Some parents wait to travel with kids until they’re old enough to remember it, but our philosophy on family travel is why wait?! Parenting young children is a challenge anyway. That’s just part of the job description, and of course, traveling with little ones is no different. As long as you accept that it will be a challenge, the best way to proceed is with a plan, and our plan has two main priorities: lower stress and lower costs.
Shop at Kohls for Your Travel Needs
When your trip rolls around, one of the biggest points of stress for parents is what to pack. To make packing easier and more affordable, our best tip is to stock up on necessities from family-friendly stores like Kohl’s. You can use Kohl’s discount codes and coupons to save, which you can often find online.
We like the tip from The Points Guy for packing lots of the necessities that little ones go through fast, including diapers, wipes, and changes of clothes. This is one of those tips that combine saving money with lowering stress because let’s face it, you don’t want to be stuck on an airplane with a diaper blowout and no diapers insight. We also recommend packing new toys for the journey. Besides triple checking that you have your child’s favorite comfort item, use discounts and even go to dollar stores to buy a few new goodies. Toddlers and preschoolers respond incredibly well to fun surprises, which can stop a meltdown in its tracks.
Book and Stay for Less
While the little things you buy just for travel add up, your biggest expenses are airfare and accommodations. There are countless ways to save on airfare, especially if you have rewards points or flexibility picking a destination and/or when you travel.
We also love the tip from Today to search for family plane tickets in several different ways. For example, if two parents are traveling with two kids, try searching for four seats, and then search for two. You may find that the two seats together are priced lower than when you searched for all four. Another tip we love to save on both travel and accommodations is to travel overnight. You may not want to do this with big kids, but young children who can sleep just about anywhere may handle it just fine.
Cut Costs to Save for Travel
Our last tip is to save money year-round, not just on travel expenses. Travel & Leisure recommends that families shop in bulk for everything you use most. Another tried-and-true way to cut expenses is to find ways you can slash recurring bills. This may mean being more energy conscious at home, cutting the cord on cable, and calling credit card companies to ask for a better rate.
Along the same lines, many people assume that certain bills are fixed, when you may actually be eligible for discounts. One example is your auto insurance, which you definitely want to evaluate if you take many road trips. This doesn’t mean you should cut your coverage. In fact, all states have minimums for auto insurance requirements, but it’s best to have comprehensive coverage so you don’t have to worry about whether you’d be protected in any circumstance that comes your way.
However, many drivers can get discounts even on the best coverage, which is why it’s worth getting quotes from several companies before making any changes. For example, you may be able to bundle multiple insurance policies with the same company. Other factors like having anti-theft protection on your vehicle and having a safe driving record can also help you qualify for a discounted rate.
And of course, part of traveling with kids (and being a parent in general) means rolling with the punches. Having a plan will save you money and lower your stress level, but it’s just as important to accept that some things just won’t go according to plan. It all goes along with parenthood, and traveling with little ones is part of the ride!