Travel is not cheap and travel with 6 kids is REALLY not cheap. Bigger vehicles take more gas. Kids eat a ton of food. BUT… it is possible to travel and not break the bank, or take out a loan. These tips are directly related to driving because that’s what we typically do as a family but you can find many others related to flying and other forms of travel. One of the first things necessary is to have a mindset of frugality and awareness. Prepare, plan well and enjoy your trip!
Tip #1- Pack food and drinks
Rather than buying at gas stations or fast food, bring a cooler and pack in some yummy foods. You can choose healthier options this way AND if time allows and the weather is nice, a quick stop at a rest area or park will give the little people a break to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. Here is a list of 25 easy to pack foods.
Another option is to stop at a grocery store and pick up some simple things. But if you don’t have a plan or budget, this may end up costing just as much time AND money.
Tip #2- Set a budgeted amount for the trip
We load money onto our CashApp card, which can be used as a debit card. Or we carry cash, instead of the debit card. Our banks tend to freeze our cards when we travel and we usually forget to let them know that we are traveling, and that can land us in a pickle quickly. We also like the budgeted amount which helps to keep us in check with spending.
Tip #3- Use AirBNB for lodging
There are many ways to save on lodging. You can coupon, have memberships to motel chains, and other organizations can save you some money. But several years ago, we started using AirBNB and we have stayed at some amazing places for a fraction of normal motel prices. Always be sure to read the reviews and descriptions well, but so far we have never had an issue. Especially with a family our size, it’s hard to fit into a motel room anymore, so this a great option for us.
Tip #4 – Use an app like GasBuddy to shop around for the best fuel prices as you travel.
My husband likes to compare prices and always has his eyes on the good deals. So with one eye on the gas gauge and one on GasBuddy, we save what we can on fuel.
Tip #5 – Avoid getting a ticket 😀
But really, that gets expensive… So stay safe and enjoy your trip!
Have a very safe and Merry Christmas!