Traveling with young children may not be your idea of a relaxing holiday, but with the right planning, it can be extremely rewarding. Plus, children under the age of 2 typically fly free and take up very little space in a hotel room! If you’re planning a trip with your little ones, be careful not to blow your budget on entertainment and travel supplies. There are plenty of great ways to reduce the threat of travel stress and save money at the same time. Here are some money saving tips to keep in mind for your next family adventure.
Be Prepared with the Right Gear
While packing light can help you save money on luggage fees, it’s important to gather everything you need to stay comfortable and sane on your vacation. For example, you may want to pack some mom-friendly supplies in your diaper bag to get you through those long flights or car rides. Kindred Bravely recommends some handy diaper bag essentials like nursing pads, hair ties, hand sanitizer, and an extra shirt for mom. Search for deals online so you can save money on these useful items. Purchasing and packing the right supplies will save you from buying stuff on the road where it can be much more expensive.
At the same time, make sure you’re prepared with toys and activities to keep your kids entertained. Create your own travel activity packs to keep everything organized and easy to find. For example, a craft kit with washable markers, stickers, stencils, and a small binder full of paper can provide endless entertainment for toddlers and preschoolers. You may also want to include some plush toys, dolls, and mini versions of kid-friendly games.
You’ll find that most of these supplies are super affordable at retailer stores like Walmart, and you can save even more money by searching online for Walmart coupon codes and cashback offers before shopping.
Slow Down and Be Flexible
Traveling with patience is the best way to save yourself some stress on your trip. If you have several different vacation spots to hit on a tight schedule, something is bound to throw your plans off, whether it’s a flight delay or a sick toddler. Plan to be somewhat flexible and try to minimize the number of places you want to stop along your trip.
Hotels and vacation rentals typically offer discounts the longer you plan to stay, so you’ll enjoy some great savings by staying put a little longer before moving on to the next place. This will also leave plenty of room in your travel schedule to rest and relax—you’re going to need it! Motherly recommends building breaks into your travel plans so you and your kids have time to recharge between your outings and adventures.
Travel in the Off-Season
One simple way to slow down your travel plans is to hit the road during the off-season. Take advantage of the fact that your children are not yet in school and plan your trip around dates when school is in session. This will help you avoid the summer crowds while saving money on everything from flights and accommodation to local attractions.
You’ll also get to skip the high summer temperatures that can leave everyone feeling hot and cranky! If you already know where you want to travel, research the best times to visit to avoid high flight costs. For example, if you’re planning a trip to Europe, Hopper recommends flying between October and March—so you can take advantage of the holiday season while on vacation!
Taking young children on a trip for the very first time is bound to be intimidating. Don’t let travel stress stop you from enjoying a wonderful and relaxing family vacation. Take steps to plan ahead, slow it down, and pack everything you need to keep your trip trouble-free and budget-friendly.