family travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12207/all en-US 20 Ways to Make Family Camping Easy http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-make-family-camping-easy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-ways-to-make-family-camping-easy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_camping_outdoors_in_forest.jpg" alt="Family camping outdoors in forest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I like camping with my kids, but I don't like working hard at it. I try to keep the whole trip easy, from the planning, to the packing, to the sitting around the campfire. Of course, there are always trade-offs; you can spend more time preparing at home and put in less effort while on the trip, or vice versa. I like to find that sweet spot where work is minimized at every stage. Most of that has to do with relaxing some of the standards I adhere to back in civilization. Here's how I make family camping a cinch, and how you can, too!</p> <h2>1. Camp locally</h2> <p>When I was a kid, some of my happiest camping memories were made at a place in central Texas called Jellystone Park, less than an hour's drive from my house. In the mornings, my dad would drive to work, while my mom, brother, and I made jars of colored sand and took turns going down the waterslide at the pool.</p> <p>An eight-hour drive to a national park might be what you dream of when planning summer camping, but if your family is new at it, start with a state park or a private campground within an hour or two of home. This way, you'll be able to make a quick getaway if there's a storm or someone gets sick. You can even run home if you forget something. And if one parent can't take the whole time off work, you can do like my dad did and head to the office from the campground. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>2. Camp near a town</h2> <p>Some families strap on backpacks and hike miles into the woods before setting up camp. That's admirable, but that ain't my family, at least at this point in our lives. Some of our most enjoyable camping trips have been on the outskirts of small towns, where we could walk or take a short drive to the store to stock up on necessities. This way, you won't have to plan all your meals in advance, and you don't have to bring as many coolers or as much ice, because you can buy a day's worth of groceries at a time.</p> <h2>3. Choose an easy campground and campsite</h2> <p>National forest campgrounds are cheap and often easy to book. It's even possible to camp in the wilderness, find your own water source, and just dig a hole for your bathroom needs. But if you have young children and little appetite for roughing it, look for a campground with an on-site store, showers, laundry, and even a pool or an indoor activity room. Kampgrounds of America (KOA) offers hundreds of private campground options that often provide these types of amenities. They cost a little more than public campgrounds, but KOAs delight my kids with their pancake breakfasts and mini-golf courses.</p> <p>Another thing to keep an eye out for is whether you get to park right by your campsite or you have to carry your belongings from a parking lot to your site. If you have big kids this may not be a problem, but with toddlers or babies, it can be tough to ferry gear back and forth while keeping track of the little ones.</p> <p>Once the campground is chosen, you're not done. Study the campground map. (<a href="https://www.reserveamerica.com/outdoors/tent-camping.htm" target="_blank">ReserveAmerica</a> has maps for state parks and some other camping areas.) I like to pick sites near enough to the bathrooms that my kids can visit them alone. If water spigots or electric outlets are only available at some sites, I get one of those.</p> <p>On the flip side, if there is a lazy river or pond in the campground, you want to be far away from that because that's where the mosquitoes will be. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-all-natural-bug-and-mosquito-repellents?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Simple All Natural Bug and Mosquito Repellents</a>)</p> <h2>4. Lower your beauty standards</h2> <p>We don't pack that much in the way of beauty and hygiene products. A hairbrush and toothbrush for each kid, some toothpaste and hand towels to share, a beach/shower towel for each person, some soap and deodorant, and we're good to go. The most important personal care products you will bring are your sunscreen and bug spray.</p> <p>I don't bring stuff like shampoo, conditioner, makeup, or razors because I greatly lower my beauty standards in the woods. Showering or bathing every other day might be a firm rule at home, but while camping, I'm fine with my kids going the whole week without a shower if they want. I do, however, try to keep them brushing their teeth twice a day while camping. That has to do with health, not necessarily beauty.</p> <h2>5. Load up on baby wipes</h2> <p>Even if you no longer have babies, these things are clutch for camping. If you don't have access to a shower, <a href="https://amzn.to/2rScFJm" target="_blank">baby wipes</a> will be your hygiene go-to. Even at campgrounds with showers, wipes can come in handy for cleaning kids' grubby hands before a snack without hiking to the bathrooms. And if anyone gets car sick on the way there, you're ready for cleanup.</p> <h2>6. Bring all kinds of lighting</h2> <p>It's important to have a light source that doesn't need to be handheld. We have some tabletop lanterns with handles that can be hung inside the tent or from a clothesline as needed. Other handy lights are headlights and small <a href="https://amzn.to/2Iw6O3k" target="_blank">LED flashlights</a> that can be slipped into pockets. These tend to disappear as a trip goes on, so buy lots of inexpensive lights and scatter them everywhere. <a href="https://amzn.to/2KxU2lF" target="_blank">Glow stick bracelets</a> or necklaces are also an affordable way to keep track of your kids in the dark.</p> <h2>7. Don't skimp on sleeping arrangements</h2> <p>After trying a number of camping products, I have become resigned to the fact that I was not built to rough it when it comes to sleeping. I can easily go a week without makeup, but I'm not happy if I try to sleep on a foam pad on the ground.</p> <p>Last summer, my family bought a big <a href="https://amzn.to/2LbjSNr" target="_blank">Aerobed</a>, and we used the electrical outlet in our car to blow it up. I slept like a baby, and will bring it on every camping trip from now on. The only other thing that has given me serious comfort during camping is a <a href="https://amzn.to/2rQYYdu" target="_blank">hammock</a> &mdash; which is a lot cheaper and easier to pack, if you don't get too cold at night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-mattresses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Air Mattresses</a>)</p> <h2>8. Bring easy activities</h2> <p>My kids spend a lot of time playing in the woods and making up games involving their favorite trees, but everyone should have a book with them for quiet times, and bringing a board game is always a good idea.</p> <p>You can certainly implement a no-gadget rule, but if one of your kids is driving you crazy, you could always give them some tablet time alone in the tent or car.</p> <h2>9. Pack firemaking tools</h2> <p>I am a Girl Scout leader and I know how to construct a killer fire with a single match, but I'm also not above starting with a <a href="https://amzn.to/2Gv4CYk" target="_blank">Duraflame log</a> if I don't feel like working at it. A box of long stick matches is also helpful.</p> <h2>10. Bring all the baby gear you need</h2> <p>If you're camping with a baby, you already get a medal. You don't need to rough it by going without the things you rely on at home to keep baby safe and happy. I'm not saying you have to bring all 1,000 pieces of baby equipment in your house, but if you think you might need something and you have room in the car, don't deny yourself.</p> <p>Bringing a portable playpen could literally be a lifesaver, because an air mattress is not a safe surface for a baby to share. When we camped with our babies, I really appreciated having a safe place to stash the baby when I was cooking. Some <a href="https://amzn.to/2IylIq6" target="_blank">portable playpens</a> even have changing table attachments, which is great because no one really wants you to change the baby on the picnic table.</p> <h2>11. Bring a huge tent</h2> <p>You'll already be dealing with more togetherness than anyone is used to while on a family trip. Don't feel bad about getting a huge tent so that sleeping bags don't have to be crowded up against each other. Or if the kids want their own tent, you can bring a small one just for them and let them set it up themselves.</p> <p>Bonus: You won't have to step over their mess in your own tent.</p> <h2>12. Pack with clear tubs</h2> <p>Clear plastic storage containers allow you to see everything you brought without having to unpack everything. They will keep everything dry and if the containers have a good latch, they&rsquo;ll prevent animals from getting into anything. You can even stack them to make a temporary work surface at the campsite.</p> <p>When you're done with your trip, store your camping supplies in the same tubs, labeled, to make packing for the next trip a breeze. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-storage-products-as-recommended-by-organization-pros?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best Storage Products as Recommended by Organization Pros</a>)</p> <h2>13. Consider renting a specialty vehicle</h2> <p>The closest my family has gotten to renting an RV for camping is renting a Jucy &mdash; a minivan converted for camping use &mdash; and we loved it so much that the kids are begging to do it again this summer. The beauty of a converted van is that it drives like an ordinary passenger vehicle, but it has a little kitchen in the back with a mini-fridge, sink, drawers, and a stove. These things come with all your silverware and dishes. You also have a pop-up tent with a padded floor on the roof, allowing you to go camping with very little preparation.</p> <p>The Jucy made days at the beach during our trip a breeze, since we had cold food waiting for us in our fridge in the parking lot. I also loved stopping at a grocery store and loading my purchases directly into the fridge in the back of the van. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-ways-to-save-on-your-next-rv-camping-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Easiest Ways to Save on Your Next RV Camping Trip</a>)</p> <h2>14. Arrive before dark</h2> <p>Last summer, my family went on a camping trip and it was lovely &mdash; except the first night, when we arrived after sundown and struggled to put up two large tents on an unfamiliar, irregularly-shaped site.</p> <p>When you're on a weekend trip, it can be tempting to leave after work on a Friday to get the most camping time in, but if there's a chance that traffic or a delayed start might land you there after dark, think twice.