With summer dawning, alot of folks are hitting the road for family vacation or visiting relatives. Since most of us are on a budget, I thought I’d share a few of the little things I do to save big when we travel.
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We like our caffeine when we’re on road trips, so instead of stopping everywhere for drinks, I make a big jug of sweet tea (Lipton, of course!)ahead of time and put it in mason jars in the cooler. It’s extremely inexpensive, and easily poured from jar to travel cup. We also pack jars of milk and juice for the kiddos, as well as water if we’re going somewhere with questionable water quality.
Anyone who travels with kids knows that plenty of snacks are a must. I make things like cookies (Try my recipe for Healthy Oatmeal Cookies here. They travel well for a few days.) and snack mixes, plus take things like boxes of raisins, apples and bananas. I also pack some emergency treats like lollipops for when the little stinkers start howling about being stuck in the car. Since they are a treat to our kids, they work well at buying some peaceful time. We still sometimes stop for an icecream cone or some local delicacy as a treat, but we aren’t tempted to grab convenience treats for inflated prices at bathroom stops when we already have plenty of yummy goodies to munch on.
If you can, pack some sandwiches, canned goods, and breakfast items to eat for breakfasts and lunches while traveling. Also, gather up coupons for various restaurants you may stop at on your travels. Often, you can sign up for birthday clubs (see my post here: Happy Birthday Freebies) and get some really high value coupons for various restaurants just for signing up, even before your birthday comes around.
If you have pets, and know someone trustworthy nearby who also has pets, try to work out a pet sitting trade with them. You watch their pets while they travel, and they watch your pets while you travel. This way, neither of you has to actually spend any money on pet care. Just make sure to walk them through how to care for your furbabies, leave a list of the basic necessities of their care, and leave everything in plain sight that they will need to taking care of your critters.
Always look for the coupon books that are available in any tourist area, and search online for savings ahead of time at any attractions you intend to visit. You can rack up some serious savings on tickets and shopping this way.
I think most of us know to check the coupon books or make reservations online at discounted prices to save on hotels,and I’m really trying to focus on the more obscure little ways to save, but it must be mentioned. Also, if you are a government employee, in public safety or any career like that, inquire into what discounts are available to you. You may be surprised at how much of a savings some hotels will give you for those careers.