) Check out the discount travel sites. Sometimes if you book at off times of the year, or fly on a multi layover flight, you can really save! Just make sure you have things for the kids to do in the airport!
9) Use your friends and family! I have saved on passes to parks, airline tickets, and other travel related expenses by just asking my family. People have points and coupons that they will not use! All they can say is NO!
10) MAKE A BUDGET! Realistically write down what you can spend by day on vacation and really stick to it. Leave all but one credit card at home! This prevents you from overspending and having a money hangover when you get home!
Having fun does not mean you have to blow the budget! Nor does it mean you have to go cheap! Take advantage of everyone fighting to get you at their vacation spot and have a very safe and affordable Summer Vacation!
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.”