</p> <p>You should also stop for a meal on the way to the site, so you don't have to worry about cooking while also setting up the tents the moment you arrive.</p> <h2>15. Make your kids help</h2> <p>After a long drive, your kids will want to run around and play. Let them do this, but only for five minutes. Then put them to work. Everyone above the age of infant should have a job when you pull into the campsite. Little kids can set up their own camp chairs and hold onto the bag of stakes while the tent is going up. At ages eight, 11, and 14, my kids can now set up the tent with little adult help.</p> <h2>16. Put up clothes lines</h2> <p>Having somewhere off the ground to hang everything, from damp towels to clothing to sleeping bags that need airing out, is really handy. It's also a great place to clip a lantern after dark to add more lighting to your campsite.</p> <h2>17. Don't try to be a fancy chef</h2> <p>I like to keep camping meals really simple. At home, we make pancakes from scratch, but at the campground, I've been known to bring the kind of pancakes you spray out of a can. I get precooked meats wherever possible because I've experienced the kind of mess you can make if a package of raw ground beef leaks in a cooler. And canned soup and boxed macaroni and cheese are lunchtime favorites.</p> <p>Simple also means fewer dishes to wash. I confess that I resort to a lot of individual packaging when camping. I've purchased those individual boxes of cereal, which the kids <em>love</em>, and cases of granola bars and canned sparkling water are my best friends.</p> <p>If you want to avoid waste, there are a lot of ways to prepackage things using upcycling. Don't want to buy ready-made pancake batter? You can make it at home and package it in a ketchup bottle for the same ease with less waste. Instead of individually packaged granola bars, you can make granola at home and store it in an empty coffee creamer bottle for easy snacking.</p> <p>Pre-measuring ingredients such as flour, spices, etc., allows you to both throw together meals more easily and pack less, since you only bring as much as you need of each ingredient.</p> <p>Or you can go all out at home and cook the whole dish, then freeze it to reheat at the campground. My mom would often make a big pot of chili or spaghetti sauce before we went camping. If you have leftovers already stored in your fridge, you're all set to grab and go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tips for Camping Cooking</a>)</p> <h2>18. Bring your cooking gadgets &mdash; or not</h2> <p>If you like to pack less, try to get a campsite with a grill or a grate that goes down over the fire and bring a bag of charcoal. On one trip last summer when we forgot to pack our camp stove, we managed to cook all kinds of meals, including bratwurst, eggs, and grilled cheese, right over the fire with little hassle.</p> <p>But if you have a campsite with electrical hookups &mdash; or even a converter to plug into your car for electricity &mdash; you can use all your gadgets to make cooking easier at the campground. Folks are bringing their <a href="https://amzn.to/2s1ih3T" target="_blank">Instant Pots</a> camping, and I may just try it this summer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>19. Try to get everything dry before packing up</h2> <p>Sweep or use a portable vacuum cleaner on the inside of the tent and wipe any dew off the sides before packing it up. If you can't get it clean and dry &mdash; like if it's pouring out during your departure &mdash; you'll have to set the tent up again in your yard when you get home in order to prevent mold from forming. To make your next trip easy, double check for moisture or any odors in the bins, your tent bag, and sleeping bags before storing them.</p> <p>For me, the exception to this is dishes. Although I like to keep a dedicated bin of cooking utensils and dishes for camping, I do run them through the dishwasher when I get home before repacking them. I wash the dishes at camp before heading home, but I don't pay too much attention to how they get thrown in the bin since I know I'll be redoing it in the comfort of my kitchen.</p> <h2>20. Keep all your camping gear in the same place</h2> <p>Stack all those clear bins full of clean, dry, ready-to-go camping gear in the same area of your garage or crawl space, so that next time, you can throw them in the car and go. If you need to replace or repair something, do it now instead of putting it off until you're getting ready for your next trip. If you make a habit of having everything ready before you store it, you won't have to waste time going through everything before the next trip.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-make-family-camping-easy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel">10 Money Lessons Your Kids Can Learn While They Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare">How to Make Flying With an Infant Less of a Nightmare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight">How to Bring Your Pet Onboard a Flight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel camping camping tips family camping family travel travel tips traveling with kids Fri, 25 May 2018 08:00:21 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2143389 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Handle World Travel With Your Family http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brothers_and_sister_sightseeing_in_pisa.jpg" alt="Brothers and sister sightseeing in Pisa" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making the decision to go on a family vacation can be kind of terrifying, especially if it's your first time. Everything we're told about raising children revolves around the importance of routine and stability &mdash; two things you're likely to lose on a travel day.</p> <p>It can be challenging just trying to get the kids off to school in the morning, let alone taking them to a new country on a one-week vacation. Travel days will likely be your biggest challenge because once you arrive at your hotel or resort, you can mostly relax and enjoy. But you can mitigate most of the stress and chaos of long travel days by packing the right items and following a few simple rules.<span style="font-size: 13px;">&nbsp;(See also: </span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination?ref=seealso" target="_blank" style="font-size: 13px;">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a><span style="font-size: 13px;">)</span></p> <h2>1. Choose the right destinations</h2> <p>The right destinations for you and your family will depend on a lot of factors, as there's no one-size-fits-all destination. While you don't need to rule out certain countries because you're traveling with kids, you do need to take your children's ages into consideration to find locations that will be the most suitable for kids.</p> <p>Daily adventures like long hikes may be more difficult with younger children, whereas many teenagers will need things to keep them stimulated. A good way to ensure everyone is happy is to get them involved in the decision-making. Older kids can do their own research on the internet, while younger children can be given a number of options to choose from after explaining what each has to offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Affordable Vacations to Please Every Age Group</a>)</p> <h2>2. Book family-friendly accommodations</h2> <p>Booking the right accommodation is vital to making traveling the world with your family a success. Those with kids, particularly younger ones, will attest that a good night's sleep can mean the difference between a fun day and a nightmare. Your options are obviously more limited than when you're solo traveling or with friends, with many hostels, guesthouses, and even some hotels operating a no-children policy.</p> <p>Your best options are to stay in hotel suites, or to rent full apartments through sites like Airbnb. Privacy is a must, and it's great to have your own space to relax in, and for the kids to have room to play and run around. You can narrow the hotel options on search engines by using the sort function to filter by family-friendly properties. Airbnb also enables you to find entire houses or apartments that are family-friendly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-hotel-booking-websites-can-save-you-money-and-headaches?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Hotel Booking Websites Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Pack light</h2> <p>What to pack is often at the forefront of parents' minds when they make the decision to travel with their family. Just the thought of trying to condense all of the gear &mdash; particularly associated with younger children &mdash; down to a manageable amount can be daunting. Things like strollers, car seats, and carriers all take up huge amounts of space, and that's before toys, clothes, and everything else they might need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Families Can Travel Like Minimalists</a>)</p> <p>Packing as light as possible will make moving around far easier, and will potentially save your family lots of money in excess baggage fees. As soon as your kids are old enough to carry a backpack or wheel a suitcase, it's a good idea to get them involved in the packing stage as well. They'll soon come to appreciate the importance of packing light, and will enjoy being involved in the process.</p> <p>Generally, anything that's an absolute necessity for children will be available pretty much anywhere you go, but here are a few things that you can pack to ensure that your travel day will run as smoothly as possible.</p> <h3>Baby wipes</h3> <p>There are a lot of germs on travel days and your little ones are going to be more susceptible to catching something on the road. Bring a few sanitizer or baby wipes and wipe down airplane seats, seat belts, handles and any surfaces your children may touch during the trip.</p> <h3>Comfort toy</h3> <p>Most children have some kind of toy, blanket, or pacifier that calms them down. Bring it! These simple items can be life savers.</p> <h3>Tablet</h3> <p>Load it up with all of your kid's favorite music, movies, and TV shows and let them play and watch to their heart's content. Keep in mind that while on buses and in cars, you may want to limit exposure as it can lead to motion sickness.</p> <h3>Child-sized luggage</h3> <p>Kids like to feel like adults from time to time, and by having their own carry-on luggage or backpack, not only will they feel like Mom and Dad, but they'll be able to carry some of their own things and access them when they feel like it.</p> <h3>Headphones</h3> <p>Even if you don't have a tablet or smartphone for your kids, you can usually plug in the headphones and let them watch the entertainment provided on planes and buses.</p> <h3>Lots of water</h3> <p>This is something you don't want to run out of. Bring plenty of water and have your kids carry their own bottle, either clipped to their person or onto their luggage.