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*Guest post provided by Leslie Campos of Well Parents
Traveling with young kids is a rewarding experience, but it can also be very intimidating. Going on vacation as a family is also notably more expensive than traveling on your own or as a couple. Fortunately, family trips are more about the experiences shared and the memories made than the destinations, so don’t feel limited by a tight budget. Here are some ways to keep your family vacation as stress-free as possible and save some money along the way.
Use Coupons for Travel Purchases
Certain travel purchases can help your vacation go a little smoother. Stock up on hygiene essentials like extra diapers, baby wipes, spare clothes, and hand sanitizers. You may also want to get some travel-friendly toys to keep your kids entertained. If you’re going on a road trip, portable entertainment tech can be a lifesaver during long drives and rainy days stuck indoors. You can find a variety of affordable toys from major retailers like Kohls and stretch your dollar a little further by looking online for coupon codes before shopping.
Find Affordable Car Insurance
If you’re taking a road trip, good travel insurance can be essential to your peace of mind. Consider upgrading to affordable full-coverage insurance so you don’t have to worry about racking up unexpected expenses if you’re in an accident. Or, if you’re low on funds, you can just get basic coverage through a short-term policy to cover the length of your trip. You can apply through a car rental company or purchase your own insurance. Just don’t forget to shop for a new plan when you return home!
Take Advantage of Free Activities
You don’t have to pay for pricey tourist attractions to have an amazing holiday. Believe it or not, you can experience an entire city without spending money on anything other than food, transportation, and accommodation. You just have to know where to look! For example, Wise Bread lists a number of free things you can do on any vacation, from visiting free museums to having a picnic in the park. Use Google to find unique things to do for free in the cities you’re visiting. If you’re road-tripping, stop at famous road-side attractions and take alternative routes through fun small towns.
One of the best ways to reduce travel stress and save money is to take it slow. Rushing through a bunch of different destinations in one trip is both overwhelming and expensive, but it can also dilute your experience. Consider staying in one place for a while. Traveling slowly will let you have rich experiences as you delve into the local culture—something that’s often lost on restless, fast-moving travelers. Less traveling around also means spending less money on transportation costs. Not only that, but many hotels and vacation homes offer discounts for booking a whole week or month of accommodations. This will also give your family time to get over jet lag before you start exploring.
Overpacking is one of the most common travel mistakes. When you’re traveling with babies or toddlers, it’s easy to go overboard packing everything and the kitchen sink. To avoid overpacking, The Points Guy recommends planning for likely events rather than being prepared for anything. This will mean leaving behind many of those “just in case” items. When it comes to your own necessities, pack clothes that you can combine in multiple ways and layer depending on the weather. Packing light will help you avoid excess baggage fees and save you the stress of hauling around a bunch of heavy suitcases.
If you’re embarking on a trip with your young children, be ready to face a few challenges along the way and come prepared with solutions to anticipated problems. The more you plan ahead, the better equipped you’ll be to manage potential disasters and save some money while you’re at it. Fortunately, traveling as a family gets easier the more you do it!