Socialmoms.com is at it again. This time SocialMoms and Alamo have teamed up to introduce another fun blogging program in honor of the Alamo Insiders program. They asked us moms to share our top 10 tips for getting away with great family travel deals. Since I love travel and saving money, I knew this was the opportunity for me.
1. Plan Ahead! The earlier you start planning, the more likely you are to come across a great deal on hotel, air-fare, food and rental cars!
2. Use Coupons. Check online for coupons that can be used in the areas in which you are traveling. Groupons for area restaurants can safe you quite a bit. Also check for the coupons at rest areas and welcome centers. I've found magazines there that give great discounts on hotel rates!
3. Travel during the off season whenever possible. If you can travel during the off peak season, you can save 50 percent and more! Week nights are generally less expensive at hotels, so travel during the week when you can.
4. Start packing early. Give yourself time to get your items packed. When you rush to pack, you have a better chance of leaving something you need at home. Pack a jacket even during the summer. Since everyone has a different internal body temperature, it is better to be prepared.
5. Carry snacks and beverages with you. It is much cheaper to purchase your beverages and snacks before you head out. It can be better on your pocketbook, and on your schedule as well.
6. Sign up for travel rewards programs. If you are going to travel, sign up for frequent flyer programs, hotel reward programs, and any other programs you can find. These rewards can add up and come in quite handy!
7. Stay in places where you can cook. We recently stayed at an "extended-stay" hotel, where we had a full kitchen. It is so nice to be able to save money by having the ability to cook your own food instead of constantly eating out!
8. Don't OVER PLAN your trip. You can go broke trying to do everything. You can also end up with a very cranky family! Try to spread out the places you are sightseeing and attractions you are visiting! Sometimes Less IS More!
9. Stay with friends or family, or trade homes! You can save quite a bit of money by cutting out the hotel expenses. A few years ago, we spent the week at my sister-in-law's house while they were vacationing elsewhere!
10. Don't bankrupt yourself! While you want to have a great vacation, you still want to be able to live when you go home. Eat meals during early bird times and share larger entrees. This can add up to quite a large savings!
I hope these tips are helpful to someone! Family vacations should be fun and relaxing! Saving money on these trips is the icing on the cake!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here