</p> <h3>Trash bags</h3> <p>With wet wipes, snacks, water bottles, and tissue, you're likely to have a lot of trash on travel days. Bring bags to easily store it all until you can ditch it in a proper trash bin.</p> <h3>Healthy snacks</h3> <p>Loading your kids up on sugar on travel days is just asking for trouble. Instead, pack low-sugar, healthy snacks like crackers, nuts, cheese sticks, Cheerios, and pretzels.</p> <h3>Sunscreen</h3> <p>Even if you're planning to be in the airport for most of your travel day, you never know if you'll be by the bus window on the tarmac or waiting in line to board the plane. Bring lots of sunscreen and keep everyone from getting burned. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sunscreens?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Sunscreens</a>)</p> <h3>Camera</h3> <p>Keep your camera somewhere that you can easily grab it at a moment's notice. Funny things happen on travel days and it's always adorable to take a photograph of your kid boarding a plane or looking out the plane window.</p> <h2>4. Slow it down</h2> <p>Though it's completely possible to move from place to place relatively quickly with a family, if you have the luxury of an extended vacation, it's a much better idea to take it slowly and spend a good amount of time in each destination. This is important for practical reasons, like not having the hassle of unpacking and repacking every few days, but it will also allow you to create routines and provide a level of stability in each place.</p> <p>Slow travel will allow you the option of booking longer-term accommodation, which is likely to bring the cost down. Rather than staying in hotel suites, you'll be able to book houses or apartments via sites like Airbnb, where hosts regularly offer long-stay discounts, or directly with local landlords.</p> <p>Moving quickly can begin to feel like a whirlwind of activity and leave no time for your children to build attachments to places. In contrast, spending a few weeks or months in one spot will allow your kids to get familiar with the people and places at the location and give them a deeper connection. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Savor Your Trip and Save Big With These 5 Slow Travel Tips</a>)</p> <h2>5. Plan ahead when flying with babies</h2> <p>Generally, you won't pay for airline tickets for children under two years of age who sit in your lap, at least on domestic flights. However, you do still have to inform the airline when booking that you're traveling with a small child. You may also want to reserve a baby cot or bassinet with the airline in advance, or arrive early for those that operate on a first come, first served basis. It's generally free, but check with each airline for their individual policies.</p> <h2>6. Sign the kids up for frequent flyer miles</h2> <p>On many airlines, frequent flyer programs have no age minimum, meaning kids can earn points, as well as adults. They will have to have their own frequent flyer account in order to start accumulating the points, but that's just a matter of filling out a simple form. Pooling family members' points can be a quick way to multiply your earnings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get a travel-friendly stroller</h2> <p>Nothing is more annoying than fumbling around with a bulky stroller while trying to check into a flight. You may want to consider an fold-up umbrella-style stroller or a lightweight, portable travel stroller. There are <a href="https://amzn.to/2K6UkQ7" target="_blank">plenty on Amazon</a> to choose from, and most stores that carry strollers will also carry umbrella strollers and other lighter-weight options.</p> <h2>8. Make sure kids sit middle or window</h2> <p>The aisle seat is a surprisingly dangerous place for little ones. With heavy metal carts and people whizzing by, I've seen many a tiny finger squished by an unsuspecting passenger, who feels awful afterward.</p> <p>To avoid a lot of tears and potentially a broken finger, always try to seat your little ones in away from the aisle.</p> <h2>9. Have a &quot;what if I get lost?&quot; plan</h2> <p>This one seems obvious, but in the rush and chaos of getting everyone to the airport on time, many parents forget to form an emergency plan with their children on travel days. Whenever you arrive in a new place, let your child know which people are security or police and who to go to in the event of splitting up.</p> <p>Also, choose a safe and secure meeting point that you can all head to if for some reason you can't find one another. If your kids are a little older, make sure everyone has their phone volume on loud and set to vibrate so that you can call each other if anyone gets lost.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Handle%2520World%2520Travel%2520With%2520Your%2520Family.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Handle%20World%20Travel%20With%20Your%20Family"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Handle%20World%20Travel%20With%20Your%20Family.jpg" alt="How to Handle World Travel With Your Family" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel">10 Money Lessons Your Kids Can Learn While They Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-make-family-camping-easy">20 Ways to Make Family Camping Easy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare">How to Make Flying With an Infant Less of a Nightmare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel affordable travel family travel family travel tips family vacation travel tips travel with kids Tue, 15 May 2018 08:30:25 +0000 Nick Wharton 2140373 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Budget Destinations Where You Can Learn to Scuba Dive http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scuba_diver_is_exploring_and_enjoying_coral_reef.jpg" alt="Scuba diver is exploring and enjoying Coral reef" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love swimming in the sea and observing ocean wildlife, scuba diving is for you. Once you learn to scuba dive, you can explore the depths of the ocean and see much more than you would during your average snorkeling session.</p> <p>Unfortunately, you do have to get certified to enjoy this hobby safely. The world's biggest certification organization is the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI). Once you get your PADI open water certification, you'll be able to dive at thousands of dive sites around the world.</p> <p>Getting certified involves mastering written coursework as well as skills taught in a swimming pool that are then built upon in the open water &mdash; the ocean, a lake, or even a quarry.</p> <p>In many U.S. cities, you can get certified by local instructors. That would certainly save you on travel costs, but it can be much more fun to learn to dive in a beautiful, warm destination.</p> <h2>Affordable learn-to-dive destinations</h2> <p>Why not combine your certification course with a vacation? It doesn't have to be expensive. In many locations, the PADI Open Water certification course is the same price or even cheaper than the same course in the U.S., and you can take it while staying in affordable accommodations.</p> <p>Of course, budget scuba destinations should also be affordable to get to. Getting certified on a budget won't work if you have to spend thousands on airfare, right? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get Free &mdash; or Almost Free &mdash; Airline Tickets</a>)</p> <p>Here are five destinations that fit the bill.</p> <h3>1. Utila, Honduras</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/utila_island_bay_islands_honduras.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're aching for a scuba experience you'll never forget, check out the offerings in Utila, a Caribbean island that belongs to the Central American country of Honduras. Utila offers world-class diving at the southern tip of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System &mdash; a series of reefs that stretch 450 miles across the Caribbean. If you're in Utila in March or April, you even stand a good chance of seeing migrating whale sharks.</p> <p>Utila is often compared to nearby Roatan, which is also an island in Honduras, but Utila is even cheaper and better for diving. Some say it is the most affordable place in the world to dive.</p> <p>The Utila Dive Center offers an open water certification package for just $349. This package includes coursework, dives, and certification, along with five nights of very basic accommodation in the nearby Mango Inn. Besides the course, you also get two dives, and unlimited snorkeling and kayak use for free.</p> <p>Getting to Utila shouldn't be too expensive, either. You can fly from New York to Roatan for around $500 round-trip, for example. From Roatan, you can take the Utila Dream Ferry back and forth to the island for $30 each way.</p> <h3>2. Cozumel, Mexico</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/green_sea_turtle_in_caribbean_sea.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Cozumel is another place to experience the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, including towering coral walls that host an incredible range of sea life. Most of the dive sites here are located in the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park, a protected area that's home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world.</p> <p>Cozumel sits off the coast of Mexico near the town of Playa del Carmen, and there are several ways to access it. You can fly directly into Cozumel (prices from Chicago start at around $550 round-trip) or into the busier airport at Cancun (flights cost around $260 and up). From Cancun, you can take another flight ($125 round-trip) or an $11 bus plus an $11 ferry to Cozumel.</p> <p>Cancun in particular can be inexpensive to get to, thanks to frequent sales from discount airlines like Southwest and JetBlue. You can even get there for free if you use frequent flyer miles from any of the major airlines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline's Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Most Value?</a>)</p> <p>When it comes to scuba operators in Cozumel, there are ample affordable options to consider. For example, Scuba Club Cozumel Dive Resort offers a five-day open water certification course for $375 plus tax, and a seven-night accommodation package for $699 plus tax.</p> <h3>3. Curacao</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/mambo_beach_curacao.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Caribbean island of Curacao is known for its abundant wildlife, crystal clear waters, and scuba opportunities. Located just north of Venezuela, along with Aruba and Bonaire, Curacao is seldom hit with hurricanes or tropical storms. Many scuba dives are easily accessible from the shore.