Saving Money While Traveling with Kids
I love to save money as much as the next person. Especially when you have three young ones at home and two off at college, watching the bottom-line is a must at all times. But how do you not skimp on fun while traveling on a budget? Let me share some of our methods of traveling in the black.
We homeschool our kids, which enables us to travel throughout the school year. If you are able to head out mid-week, use that time to take advantage of lower prices that are typically offered Monday-Thursday while schools are still in session. These discounts can be felt at the campgrounds, attractions and at restaurants during those early bird hours. It may take a bit more time but shop around for the cheapest days to travel to your next destinations.
Scout out the local parks, historical landmarks and events such as fairs/festivals that are taking place nearby. There are loads of festivals that are going on in the summertime, especially around national holidays.
You may have already heard about bargain shopping online at Groupon, Living Social or Restaurant.com. If you familiar with these sites you probably use them occasionally when shopping for deals from home. Have you thought about utilizing those very same resources while traveling? Once you have your destinations picked out, start scouting out these very same websites for discounts on attractions, things to do/see and places to eat along your route. This is also great for keeping a reign on that budget because your excursions will have already been paid for prior to leaving home.
If your family enjoys checking out museums, aquariums and/or zoos then it is worth it to purchase an annual membership to your local attractions that offer reciprocal memberships to their counterparts in other cities and states. These reciprocal relationships can offer your family the opportunity to tour hundreds of museums, aquariums and zoos across the country for free or at deeply discounted rates. Yes, this means your entire household can have access to various attractions no matter where your travels take you across the U.S.
A couple of examples of memberships that offer these benefits are ASTC, Association of Science Technology Center and AZA, Association of Zoos & Aquariums membership. Be sure to ask about their reciprocal membership program prior to purchasing to be sure that you will be able to utilize the reciprocal locations that they have available.
**Soulful RV Family quick tip – You can shop for the best and most useful reciprocal membership anywhere in the country regardless of your home address. This way you can find the membership that best fits your family.
I must admit that the foodie in me hates the thought of a bagged lunch when there are new restaurants and eateries to explore. Even I have to face the fact that eating out can be extremely costly, especially with kids. Therefore, we always pack a lunch of sandwiches and fruits in a small cooler when we know that we will be out all day exploring.
However, as I mentioned before, check out Restaurants.com when you find yourself staring at that PB&J but have visions of a juicy steak dancing through your head. You may find a deal that makes it palatable to ditch the sack lunch and try the local fare.
Enjoy these tips. Now go out and use the money that you save to fund your next RV travel adventure! A win-win situation….
Tia Sims – Mommy and CEO of Soulful RV Family