Traveling with kids, especially younger kids, can be both expensive and difficult. Knowing how, when, and where to go when you want to take the littles somewhere can make a big difference in cost and frustration. Here is what you can do to make traveling with your babies, toddlers, and preschoolers a lot easier and less costly.
Go During Off-Season
There are both destinations and modes of transportation that have "off-seasons." Traveling during these times and going to these destinations can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. For example, a round-trip flight for a family of four with an infant sitting on a parent's lap rather than in a seat will cost a few hundred dollars less two months after Christmas than it would if you traveled between Christmas and New Year's Day. Another example is visiting a popular theme park with tickets costing you up to two hundred dollars less in an off-season.
Lead Your Own Tour
Guided tours are great because you might get a little more info out of the tour than you might walking through an attraction on your own. However, you will pay more for the tour guide, and when you are traveling with small children, the extended talking tour is only going to make them crabby and difficult to manage. When you take your own tour, you can still see most everything, save money, and leave when you want or need to because the kids have had enough.
Also, you should avoid packages that include a guided tour. They sound like a good idea, but they may cost more. Although they can be very useful and helpful, be aware of travel packages, a technique called cross selling.
Pay a Little Extra to Wait Less
Even though it may cost a little extra, it does help to pay a premium on tickets to shorten wait times in line when you have children in tow. For example, if you buy theme park tickets, buy the fast or express pass option. Even if you do this for a day, you will spend less time waiting to ride and your little ones will be less cranky by the end of the day. It also helps to rent strollers or wagons at these parks, in case your children get too tired to keep walking.
There are all kinds of travel hacks that can save you time and money. When traveling with small children, it is especially important to utilize all of these tips to avoid meltdowns and unhappy memories.
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