</p> <p>At Scuba Lodge Boutique Hotel &amp; Ocean Suites, guests can combine their love of travel with scuba certification at a price most can afford. A five-day PADI Open Water Diver course starts at $500, which you can combine with an on-property stay starting at $155 per night ($179 per night during peak season: late December through March). The certification class includes six dives, five of which take place at various dive sites around the island.</p> <p>The best part about Curacao is that, unlike many far-flung diving destinations, getting here is affordable. Nonstop, round-trip flights from New York start at around $200.</p> <h3>4. Bonaire</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/trumpetfish_shadowing_a_stoplight_parrotfish.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Whether you're an experienced diver or someone just learning, Bonaire is an island you'll want to pay attention to. This Caribbean paradise claims 86 separate dive sites as part of its marine park, featuring more than 350 recorded fish species and 57 types of coral.</p> <p>Getting scuba certified in Bonaire can also be affordable, thanks to reasonable dive and lodging options on the island. The Divi Flamingo Beach Resort &amp; Casino is an easy proposition. You can earn your open water certification over five days for $495, and stay in a standard double room at the hotel for $148 per night.</p> <p>While there are many ways to reach Bonaire, most people fly to Curacao, then book a 25-minute flight to and from Bonaire. In October, a round-trip flight to Bonaire from Curacao on InselAir will set you back around $117. Flights to Curacao from New York start at $200.</p> <h3>5. Belize</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/the_blue_hole_lighthouse_reef_belize.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Belize is a Central American country known for its amazing junglelike scenery and unique diving opportunities. Here, you can dive a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system known as the Belize Barrier Reef. The highlight for many people is the renowned Blue Hole &mdash; a giant sinkhole that has become one of the world's most famous dive sites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>Although Belize is also known for being one the most expensive countries in Central America, it's not bad when compared to some Caribbean islands. There are also plenty of resorts that combine hotel stays with dive courses at good rates.</p> <p>Ramons Village Resort is just one option. Rooms start at $155 per night and you can get your open water certification through the resort for $450.</p> <p>Belize can be extremely affordable to get to, depending on where you live. Flights to Belize from Chicago on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/southwest-airlines-just-got-even-better-with-the-southwest-rapid-rewards-plus-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines</a> start at around $400, and may run even less during Southwest sales.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Budget%2520Destinations%2520Where%2520You%2520Can%2520Learn%2520to%2520Scuba%2520Dive.jpg&amp;description=5%20Budget%20Destinations%20Where%20You%20Can%20Learn%20to%20Scuba%20Dive"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Budget%20Destinations%20Where%20You%20Can%20Learn%20to%20Scuba%20Dive.jpg" alt="5 Budget Destinations Where You Can Learn to Scuba Dive" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 Laid-Back Girls&#039; Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-us-destinations-for-a-weekend-getaway">8 Affordable U.S. Destinations for a Weekend Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel beach activities family travel scuba dive travel tips tropical destinations vacation activities Mon, 30 Apr 2018 08:30:16 +0000 Holly Johnson 2134244 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel_to_greek_island.jpg" alt="Travel to Greek Island" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to see why Greece tops the list for so many travelers saving up for a bucket list trip. The country boasts ancient ruins, historical marvels like the Acropolis and the Oracle at Delphi, stunning scenery, and 6,000 islands, only 227 of which are inhabited. Of course, a visit to Greece wouldn't be complete without time spent in the ancient city of Athens, where you'll find big city night life along with historical relics around every corner.</p> <p>The problem with traveling to Greece is the same one you'll find when you plan trips to other far-flung corners of the world. Greece is farther from the U.S. than the rest of Europe, and thus it's expensive to get to. There are frequent sales for flights to Athens and other Greek destinations, but they are typically short-lived and only available from bigger cities.</p> <p>If you want to plan a bucket list trip to Greece at a price you can afford, your best bet is coming up with a credit card rewards strategy and implementing it early. Here's how you can score a Greek vacation for $300 or less with the right combination of points and miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a>)</p> <h2>Getting to Greece with airline miles</h2> <p>Since nearly all major airlines with frequent flyer programs fly into Greece, you have many options when it comes to racking up miles. One of the best choices, however, is the American Airlines AAdvantage program. You can earn miles in this program by signing up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded American Airlines credit card</a>, shopping through the American AAdvantage shopping portal, or earning miles through the airline's dining program.</p> <p>While flights to Greece from the U.S. will set you back at least 60,000 American AAdvantage miles for most of the year, you can book these flights for only 45,000 miles during the off-peak season, which lasts roughly from November through the end of March, with blackout dates over holidays.</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that you'll need to pay for airline taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges on top of your miles. These fees vary depending on the flights and dates you choose, but they tend to run in the $125-$280 range. This could be the biggest expense you'll pay for travel &mdash; or even the only expense you'll pay.</p> <p>Another solid option within the frequent flyer space is Air France/Flying Blue. This program partners with the proprietary rewards programs offered by major card issuers, making it an especially easy option for racking up points through sign-up bonuses. With Air France, you can fly round-trip from many U.S. cities to Athens, Greece for 50,000 miles plus taxes and fees.</p> <p>A third option to consider is United Airlines. It's easy to rack up United miles through either the credit card rewards programs that lets you transfer points to United, or through <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-united-mileageplus-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">United's own co-branded credit cards</a>. Round-trip flights from U.S. cities to Athens will set you back 60,000 United miles plus $100-$150 in fees per person.</p> <h2>Covering your hotel</h2> <p>Hotels are easy to book with points all over Greece, but you'll want to think long and hard about <em>where</em> you want to stay before coming up with a plan. Remember that Greece is huge and that there is much to see on the mainland as well as on famous Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos.</p> <p>Your best hotel options depend on where you want to stay, but here are some of the hotels you could book with the right hotel rewards programs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Hotel Rewards Programs</a>)</p> <p><strong>Starwood Preferred Guest:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Periscope Athens &mdash; from 10,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> <li> <p>The Romanos, Costa Navarino &mdash; from 25,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Blue Palace, Crete &mdash; from 25,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Sheraton Rhodes Resort &mdash; from 10,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> <li> <p>The Met Hotel, Thessaloniki &mdash; from 7,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>IHG Rewards:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Crowne Plaza Athens, City Center &mdash; from 25,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>InterContinental Hotels Athenaeum Athens &mdash; from 35,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Athens near the airport &mdash; from 20,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Marriott Rewards:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Domes of Elounda, Crete &mdash; from 40,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Domes Noruz Chania, Chania-Crete &mdash; 45,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Hilton Honors:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Hilton Athens &mdash; 50,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p>Keep in mind that these are just some of the options available. There are additional hotels you can book with a co-branded hotel credit card or with a travel card that lets you transfer points to hotels.</p> <p>If you sign up for a credit card that offers a bank rewards program, you could book any hotel you want through the card's travel portal. During a November 2016 stay in Athens, I booked the 360 Degrees Hotel Athens for less than 9,000 credit card points per night. This hotel features a rooftop bar with a stellar view of the Acropolis nearby as well as a great location in Monastiraki Square. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program</a>)</p> <h2>Getting around in Greece</h2> <p>Finally, how will you actually get from place to place once you arrive in Greece? Your best is to sign up for a travel credit card that offers flexible travel credit and use points to earn statement credits against charges for rental cars and ferries to the islands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Easy Travel Redemption</a>)</p> <p>Cards that fall into this category typically let you redeem points for travel at a rate of one cent per point, making the average 50,000-point sign-up bonus worth $500.</p> <p>Use these points to pay for a rental car around Greece, which could cost as little as $140 for the week depending on when you book. Pro tip: Make sure you use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards card that offers primary auto rental coverage</a> so you can avoid paying extra for this benefit at the rental counter.</p> <p>You can also use statement credits to pay for ferries to the Greek Islands. A round-trip ferry from Athens to Heraklion costs just $47, while a round-trip ferry from Athens to Mykonos costs as little as $90. Make sure to compare ferry services to different destinations until you find the best deal for your dates.</p> <h2>Greece for less than $300?