How to Stay on Budget while Traveling

I can’t believe we are already in the second week of November! It’s crazy how fast the last few weeks have gone.

On top of Halloween festivities and everyday craziness we had to travel to Michigan last weekend for a hockey tournament. I think all the kids had fun, the drive there was beautiful with all the fall colors, and I managed to stay on budget! WOOHOOO Haha that never happens when we travel!

We have made MANY long drives over the last 9 almost 10 years that we’ve been married and it never fails that we spend more than I planned. This time around though I planned almost everything ahead and it made a huge difference!

Here are some of the tips I’ve learned over the years of traveling with kids,

    • Make a list of everything you need or want to bring with you. I check this list to make sure we don’t forget our pillows or phone chargers.
    • Expect the unexpected! Go ahead and plan on someone getting sick, bring meds with to save yourself from making a trip to target for Tylenol.
    • Pack extra clothes. I always pack 2 extra outfits for the kids and 1 extra for myself and the hubby because someone will spill something or have a blowout.
    • Reward programs. If you’re staying in a hotel do some research before hand and find ones that offer good rates, have reward programs, or offer discounts. When the hubby was in the Army his military discount got us great deals at the hotels we stayed at.
    • Make a meal plan. This trip I planned ahead, since I knew the hotel didn’t offer continental breakfast I made muffins and over night oats for us to have for breakfast. Bring sandwich or salad stuff for lunch and/or dinner. If the hotel has a microwave in the room, bring foods you can heat up. This gives you a lot of options! I even brought my own creamer for the coffee in our room (that 1 cup wasn’t quite enough to get me through the cold days so we may have made a couple of trips through the drive thru over the weekend lol).
    • Pack a cooler. I always pack a big cooler with water and drinks for the road.
    • Snacks. If you have kids even that little 2 hour car ride someone will be hungry and want food so go ahead and pack some healthy snacks to save yourself and your wallet from gas station snacks!
    • Check Groupon for deals on activities. Groupon is a site that offers discounts on restaurants, activities, and goods. They have many deals that offer up to 60% off regular price. You can even find deals and the best days to go if you visit the website of the places you are planning on visiting.
    • Download a gas price app so you can find the best prices while your on the road. There’s nothing more annoying than when I buy and something and find out a little later that i could have gotten a better deal if I had waited a little bit.
    • Lastly, if you are going to eat out go ahead and plan money wise for that. I knew we would eat out a  couple times while in Michigan so I made sure I factored that into the budget.

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