As a mom of three, traveling can become difficult if I don’t plan ahead. Learning how to save money while traveling starts at home, but sometimes even the planning stages can have you seeing too many dollar signs! While many of these money saving tips apply easily to road trips, they can also apply to other kinds of travel if you’re savvy.
Save Money While Traveling
Vacations are meant to be splurges, but they don’t have to put you into debt to be fun. Allow yourself the flexibility to spend money while taking steps to ensure you don’t overspend. It’s not difficult to save money while traveling, especially if you follow these tips and ideas.
Prepare for Travel Beforehand
Before we leave for a road trip, we check the car. Basic, yes, but we feel these checks help save us money by making sure the car is in shape for travel. We check the oil and all fluid levels. We check to make sure everything sounds okay, and then we fill the gas tank the night before.
Also, clean out the car a few days before travel as well. Save a spot for a cooler and a bag of food within reach of the parents. Packing a small amount of drinks and snacks saves time and money while on the road.
Occasionally, we will pack food for lunches, but we usually stop to use the restroom somewhere, so we might as well eat and save mama from having to clean out the crumbs and old french fries later!
Teach Kids About Budgets
When we stop to sight see, there’s usually a gift shop or prize machine involved. If you’ve got older kids, set spending limits before your trip begins.
Even better, let them control their cash, and when it runs out, it runs out. This will help your bottom line and teach children about budgeting and decision making.
Take Advantage of Reward Programs
If you’re staying overnight at hotels, look into one that has a reward program. For example, a “stay two nights get the 3rd night free” promotion or one with a free continental breakfast.
Finding a place with a pool open until at least 10 pm or one with free WiFi will also provide entertainment at no extra charge during your stay.
Saving Money While Flying
Lastly, flying can be expensive and it’s not always an option, but you can save money while doing it. Consider airlines that allow your bags to fly free. Southwest Airlines is a favorite of our family for this reason.
It may seem like their prices are higher, but considering other airline baggage fees, they actually save us money in the long run.
Additionally, other airlines have very inexpensive flights and charge for everything else. Frontier Airlines is a great example of this.
If you don’t need too many bags or care about boarding/seating assignment or eating while on the plane, you can save a lot of money flying with them.