family travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12207/all en-US 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-spend-less-on-last-minute-holiday-travel">How to Spend Less On Last-Minute Holiday 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/7-surprising-winter-travel-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">7 Surprising Winter Travel Destinations That Won&#039;t Break the Bank</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-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists">7 Ways Families Can Travel Like Minimalists</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/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips">10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips</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/6-ways-to-make-a-snowbird-retirement-affordable">6 Ways to Make a Snowbird Retirement Affordable</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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-always-carry-on-an-economy-flight">9 Things You Should Always Carry on an Economy 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/11-essentials-every-business-traveler-needs-to-pack">11 Essentials Every Business Traveler Needs to Pack</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-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/6-podcasts-for-travel-lovers">6 Podcasts for Travel Lovers</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-never-pay-full-price-for">25 Things to Never Pay Full Price For</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-10"> <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/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</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/5-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</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/4-affordable-autumn-destinations-for-nature-lovers">4 Affordable Autumn Destinations for Nature Lovers</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-affordable-winter-getaways-for-the-family">9 Affordable Winter Getaways for the Family</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-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group">5 Affordable Vacations to Please Every Age Group</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-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers">7 Affordable Destinations for Nature Lovers</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