How To Getaway (with Kids!) On A Budget!
Summer's okay around these parts, but my husband and I have been a bit burnt out by life, not to mention the heat.
I don't know about you, but 120+ degree days make me wanna reconsider my life choices 'cause who in her right mind would live here?! Anyway, the husband's been grindin' like a mad man for months, and seeing as our last trip away from Phoenix was in February, we decided to get outta town as soon as his schedule permitted. Lo and behold, he was given three days off in a row, allowing us to take a quick jaunt to California. Hooray!
We're still on a budget, mind you, so in order to avoid overspending, here's what we're doing:
- Driving: Piling in the car and heading out of town is our preferred method of travel for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we have two smallish kids--ages 5 and 2--and while they do relatively well on planes, they're much more comfortable in the family vehicle. They've got their snacks, various movies to view on the portable DVD player (thanks, Grandma!), and a few toys to enjoy. Everyone's happy. Secondly, it's cheaper to drive than fly and have to rent a car. Third, we can bring what we need without exceeding any baggage limits.
- Using points: Mainly, we use our points for hotel accommodations and it saves a surprising amount. We don't travel terribly often, which allows us to accrue points throughout the year. If we're traveling in the off-season (which we usually do because my husband works most holidays), our points go even further. In that event, we'll upgrade to a better hotel and a larger room. Most places include a free breakfast, too. Since we're up early with the kids, this works well for our family.
- Staying outside the city: My husband is a homing pigeon, so we can stay further from the city center without fear of getting lost. In most cases, it's worth it.
- Checking online for discounts on various attractions: We knew we wanted to take the kids to Legoland, so a quick internet search took me to Costco.com, where I found 2-Day Park Hopper tickets for $20-$30 less than Legoland's purchase price. A quick drive to our nearest Costco saved us over $80.
- Sharing food: We do this most of the time whether we're traveling or not. With portion sizes being quite large these days, the kids usually share their meals and are more than satisfied. Sometimes, my husband and I share, too, despite we having very different tastes in food. Further, we tend to drink water with our food, which saves a few bucks and keeps us hydrated.
- Focusing on experiences, rather than things: We rarely buy souvenirs because they're overpriced and generally break before we even get them home! In the event that something truly awesome presents itself, we'll go for it. Most of the time, we just don't avoid the accumulation of cheap plastic crap.
Well, that about covers my list of tips! If you've got any, please feel free to share so that we may all glean from your knowledge!
Have a blessed week!