If you are about to travel with your family for the first time, you’ve probably noticed that the planning never seems to end. Here are 7 useful travel hacks for beginners.
If you’re about to travel with your family for the first time, you’ve probably noticed that the planning never seems to end.
Most first time travellers learn a lot as they go – they make a few mistakes and figure out how to fix them on the fly and take notes for next time. Rather than giving yourself room to slip up, use some clever travel hacks to reduce the potential for obstacles on your big family trip.
Use travel apps
Any time you need resources, there’s likely an app for that. There are apps for booking flights, planning road trips, and finding the cheapest places to stop for gas. Download a few apps that will help you have a safe and successful trip. Let your phone become your travel advisor.
Keep the back seat organized
If you’re traveling by car, the kids are going to be bored in the back seat. They might look out the windows or sing to the radio for a little while, but eventually, they’re going to be anxious for something to do. You can use a shoe organizer to keep the back seat stocked with activities and snacks.
Stop for nature
Any car voyage that takes more than a couple hours will get the whole family feeling a little stir crazy. Kids have energy they need to let out, and adults feel stiff from being stuck in one position the entire time. Everyone will get a mood boost from stopping at a park along the way. If it’s a place you’ve never been before, it also adds to the vacation experience.
Cut costs with sharing
The sharing community offers a lot of resources you can use to cut your travel costs. For example, renting a house for a week or two might be less expensive and more convenient than cramming everyone into hotel rooms. There will be enough bathrooms and a kitchen to cook in, allowing you to save money on takeout every night. If you want to explore the city, you can use a site like Parkhound to find cheap parking, rather than paying a tremendous amount to keep your car in a lot.
Book plane tickets far in advance
Plane tickets are expensive. They’re even more expensive when you’re flying with your whole family. Tickets are cheaper when you book very far in advance. You can save hundreds of dollars per ticket by booking several months ahead of time. The closer the departure date becomes, the more expensive the tickets will become.
Look for bundled deals
Locations that see a lot of tourism will often bundle event and attraction admission or tickets into value priced packages. Sometimes, these bundles come with things like coupons for local restaurants. The internet is your best friend for helping you find coupons and discounts you can use to offset the cost of entertainment and experiences while you’re away.
Make a big list of free stuff
Know where to find free stuff wherever you’re going. There’s always something free to do near a major city. Most parks and a lot of museums offer free admission, and some of them operate on donations so you only have to pay what you can afford. Keep an eye out for any festivals or events that may be coinciding with your trip, because these opportunities often allow visitors to experience the best location for the least amount of money.
Families with children are always trying to be frugal, and with enough preparation, it’s possible to have an inexpensive trip that everyone will enjoy.
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.