family travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12207/all en-US 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> <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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</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-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney</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-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</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/a-complete-guide-to-saving-at-americas-baseball-stadiums">A Complete Guide to Saving at America&#039;s Baseball Stadiums</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> <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-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/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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/7-reasons-you-should-check-your-luggage">7 Reasons You Should Check Your Luggage</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/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</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> <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-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/15-little-known-ways-to-save-at-disneyland">15 Little Known Ways to Save at Disneyland</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-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</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-money-saving-tips-for-the-summer-road-trip">5 Money-Saving Tips for the Summer Road Trip</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/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs">Surefire Ways to Save on Summer Camp Costs</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-things-to-do-with-kids-at-the-st-croix-national-scenic-riverway">8 Things to Do with Kids at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway</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