Traveling with your family can be expensive. That additional plane ticket, the extra meal at dinner, the bigger hotel room. Dave and I have always traveled, but traveling with kids was harder in more ways than 1. We absolutely LOVE traveling with our babes, and we’re determined to keep doing it and equally determined to find the best ways of doing it. We’ve only started scratching the surface, but I’ve compiled a quick list below on some of our biggest $-saving tips.
Here’s how we have tried to keep our costs down:
1. Looking for flights? Don’t book on a travel hub (like Orbitz) just yet. There are many airlines that aren’t included in said search engines such as Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier, Virgin, Spirit, etc. Check the independent sites first, then go to a website for larger comparables.
2. Search all airports within a 2-3 hour radius. Sometimes a more inconvenient drive can save you a pretty penny on airfare! We have a trip coming up in 2 weeks and found a better fare out of Orlando. We’ll have to drive 2 hours to get there, but in the end, we’re saving a good amount!
3. Airfare too expensive? Try searching train or bus travel (for the non-cross-country trips!) We’re looking to schedule a train trip in the near future and I’m already giddy with excitement over it. Did you know you can reserve a room on the train? There are also dining cars for sit-down meals. They take longer than planes, but you can book an overnight trip and sleep for the duration!
4. Get yourself a good credit card in which the rewards points can be transferred! We, personally, love Southwest (and their credit card), but they don’t fly everywhere. When we did research on a good travel credit card, we found the Chase Sapphire card. They have multiple travel partners (including Southwest), and you can transfer points to any of them. With this card, you earn 2x points on all travel and dining expenses including grocery delivery services and Uber. There are also no foreign transaction fees. Right now they are offering 50,000 bonus points for signing up! 50k points goes a long way on most Southwest flights!! (just FYI- we no affiliation with Chase other than being personally happy customers.)
5. Hotels too expensive in a given area? Try Airbnb. For those of you who haven’t ever used Airbnb, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be sleeping on a couch in a stranger’s home. Ha! You can filter the search results to find an “entire place” if you wish. VRBO is also a great site for home/vacation rentals.
6. Try to find a hotel/house rental with a full kitchen. It is so much more cost-effective to purchase a few groceries to make simple meals “at home.” Don’t get me wrong, we love tasting our way through new cities, but it’s definitely cheaper (and healthier) to choose to eat in 1 or 2 times per day.