</h2> <p>If you cover your flights with airline miles, pay for hotels with hotel points and flexible travel points, and use flexible travel credit to cover the rest, the Greece trip of your dreams could be yours for $300 or less. Your main costs are going to be the price of airline taxes and fees, which you couldn't get out of if you tried.</p> <p>Still, you should make sure to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=internal" target="_blank">budget for the rest of your trip</a>. Even if the bulk of your journey is covered with points and miles, you'll still have to pay for food, entry to attractions, and miscellaneous expenses.</p> <p>Start saving and planning your rewards strategy now, and this trip could be yours in less time than you think.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Vacation%2520in%2520Greece%2520for%2520%2524300%2520or%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Vacation%20in%20Greece%20for%20%24300%20or%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Vacation%20in%20Greece%20for%20%24300%20or%20Less.jpg" alt="How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel family travel family vacation greece greek island greek vacation travel budget travel tips Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 2133486 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_travel_collosseum_836719476.jpg" alt="Couple traveling big on tiny budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever wondered how to take a tight budget and turn it into an opulent travel fund? With a few tweaks and tricks, you can explore all the places on your travel bucket list, without draining your bank account. Here are nine ways to travel big on a small budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2>1. Prioritize your spending</h2> <p>In order to make your budget stretch as far as possible, it's important not to splurge every minute of every day. Instead you need to pick your moments to splurge, and decide which activities you don't mind cutting back on. Enable yourself to afford the expensive things by spending as little as possible on the bits that you don't care that much about.</p> <p>Maybe you enjoy eating out at fancy restaurants. Perhaps you love to catch a show whenever you're abroad. Or maybe you like to stay in pure luxury at five-star hotels. Whatever it is, think about what really makes you happy and be sure that you reserve the majority of your budget for doing those things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-on-a-budget-while-in-expensive-countries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Travel On a Budget While in Expensive Countries</a>)</p> <h2>2. Plan, plan, plan</h2> <p>Planning is the most effective way to live like royalty on very little. With proper planning, you can save on everything from flights and accommodations, to meals and daily activities. Rather than leaving it all to chance, take control as early as possible to ensure you get great value for your dollar. Country- or location-specific money saving tips can be invaluable, and travel blogs are a fantastic resource to find those kinds of details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>3. Choose the right country</h2> <p>Opting for an up-and-coming destination that's not yet fully on the mainstream tourist trail is a great way to save yourself some cash. Equally, there are some countries and regions where you just get more bang for your buck and even top end luxury can cost a fraction of what it does elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a>)</p> <p>On the other hand, some destinations are designed to cater to high-end tourists, and will set their prices accordingly. Make sure you check out the cost of flights before settling on your destination, though, because the countries with the cheapest cost of living aren't always the cheapest to get to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination" target="_blank">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a>)</p> <h2>4. Try a home swap</h2> <p>Accommodation is often the biggest expense when you travel, but with a home swap, there's the potential to reduce that cost right down to zero. You can arrange to simultaneously switch homes with someone in your desired location, or swap at different times of the year if you've got a second home. Either way, you get all the benefits that come along with being in a house rather than a hotel or shorter-term rental.</p> <p>It does rely on you having your own home, ideally in a desirable location that other people will want to visit. By saving big on your accommodation, you'll have more money to spend on other things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2>5. Seek out free activities</h2> <p>Just because you're on vacation doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune on finding fun things to do. Most places have loads of awesome free things for you to see, visit, or take part in &mdash; it's just a case of finding the best ones.</p> <p>Check for local websites advertising this type of thing by typing &quot;free things to do in X&quot; and see what comes back. You might find festivals, shows, museums and galleries, educational opportunities, and many other awesome things available at absolutely no cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-you-can-do-on-any-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Free Things You Can Do on Any Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>6. Go in the offseason</h2> <p>Traveling at peak times is the quickest way to drain your budget, period. If you have any flexibility, then you need to make sure that you're traveling during times when most other people aren't. That means avoiding U.S. public holidays and common vacation periods, but also checking the location you're interested in to make sure there aren't any special holidays or festivals that may drive prices up.</p> <p>This doesn't mean you have to go when there's absolutely no one there and the majority of attractions have shut down. Even a few weeks on either side of peak times can make a huge difference price-wise, so double check before booking tickets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>7. Travel with friends</h2> <p>Sorry, solo travelers, it's just a fact that traveling with more than one person brings the overall average costs down. A room for two is less than double the price of a single. You can also share meals at restaurants to cut down on food bills. And travel costs like taxi fares can be split evenly between the number of riders.</p> <p>Instead of heading off into the sunshine on your own, try roping in friends, family, work colleagues, or anyone else you might want to vacation with. That way you can share costs and significantly lower your overall expenses. Plus, it's usually more fun to travel with people you like. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Affordable Vacations to Please Every Age Group</a>)</p> <h2>8. Use those points</h2> <p>Rewards and points are one of the best ways to make your budget stretch as far as possible when you're traveling. However, there are plenty of people who don't take advantage of them, so if you're one of those people, now's the time to start.</p> <p>There are many different options available, from hotel loyalty programs to air miles, and they can save you thousands of dollars with very little effort on your part. Just make sure you know exactly how they work and how best to redeem them before you get going. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card with this Guide</a>)</p> <h2>9. Take some luxury with you</h2> <p>Luxury means different things to different people, but a lot of us can easily get sucked into paying more for a hotel or flight if the amenities and perks are dripping in glamour. So rather than pay more for them to be included in your flight or accommodation, give yourself a free upgrade by taking them along with you.</p> <p>With a bit of planning and preparation, it's easy to turn no-frills travel into a luxury-laced expedition. You can bring everything from gourmet home-cooked meals to enjoy in-flight, to luxury toiletries that add a little bit of glitz to your hotel stay.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Ways%2520to%2520Travel%2520Big%2520on%2520a%2520Tiny%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=9%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20Big%20on%20a%20Tiny%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20Big%20on%20a%20Tiny%20Budget.jpg" alt="9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 Laid-Back Girls&#039; Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive">5 Budget Destinations Where You Can Learn to Scuba Dive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel family travel saving money travel budget travel tips vacation ideas Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Nick Wharton 2115603 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Affordable Winter Getaways for the Family http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-winter-getaways-for-the-family <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-affordable-winter-getaways-for-the-family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_skiing_trip_626754944.jpg" alt="Family finding affordable winter getaways" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While most people prefer the summer months to take their vacations, there's something to be said about winter travel &mdash; namely that it can be super affordable. Take a look at these easy-on-the-wallet winter wonderlands that are practically begging you to visit.</p> <h2>1. Massanutten, Virginia</h2> <p>Skiers and snowboarders can save big time at Massanutten Resort in Virginia, which boasts the most vertical drop in the area; 14 lighted trails (night skiing, you guys!); and savings for college students on Wednesdays and Fridays from Jan. 3 to March 2, snow/no-school day discounts, weekend lodging specials, plus a free slope ticket for military on March 11. If you'd rather slide down the mountain on your back (that's my preferred method), snow tubing is just $15 for two hours of fun on Tuesdays from December to March. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips</a>)</p> <h2>2. Mystery destination</h2> <p>Can't decide as a couple or family where to go this winter? Let the savings steer you in the right direction. A new travel company called <a href="https://www.packupgo.com/" target="_blank">Pack Up + Go</a> plans mystery trips (you don't know where you're going until you get to the airport) based on your travel preferences (so it's not a <em>total</em> crapshoot). I also just learned about another cool money-saving option called&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flightbaron.com/" target="_blank">Flight Baron</a> that sends out exclusive deals to its subscribers. Recent deals have included round-trip airfare from LAX to Iceland (one of the best places I've <em>ever</em> been, by the way) for $210 (around $1,000 on most airlines) and round trips from 25 U.S. cities to Europe in the $300-$500 range.