How to Save Money So You Can Travel With Your Kids - The Jet-Setting Mama
I’ll be honest; I didn’t travel but one time in the first year of my son Jude’s life. I was the ultimate traveler before I had kids, but once he was born, I didn’t think I’d be able to afford travel anymore. But also, I was scared of traveling with him. I mean, what do you DO with all those diapers, extra clothes, car seat, stroller, etc, on a plane or in a small car? Babies need way too much stuff and I just didn’t feel like dealing with it. But when I finally felt ready to deal with all the shit like logistics of flying with a lap child, and carrying a stroller through airport security, I knew I had to get out – and fast. I started slow, taking him on a fun road trip up the eastern coast to Rhode Island to visit family, stopping in cities along the coast for a night or two in Connecticut and Rhode Island. It was the perfect start to my life of traveling with my kid. As he grew, I took him to places like Austin, Texas; Tampa and Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL, and Toronto, Cananda, among others. Many times, I did this by myself, figuring out logistics and trying not to make my toddler turn into an angry satan child before we landed. Other times I handled it with friends or my significant other. And now that I have baby number 2 on the way, I’ve thought a lot about how travel is going to fit into my life. And it is. I’m determined. When I talk to friends about my experiences traveling, I can almost hear the jealousy in their voices, like I make a million dollars and have this luxurious lifestyle that I can just take my four year old anywhere. And honestly, that is far from the truth. So here are my tips to saving money so you can travel with your kids too. Start small – I know you probably want to take your family to Paris. I mean, who doesn’t if we’re being completely honest here? But think about it like this: if you’re children haven’t traveled much, you don’t want to test them on such an expensive vacation. Think realistically. Start somewhere closer to home, or somewhere where you have friends or family that are nearby that can help you on those long travel days when you’re children haven’t napped and they start eyeing you like you’re food. Road trips can be just as fun as plane rides, so if you don’t want to deal with logistics of plane travel and getting to and from hotels with rental cars, start small with a fun road trip. Forget modern day luxuries. Travel IS the luxury! – I know that $7 venti from Starbucks can help even the worst tantrum days feel better, but you can get that same spark of energy from a $1 cup of joe you made yourself. Save that extra $6 a day and put it in your piggy bank. Did you know just $6 a day for a year is $2190? That’s a pretty decent vacation budget if you ask me! Do this in other places as well – bring your own candy to movies you see out, rent from Redbox instead of going to the movie theater, go to the park (free!) instead of a trampoline zone, eat out only if it’s kids eat free night. There are plenty of ways to save a few bucks here or there, the key is to SAVE that money. If you want to go see a movie out, put whatever you think you would have spent into a piggy bank or separate savings account for travel and forget about it. That brings me to my next point… Hide your money – from yourself! – Okay, so that sounds a little weird but this is one of my favorite ways to save for travel. I opened an online-only savings account (Capital One 360, if you must know) and changed my direct deposit so $50 a pay period goes into that account. And then I promptly forgot about it. If you’re having money come out of your paycheck before you even see it, it’s likely you’ll forget about it too. I chose $50, but you can do this with $15, $20, $30, etc. One day you’ll go check on your account and BAM there’s $500 extra dollars waiting for you for your next vacay. I promise, this one really works well. Just make sure it’s not a bank you use regularly. You don’t want to be tempted to withdraw from this account. You really want to forget about it! Travel Credit Cards – I know some of you won’t like this one, but hear me out first! I’m a big fan of travel credit cards, at least the ones that offer the best value. While normally I’d say shop around for the best hotel and airfare prices, sometimes it does you a lot of good to stay loyal to one airline or one hotel chain. My favorite travel credit card is Chase’s card for Southwest Airlines. I’ve gotten many free flights over the past couple years that I’ve earned through points. In my opinion, they have the best ratio that converts to dollars. I’ve also gotten free hotel stays with Marriott’s card and a free roundtrip flight for myself and my son to Toronto through American Airline’s credit card. The key is to look for the best sign up bonuses and take full advantage. A lot of cards will also give you a free hotel night or bonus airline points each year on your card member anniversary. Use all of these correctly (and don’t overspend and find yourself in debt!) and you’ll be traveling way more. My biggest piece of advice is to use these like you currently use your debit card for bills. Pay your bills on the cards to get points and then pay them off each month. Don’t use them for anything else or you might get in trouble. Well, those are my four biggest tips to help you save money so you can travel with your little ones. If you use each of these methods in combination with each other, I know you’ll be traveling the country (and maybe even the world!) with your family sooner than you think! Want a FREE Travel Packing List? Thank you! You have successfully subscribed to The Jet-Setting Mama’s newsletter. Want a FREE Travel Packing List? Sign up for your free packing list & The Jet-Setting Mama newsletter! You’ll get exclusive content and freebies only available to subscribers! SIGN ME UP!!
Post to Tumblr