It's no secret that I spend a lot of time traveling with my kids, and that's a pastime that – while extremely important to me – can get massively expensive if I'm not careful. But what I've discovered is that it's totally possible to travel affordably ... so long as you give it a tiny bit of forethought.
My tips for keeping travel costs low (but not sacrificing even one iota of fun):
- Plan Ahead. Check to see whether the area that you’re interested in has an “off” season that might offer reduced rates.
- Pack Snacks. Concession stands can be ridiculously expensive, so make sure to bring along your own sandwiches and snacks. They’re just as delicious, and (theoretically, at least) way healthier.
- Do Your Research. Before you leave, hunt around on local websites for information about free entertainment in the area (park concerts, special exhibits, et cetera).
- Eat Local. Instead of heading to an (overpriced) chain for a meal you can have anywhere, find someone who lives in the area and ask them where they go to eat.
- Sign Up For Alamo Insiders. It’s a free subscription service that offers 5% off of retail rental rates.
And, of course, a little mooching never hurt anyone – so if you have a friend with room to spare, ask if you can stay with them…while being a spectacular house guest (and offering to return the favor in the future, of course).