This is a guest post from LeAnna Brown from WellTraveledNebraskan.com. Read her first guest post to learn how to Travel Hack and travel the world for cheap.
Before we had kids, I often was told “Ok, that’s all great, but you’ll see once you have kids!” Well guess what? We’ve added to our caravan and we still travel. A LOT.
Sure, our travel style has changed significantly since having a family, but most people are still pretty impressed with just how much of the world (and U.S.) our 2 year old has already seen.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Shoot, I’ll flat out admit that sometimes traveling with a baby (and now toddler) can be ROUGH, but it is still so worth it to us and is still SO affordable that I argue almost any family can squeeze in even just one fun trip a year for a fraction of the cost that they probably thought it would take, whether you are travel hacking or just learning how to budget travel.
Travel while they are young
Not only is traveling with a little baby easier (No, seriously….a non-mobile child was WAY easier to travel with than a squirmy, tantrum filled 2 year old!) but it’s cheap…if not free. Which is why it makes it the perfect time to travel. You only have to pay minimal fees and/or taxes for children under two, even on international flights if they are a lap baby. Children under two are pretty much always free admission to locations and attractions. They can just eat off your plate, costing no extra at meals.
Find Affordable Lodging
If you are not travel hacking, finding places to stay can often rack up the money bills quite quickly. It takes time and effort, but I use a system of searches using multiple platforms such as AirBnB, Booking.com and locations that I have points with.
I make lists and comparisons of prices and narrow it down to the cheapest, yet most quality, location, often saving a ton.
Don’t Eat Out
When you have a family, especially a large one, eating out takes a bite out of your wallet faster than my son shoving raisins down his mouth. One way to avoid high restaurant bills is to head to a local grocery store instead. Grab quick yogurts for breakfast, make sandwiches for lunch, and book an apartment like an AirBnB so you can make your own dinners instead of paying high tourist prices at restaurants.
If you do eat out, do a quick google search of the city you are staying in with a “Kids Eat Free.” Here in Omaha, you can pretty much find a place every day of the week where your little ones don’t have to pay for their meals. Right here on Mom Saves Money, Nicole even talks about it here in Omaha. http://momsavesmoney.net/2014/06/kids-eat-free.html
Check out what your state has to offer and explore your own backyard. If you live in Nebraska, there are so many amazing places to visit with kids. If you are worried about surviving a road trip with a toddler, I share a few road trip with kids tips that work for us.
Find “Free” Days
So many locations have “free admission days” to local attractions, museums and local favorite hot spots. It may take a bit of extra planning, but knowing what days and times of these free admissions can save your family a ton! One of our favorite local places to visit the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo – check out our tips for visiting the zoo that only locals know.
When all else fails, see if there is a Groupon to an attraction you are heading to. Especially here in the US, you’d be shocked at what you can save on with Groupon from anything from major theme parks to local eateries.
As a born and raised proud Omahan, LeAnna has had the opportunity to live and travel throughout the world. But even through all the amazing adventures, she still calls Omaha her “Homaha!” After learning so much about travel, it is now her passion to help fellow Nebraskans see that amazing travel, experiences and memories are right here in our own backyard of Nebraska. She shares these experiences and how-tos at Https://www.WellTraveledNebraskan.com where you’ll be shocked and inspired with what is possible right here in the Cornhusker State!