The following is a guest post from Anna as part of the Yakezie blog swap. Anna writes for the personal finance blog, Good Cents Savings, which focuses on helping you save money, stick to a budget, and live well on less. Be sure to head over to her site to check out my post.
Best Budget Tip I Ever Learned For Travelling With KidsFebruary 10, 2012
You shopped around for flights, the hotel, rental car, attractions admissions, and found coupons for eating out. And just when you’re patting yourself on the back for planning such an economical family vacation your kids spot the first of dozens of souvenir stands. Everything is insanely overpriced, and many of the items are sure to break before you get back to the car. Of course one smart way to deal with this is just to avoid the gift shop all together – stay away consistently and your kids will never expect anything different. But, I learned a tip I love from a friend for those times you do want to give your children something special to remember the trip. Buy their souvenir ahead of time.
Before a trip to a theme park shop online for an inexpensive toy, t-shirt, or figurine featuring your child’s favorite character and give it to them as a special gift during the trip. If you’re visiting a zoo or aquarium younger kids might like a stuffed animal version of one of the creatures they’ll encounter and older children might enjoy a book where they can learn more about them. When a trip revolves around a professional sports game, shop around for a discounted baseball hat or other fan gear to buy before you leave – you’re likely to find one for a fraction of what you’d pay at the stadium.
This tip works for grownups too. If you know you (or your spouse) will be tempted by high priced items while travelling do a little comparison shopping beforehand to see if you can find them for less away from the tourist spots.
Another thing to remember about taking the kids on vacation – they get just as excited about a camping trip in the woods as they do about a ski trip, Caribbean getaway, or week at a theme park (ok , the mention of certain mouse might get a little extra enthusiasm, but you get the idea.) The point is that you don’t need to break the bank to create family memories your kids will cherish for a lifetime.