Hill Tribe Travels is more than happy to help other bloggers with ‘guest posting’ articles. Here you’ll find a guest article written by Jane Moore from Fit Well Traveler (This article does contain links to external companies). If you are interested in writing a guest post, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Enjoy x
Most of us can’t just hop on a plane and take off whenever we want, but we can all squeeze in shorter weekend trips from time to time. Taking a weekend trip is the perfect way to break away from day-to-day life and make some new memories as a family. Even short road trips can get expensive, though, if you don’t plan carefully. These are my best tips for having an incredible getaway without spending a fortune.
Shop Around for Affordable Accommodations
Lodging is most likely your greatest expense, so it pays to shop around online for the best value. Depending on your destination, you may want to rent an apartment or cottage. Money Crashers recommends booking with owners through websites such as Airbnb or HomeAway. Searching online is an easy way to find the best value and renting a home is usually less expensive than a hotel room.
If you do go with a hotel, find ways to be money smart with your stay. All-inclusive family resorts usually have entertainment built right into the stay (and the cost). You may even be able to find a special package deal. Anytime your family plans a hotel stay, look for one that offers free breakfast. Even better, make sure your room will have a refrigerator so you can keep snacks and drinks on hand.
If you have a pup that you can’t bring with you, don’t forget to find deals on dog sitters or dog boarders so your pet has the perfect accommodations too. Searching online pet service sites is the best way to find affordable pet care by locating a sitter or boarder that fits your price.
Enjoy the Journey
Any parent who has traveled with kids on the road knows the dreaded phrase “I’m bored!” The best way to beat travel boredom is to be prepared with ways to keep kids occupied. Packing plenty of books and games is great, but you can also use this opportunity to help kids learn to appreciate the journey and not just the destination. Lonely Planet recommends letting kids be part of the planning and give them a map so they can track your progress. Plan on making plenty of stops along the way, too. You can take short hikes on stops or visit a local park to get the wiggles out. Or make an unplanned stop at a roadside attraction. These are often free, and you never know what kind of oddities you’ll find for funny family photo ops!
Find Free and Inexpensive Fun
Many of us spend our travel time trying to cram in as many activities as possible. This may work when you’re traveling on your own, but overscheduling your trip can spell disaster with kids along. Kids need downtime so they don’t become exhausted, and the added benefit of not overscheduling is it means you also save money.
If you visit a new city or town, the whole family can enjoy exploring together (no tour group needed!). Grab a map and brochures of local hot spots, then hop on public transportation to create your own tour.
With a little planning, you can also find free or cheap ways of seeing some great attractions. Many museums have certain days or hours when admission is free, so it pays to research those ahead of time to work them into your itinerary. If you’re visiting a town or urban locale, look into when they hold special events that are open to the public. If your family loves the outdoors, plan a trip somewhere that embraces eco-tourism. Pack bikes in the car and spend some time hiking or visiting a beautiful beach. Nature tourism is usually free or inexpensive, especially if you already have the gear for any activities.
Many families save their travel budget for big destinations. Taking those big trips with your family is amazing, but shorter weekend getaways can be just as memorable. The good news is that when you cut spending on the small trips, you can use the savings on that next big holiday.
Jane Moore from Fit Well Traveler
Thanks Jane for your contribution. If you are interested in reading another guest post then please check out this amazing article my friend wrote for me all about skiing in Canada with kids.
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