</p> <h2>3. Indianapolis, Indiana</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/indianapolis_speedway_532442435.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Friends and family in my hometown of Baltimore won't like that I'm suggesting you visit Indianapolis (they're still salty about the Colts football franchise abandoning us under the cover of night back in 1984), but I'm willing to let bygones be bygones when I'm saving cash. Some of Indy's interesting winter activities include a massive outdoor garden-lights exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art where you can snag a Girls Scouts of America s'mores kit to roast on fire pits throughout the gardens. There's also a drive-through light experience on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway &mdash; one of the most iconic racetracks in the world &mdash; along with holiday fun at the Children's Museum. Tickets to all of this are cheapest online and in advance. If you want a really dynamic lodging experience, check into the Crown Plaza at Union Station. Families can stay in an original Pullman Train Car on its original tracks &mdash; like, that's your room! &mdash; with rates starting at $210.</p> <h2>4. Saint Paul, Minnesota</h2> <p>If you like your winter cold, Saint Paul, Minnesota, is calling your name. For more than 130 years it has hosted the Winter Carnival, which features free outdoor music, ice palaces, a snow park, parades, and treasure hunts. Additionally, Wells Fargo WinterSkate on the outdoor ice skating rink downtown offers free skating. Time your trip right and you can witness the Red Bull Crashed Ice event, an ice racing competition on elevated tracks. You'll find exclusive travel, restaurant and lodging deals &mdash; more than $800 in savings, in fact &mdash; at VisitSaintPaul.com</p> <h2>5. Des Moines, Iowa</h2> <p>Who visits Iowa? You do! The Hawkeye State provides plenty of opportunities to get your winter on; experience something you've never done before, like corn silo ice climbing (say whaaat?!); participate in eagle watching; and take in the sweeping views of the Mississippi River and limestone bluffs. When you're ready to thaw out, head indoors for botanicals, art, tons of tractors (please, whatever you do, don't miss the National Farm Toy Museum), and a year-round water park. Hotel prices are crazy cheap, too. Four-night stays in three-star hotels like Hampton Inn in Cedar Rapids and Country Inn &amp; Suite in Des Moines start under $100 per night.</p> <h2>6. Chicago, Illinois</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/chicago_shedd_aquarium_157673164.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Recently Chicago was named top city in the United States in <em>Condé Nast Traveler</em>'s Readers' Choice Awards, and you can discover why this winter. Offseason attractions include the Skating Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park, Navy Pier, holiday lights and windows along Michigan Avenue, and the Shedd Aquarium. Loews Chicago Hotel, centrally located two blocks from both the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier, and just a block from the Chicago River, is a great home base for families. Its Snowed Inn package, available for stays November 16 to April 1, 2018, comes with everything you need for a cozy stay including overnight accommodations, a tent and campfire set for kids to enjoy, cookies and hot cocoa, one in-room movie credit per stay, and valet parking. The hotel's indoor pool also provides a great outlet for families to expend some energy when the Windy City is living up to its name.</p> <h2>7. Finger Lakes Wine Country</h2> <p>If you're a no-kids couple, Finger Lakes Wine Country may already be on your radar, but moms and dads who need a B-R-E-A-K are also a target market. There's wine sampling, museums galore, and even pet-friendly options so you can bring the pooch. Holiday Inn Express Horseheads offers the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com/offers/escape-to-wine-country/3/" target="_blank">Escape to Wine Country package</a>, starting at $150, that includes free hot breakfast in the morning; a visit to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, where you can learn about the family history of the winery while sampling award-winning wines; browse the gift shop with $20, and dine at Giuseppe's Pizzeria &amp; Restaurant with a $30 gift certificate. Meanwhile, the Best Western PLUS Vineyard Inn &amp; Suites has a Dog Lovers package for when you want Fido to come along, which includes a one-night stay in a standard queen or king room, gourmet doggy bag, and pet toy, for $119.</p> <h2>8. St. Louis, Missouri</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/forest_park_855627900.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I'm totally into quintessential Americana, and St. Louis just seems like one of those places where everything is June Cleaver-fied &mdash; tree-lined streets, white picket fences, kids carrying brown bag lunches to school while skipping down the street. It's probably not exactly like that, but you will get a taste of the good ol' USA in the Gateway City with visits to Forest Park, open for a brilliant lights display during the holidays, plus snow-day activities like sledding, when Mother Nature lays down a blanket of the white stuff; a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery (with samples!); and a meal at the landmark Blueberry Hill restaurant and music venue. You can fill your itinerary with lots of other great things to do and see with the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.citypass.com/" target="_blank">CityPass</a>, which offers up to half-off admission to pretty much all the touristy things on your list.</p> <h2>9. Colorado Springs, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/garden_of_gods_534548874.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When you think of a snow-covered state, does Colorado come to mind? It does for me, and there's plenty to take advantage of in fresh-aired Colorado Springs. Budget-minded travelers will enjoy the stunning, snow-capped Rocky Mountains; Garden of the Gods Park; The North Pole &mdash; a Christmas-themed amusement park; and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Electric Safari. Even better, there are about 55 attractions in all in the area &mdash; and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.visitcos.com/deals/" target="_blank">at least 30 of them are totally free</a>! Lodging choices range from charming B&amp;Bs to full-service indoor water-park hotels, deals and specials for which are available through VisitCOS.com.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-affordable-winter-getaways-for-the-family&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Affordable%2520Winter%2520Getaways%2520for%2520the%2520Family.jpg&amp;description=9%20Affordable%20Winter%20Getaways%20for%20the%20Family"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Affordable%20Winter%20Getaways%20for%20the%20Family.jpg" alt="9 Affordable Winter Getaways for the Family" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-winter-getaways-for-the-family">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel">10 Money Lessons Your Kids Can Learn While They Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare">How to Make Flying With an Infant Less of a Nightmare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive">5 Budget Destinations Where You Can Learn to Scuba Dive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists">7 Ways Families Can Travel Like Minimalists</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel family travel snow vacations travel with kids winter travel Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 2055731 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Families Can Travel Like Minimalists http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/preparation_travel_suitcase_at_home.jpg" alt="Preparation travel suitcase at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Minimalism can be overblown. Watch <em>Tiny House Hunters</em> on HGTV a few times and you'll quickly see home shoppers who think they want to live in a tiny home none too pleased when they see how small 200 square feet really is.</p> <p>Travel like a minimalist, however, and you'll never look back.</p> <p>You'll save money, you won't take as many souvenirs home, you will be nimble at your destination, and you will feel more like a local, among other benefits. Those factors only grow when done together as a family.</p> <p>Here are seven ways families can travel like minimalists. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-hack-7-tips-for-single-bag-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Tips for Single Bag Travel</a>)</p> <h2>1. Travel with carry-on luggage</h2> <p>This is the most important step, because everything after determines how much of a minimalist traveler you'll be. I'm not going to recommend what type of suitcase or backpack is best for you, but make it small and light so that you are forced to pack smart. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/roll-dont-fold-and-10-other-tricks-for-packing-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Roll Don't Fold (And 10 Other Packing Tricks)</a>)</p> <p>Invest in a high quality suitcase that will last years. Here are some features to consider for your suitcase:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Has wheels.</p> </li> <li> <p>Converts to a backpack or has a detachable daypack.</p> </li> <li> <p>Has plenty of pockets.</p> </li> <li> <p>Fits carry-on size rules for your airline.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Your carry-on should fit in the overhead compartment on a plane. You won't have to pay baggage fees, and you will be able to go straight to your hotel upon arrival instead of waiting at the baggage claim carousel.</p> <p>It will also make it easier to get on and off public transportation, saving you more money, and it will make traveling less of a hassle overall.</p> <h2>2. Make a plan to pack light</h2> <p>This should go without saying if you want to travel as a minimalist. But it's worth thinking about and coming up with a plan.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Pack only clothes you'll definitely need, not something for every occasion. Dark clothes that can be washed by hand and can be combined with other pieces to make many outfits are best.</p> </li> <li> <p>Bring no more than one pair of shoes in your bag. Remember, you're wearing a pair of shoes on your feet, too, so anything more than that is extra.</p> </li> <li> <p>Pack enough clothes for your trip, and then subtract two days of clothes. If you'll be gone for seven days, pack for five. Some things you can wear twice and you can wash them by hand if needed. If you're worried about your clothes wrinkling, chances are your hotel will have an iron.</p> </li> </ul> <p>I usually buy a shirt or sweatshirt during a trip as a souvenir, giving me at least two fewer things to bring from home.</p> <h2>3. Pack fewer toiletries and extras</h2> <p>I've seen suitcases stuffed with more add-ons than clothes, and toiletry bags almost as big as small carry-on bags.</p> <p>Don't be the traveler who packs items you think you'll need &quot;just in case.&quot; If it rains on vacation, you can buy a cheap umbrella. If you run out of toiletries, either your hotel will have some, or you can buy some at your destination.</p> <p>It's easy to pack everything you could possibly need and forget that there are stores at your destination that sell socks and other things if you run out. Hotels have hair dryers, for example, and yet many people haul one with them on a trip.</p> <p>When packing toiletries, find travel-size containers at a drugstore or buy the smallest toothpaste, shampoo, and other items you can find. Don't pack sunscreen, bug spray, or any other optional items that you can buy when you arrive.</p> <h2>4. Do laundry on the road</h2> <p>For a trip of a week or more, I always plan on doing laundry. Either visit a local laundromat or rent a home or apartment with a washer and dryer. If necessary, wash some clothes in a bathroom sink or tub with regular soap.</p> <h2>5. Leave gadgets at home</h2> <p>A phone is almost a necessity when traveling, so bring it and check your phone plan before leaving to make sure you'll have service. And don't forget the charger &mdash; or an adapter, if you'll need it.</p> <p>Every other gadget should stay at home. Laptops, tablets, electronic games &mdash; and the cords needed to power them &mdash; will all be fine at home.</p> <p>These things can be heavy, cumbersome, and can make your passage through security more difficult. But more importantly, they can take away from your time together as a family and allow you to forget why you're on vacation in the first place &mdash; to relax.</p> <p>I usually bring one or two physical books with me on a trip. When I'm done, I leave them at my destination for the next visitor to enjoy. Kids can also bring physical books in a small backpack, along with paper, crayons, and other things to keep them occupied. And make do with the in-flight entertainment options.</p> <h2>6. Use public transportation</h2> <p>Traveling as a minimalist is about more than taking fewer things with you when you travel. It should also include using fewer resources and polluting less.</p> <p>Trains, buses, trolleys, and even bikes are cheap or free in most cities. They can take more time than renting a car or using a taxi, but they can add to your experience and make you feel more like a local.</p> <p>Weekly passes are sold at many transit agencies, and you can buy train tickets online before leaving home.</p> <h2>7. Rent locally</h2> <p>If you really want to travel like a local &mdash; and carry very little with you on the way &mdash; rent a home or apartment locally. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>The home will likely have a washer and dryer, cutting the clothes everyone will need by at least half. Pick a home that has kids the same age as yours, and ask if your children can use their toys, crib, high chair, and other baby gear.</p> <p>Just like your home, the home you rent is probably near a few stores. So if you need something that you forgot to pack, or didn't want to pack, then you can buy it quickly. Shopping locally can be one of the best ways to see how another culture lives.</p> <p>Wherever you travel, going as a minimalist should help you appreciate what you have. You'll find that you can get by with a lot fewer things than you thought you could, and your family may just enjoy the trip a lot more with fewer items to carry around.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520Families%2520Can%2520Travel%2520Like%2520Minimalists.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20Families%20Can%20Travel%20Like%20Minimalists"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20Families%20Can%20Travel%20Like%20Minimalists.jpg" alt="7 Ways Families Can Travel Like Minimalists" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on">8 Things You Should Always Pack in Your Carry-On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-unexpected-items-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on">21 Unexpected Items You Should Always Pack in Your Carry-On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-make-family-camping-easy">20 Ways to Make Family Camping Easy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel family travel luggage minimalism travel hacks Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:30:06 +0000 Aaron Crowe 2055197 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-ski-trip-153831210-small.jpg" alt="family ski trip" title="family ski trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a working, single person in your 20s, a ski weekend might leave no lingering after-effects &mdash; either on the pocketbook or on aching joints. But once children join the picture, getting out to the slopes takes a little more financial planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 ways to cushion the financial blow of paying for two, three, or more little freeloaders' snowy fun.</p> <h2>1. Buy Passes Early</h2> <p>If you are going to ski more than two weekends, a season pass may be the cheapest way. The best time to start thinking about this is during the current season, not at the beginning of the next one. Most ski resorts progressively raise prices as the year goes on. Vail's <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2013/03/29/skiings-best-lift-ticket-pass-deals-are-right-now-for-next-season/">Epic Pass</a>, which gets you into multiple resorts, is typically available by March.</p> <p>My family purchased the Lake Tahoe local version of the Epic Pass in October for $499 per adult and $239 for our oldest child.</p> <h2>2. Look for Other Ticket Discounts</h2> <p>Even if you don't get a season pass, try to avoid buying your tickets at the resort ticket window. For one thing, waiting in the ticket line wastes some of your precious ski time. For another, the window price is typically the highest possible price. You can check with the resort website, local grocery stores, and ski supply shops for discount tickets. If you must buy at the ticket window, find out if there are any multi-day discounts available. Last year we were able to purchase three-packs at Sierra-at-Tahoe at a significant savings.</p> <h2>3. Ask If Kids Ski Free</h2> <p>Many resorts actually don't make you pay for small fries' lift tickets, but in my experience the staff might not tell you that. Other resorts offer a free kid's ticket with an adult purchase. Or they may let kids ski at least the rope tow area for free.</p> <h2>4. Look Into Parent Passes</h2> <p>When we had babies, my husband and I were sometimes able to get a &quot;parent pass,&quot; which allowed one of us to ski part of the day, then hand the ticket off to the other parent while the first parent took over childcare. <a href="http://www.timberlinelodge.com/ski-area/lift-tickets-passes/">Timberline Lodge</a> in Oregon offers a season pass that works this way, too.</p> <h2>5. Don't Pay for More Mountain Than Your Kids Can Handle</h2> <p>Mountains with a wide variety of Black Diamond slopes are great for accomplished skiers, but if your kids are going to spend most of the day on Green slopes or on a &quot;magic carpet&quot; conveyor belt, consider smaller, cheaper resorts. These places may also offer benefits such as closer, easier parking and a more family-friendly atmosphere.</p> <h2>6. Ski School Can Be Worth the Expense</h2> <p>My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I realized how much we would pay to put our littlest skiers into all-day ski school last year. However, once they were dropped off, I realized how much benefit we were getting from the service. Not only did our kids gain a lot of confidence on skis, but my husband and I were free to get our money's worth out of our lift tickets, instead of spending the whole day helping our kids get up after they fell.</p> <p>Not only that, but I really appreciated that the ski school staff helped my little skiers into and out of their skis and boots. With more than one kid to help, plus your own equipment to deal with, that part can be exhausting.</p> <h2>7. Pack a Picnic</h2> <p>Do you ever see people with barbecue grills in the parking lot of ski resorts? They're the smart ones. For the price of a typical ski resort small burger and fries, you can splurge on all your kids' favorite junk food, nice deli sandwiches, foie gras, or whatever your heart desires. If you can get close enough parking, rendezvous at the car at mealtime. Or get a locker, or even pack simpler fare in backpacks.</p> <h2>8. Intersperse Ski Days With Cheaper Activities</h2> <p>A lot of children are exhausted after a day of skiing. Take them onto the mountain three days in a row and you're just throwing away money on kids who will end up hanging around the lodge or lying in the snow, crying. (Not that I speak from experience or anything.)</p> <p>If you have a three day weekend, buy lift tickets for the first and last day, and plan an easy (and much less expensive) day of sledding or ice skating in the middle. With the decline of the snowpack in recent years, California resorts are putting in lots of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/sports/skiing/as-snow-fades-california-ski-resorts-face-a-brown-future.html?_r=0">alternative activities</a>. A day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is also cheaper, if not less exhausting, than hitting the slopes. If nothing else, sitting around the cabin drinking hot cocoa and watching movies is practically free.</p> <h2>9. Consider Buying Rather Than Renting Equipment</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive since kids grow faster than they would wear out their skis, but experts say that you often get a better deal owning kids' equipment. Some stores offer <a href="http://sportsden.com/pages/ski-services-and-rentals/kids-ski-exchange.html">trade-in programs</a> for fast-growing kids. Swapping with other families or <a href="http://www.epicski.com/f/10/gear-swap-buy-sell-gear">buying second-hand</a> can also be a great saver. If you don't buy, a rental for the whole season can save frequent skiers time and money.</p> <h2>10. Team Up With Another Family</h2> <p>Cabin rentals are quite expensive in the Lake Tahoe area, where we ski, and our family of five can easily fill up the average cabin on our own. However, since we're only there for a weekend, the kids are really fine three or more to a bedroom &mdash; especially if they're able to share with their best friends. This season we'll spend one weekend at Tahoe sharing a 3-bedroom with another family, and while it may be tight, we'll save money. Another advantage of skiing with another family is that if one or two kids get tired, there are more adults around to take turns caring for them.</p> <p><em>Do you take the whole family skiing? How do you control the cost?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Ways%20to%20Save%20Big%20on%20Family%20Ski%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Save%20Big%20on%20Family%20Ski%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Save%20Big%20on%20Family%20Ski%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Tips for Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel family travel family trips outdoor sports ski trip skiing Sat, 06 Dec 2014 18:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1264763 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times You Should Drive Instead of Fly http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-convertible-travel-78189393-small.jpg" alt="man convertible travel" title="man convertible travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unless you're absolutely terrified of soaring the friendly skies, you may choose flying over driving any day. Since you can arrive at your destination faster and you don't have to deal with a tiresome drive, flying is often a no-brainer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays?ref=seealso">The Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>But even if flying is your preferred way to travel, there are times when driving makes more sense.</p> <h2>1. You're in No Hurry</h2> <p>If you don't have to be at your destination by a specific date or time, driving might be the lesser of two evils. You can take your time, travel at your own pace, and perhaps break up the trip over one or two days to avoid travel fatigue.</p> <p>Even if you booked a hotel for one or two nights while driving to your destination, the cost of driving &mdash; including fuel and food &mdash; might be cheaper than flying. And when you bring your car on vacation, there's no need to rent a car, duh.</p> <h2>2. You're Traveling With Your Family</h2> <p>I didn't realize how much airline tickets had skyrocketed until I was booking tickets this past June. Traveling as little as two hours in the sky costs an average of $450 round-trip per ticket.</p> <p>If you have a family, multiply this number by four (or however many family members you've got), and you're looking at $1,800 for plane tickets alone. And as we all know, vacation expenses involve more than just plane tickets. You have to factor in accommodations, a car rental, food, and entertainment. Frankly, most people don't have this kind of cash to spend.</p> <p>But if you pile your family or friends in the car and hit the road, you only pay for fuel. If it costs $50 to fill your car, and you fill up four times during the course of the trip, $200 sounds a lot better than $1,800.</p> <h2>3. You're Traveling Last Minute</h2> <p>Booking an airline ticket months in advance is one way to snag a low price. But life happens, and sometimes we have to travel last minute. Several factors influence the cost of airline tickets, such as oil prices, distance, and the timing of flights. And unfortunately, if you're booking a flight within seven days of a departure date, you're going to pay a premium. So, if you have to travel last minute, you might be better off driving.</p> <h2>4. You're a Heavy Packer</h2> <p>Not only is there the cost of purchasing airline tickets, you might pay a checked bag fee between $25 and $35 per bag. And if you overpack and your suitcase weighs more than 50 pounds, there's an additional charge.</p> <p>This isn't an issue if you pack light or have a carry-on item. However, if you're traveling with a family or if you're a heavy packer, multiple bags are inevitable. And the more luggage you pack, the more you'll pay in airline fees. But if you drive a car, SUV, or van, there may be plenty of space for luggage and any other items you need to bring.</p> <h2>5. You're Looking for a Bonus Experience</h2> <p>Driving has its headaches, which is why some choose to fly instead of drive. But if you want your entire trip to be an unforgettable experience, the fun can begin the moment you pull out of your driveway.</p> <p>Select a scenic route on the way to your destination and take advantage of a few photo opportunities. Or if there are popular attractions and landmarks along the way, spend a couple of hours exploring. Why not hike amidst Sequoia trees in Northern California or spend the day at Lake Tahoe in Nevada?</p> <h2>6. Your Car Is a Comfortable Ride</h2> <p>Even if you don't mind driving to a destination, you have to consider your car's comfort level. You don't want to spend two or three days recuperating from back, hip, or leg pain after your trip.</p> <p>But if there's ample leg room, the seats are soft, and you're confident that you can make the drive with little or no discomfort, give it a shot &mdash; especially if there are one or two other drivers in the car. You can drive a little and then rest your eyes, or recline your seat and rest your back. It might not be the fastest way to get to your destination, but at least you can enjoy a comfortable trip while saving money.</p> <p><em>Do you want to share other reasons why driving is better than flying sometimes? Let me know in the comments below!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Times%20You%20Should%20Drive%20Instead%20of%20Fly.jpg&amp;description=6%20Times%20You%20Should%20Drive%20Instead%20of%20Fly" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Times%20You%20Should%20Drive%20Instead%20of%20Fly.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists">7 Ways Families Can Travel Like Minimalists</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel car trip driving family travel flying Tue, 04 Nov 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1250603 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees When Flying http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-luggage-78771123-small.jpg" alt="businessman luggage" title="businessman luggage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the near future, people may need to get loans to be able to afford the baggage charges when they fly.</p> <p>As you probably already know, <a href="http://www.spiritair.com/Policiesbags.aspx#CarryOnBag">Spirit Airlines</a> is going to start charging up to $45.00 for people to take a carry-on on the airplane. With only a few exceptions, long gone are the days that your luggage will accompany you on a domestic U.S. flight without an additional charge.</p> <p>Frequent travelers don&rsquo;t worry as much about baggage costs as they are often taking short trips that only require a carry-on or they are premium frequent flyer members so they get free baggage check in. But, what about the family of five that only flies one or twice a year?</p> <p>Fortunately, there are still ways to save money on baggage.</p> <h3>1. Buy Southwest Airlines tickets</h3> <p>The baggage cost you save by flying <a href="http://www.southwest.com/">Southwest Airlines</a> is amazing. At Southwest, each ticketed passenger can check two bags free of charge. Recently, some family members purchased tickets on a particular airline because they get the airline points and, as they said, &ldquo;They (Southwest and another airline) both cost the same amount.&rdquo; However, once you calculate for the baggage, there is a significant difference in price. This leads to point number two.</p> <h3>2. Calculate the total cost when you book travel &mdash; don&rsquo;t forget about the baggage cost</h3> <p>While you&rsquo;re in the vacation booking stage, you need to add all the extra charges. Decide what is the best deal based on which will give you the best price in the end (once all fees are paid), not the best price today.</p> <p>When calculating the cost of travel, if you are traveling as a family you need to seriously consider the cost advantage of driving. A trunk full of free baggage might be enough reason to consider driving.</p> <h3>3. Consider a credit card that offers free baggage</h3> <p>Many co-branded airline credit cards will offer perks like free baggage or priority check in. If you travel very often or have a large family, the free baggage alone might be worth getting the credit card.</p> <h3>4. Prepay for your baggage</h3> <p>If you know you will be paying for baggage, go ahead and prepay online. Several airlines offer a discount when you pay online rather than at the check in counter. It is never a huge savings, but every few dollars here and there saves you money. When you book your airline tickets, always be sure to read their baggage policies before booking. If they do allow you to prepay for bags at a discount and you know you will take bags then go ahead and pay now to save the money.</p> <p>As an example, with Spirit Airlines, your carry-on will cost $45.00, but if you prepay online, you&rsquo;ll only pay $30.00. A little forethought can save a big chunk of change.</p> <h3>5. (Warning: extreme measures) Don&rsquo;t take clothes on vacation</h3> <p>Just the other day, I thought, &ldquo;If I flew Spirit Airlines, would it be worth taking any clothes on vacation?&rdquo;</p> <p>In my family, there are two adults and three kids. My youngest daughter is less than 2 so she doesn&rsquo;t get a seat.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s say that we were each going to take a checked bag and we had two carry-ons between the family and we pay at the airport.</p> <p>Each checked bag would cost $25 by four passengers for a total of $100.</p> <p>Each carryon bag would cost $45 by two bags for a total of $90.00.</p> <p>My family total baggage cost = $190.00</p> <p>Now, check this out.</p> <p>For the last 5 years, our family has bought 80-90% of our clothes at second hand stores.</p> <p>I just looked at our budget, and last year we spent around $150 on clothing for the entire year.</p> <p>Should my family pay $190 to transport our $150 worth of clothes? If my family had to pay $190 to transport our $150 worth of clothes for a week long vacation, we would not be taking clothes on vacation. I&rsquo;d probably plan an extra 2 hours into the vacation on the front end to stop at the local second hand store to stock up on clothes.</p> <p>But, hey, I can be know to be frugal (or is it cheap?).</p> <p><em>Would you ever consider buying some second hand clothes on vacation to avoid baggage fees? What are your thoughts on Spirit Airlines fees? How do you save money on baggage when flying?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Ways%20to%20Minimize%20Baggage%20Fees%20When%20Flying.jpg&amp;description=5%20Ways%20to%20Minimize%20Baggage%20Fees%20When%20Flying" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Ways%20to%20Minimize%20Baggage%20Fees%20When%20Flying.jpg" alt="5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees When Flying" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive">5 Budget Destinations Where You Can Learn to Scuba Dive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel">10 Money Lessons Your Kids Can Learn While They Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel affordable travel family travel Tue, 08 Jun 2010 13:00:11 +0000 Craig Ford 120406 at http://www.wisebread.com