10 tips to save money on summer travel as a working mom
For many, if not most of us, summer equates with travel time. From weekend getaways with the family to girl trips, it’s a great time for working moms to get their relaxing on and spend precious quality time with family and friends. It’s also a time that can be quite expensive, because, well…traveling costs money.
Although I look forward to summer, I’m careful to be smart about budgeting my expenses as it often turns out to be the most expensive time of year for our family. Between summer camps, impromptu outings and trips, vacation and summer events, it’s easy to lose track of your budget, especially as a working mom. By the time my little ones bribe me into buying them ice cream every other day, and all the mini-trips to keep them entertained, I’m checking into my budget in sheer disbelief.
If you’re a working mom who likes to keep the reins on your summer spending without having to sacrifice all the summer fun, here are a few tips you may find useful:
- Search for the lowest flight and hotel rates with comparison sites
Repeat after me: I will never pay full-price for another flight or hotel again! When you add to it your two or three (or more) little ones paying full-price only to end up on your lap, you realize how important it is to save money on your flight prices.
Use comparison sites such as Trip Advisor, or Pricelineare great for finding reasonabley priced flights. Other well-known comparison sites include Hotwire, Cheap Flights, as well as Trip Advisorand Expedia. CheapOAirand Travelocityare also some of my favorites.
- Take up road-tripping
As a non-adventurous mom, I never thought going on road trips would be remotely fun for me. However, after being coerced into a car with two little humans, I have to admit it can be quite the interesting adventure. It allows the entire family to experience various areas, cities and states, while still being able to observe pit stops and go at a reasonable pace.
- Save on transportation costs with Uber
When visiting a city, take advantage of the low prices and convenience of Uber. It has become my transportation of choice when I travel, as I can find Uber drivers pretty much anymore. There are many cost-effective options available, from being in an Uber pool with other riders to more exclusive ridership options.
- Stay at an Airbnb
If you don’t want to pay hotel rates, how about considering the Airbnb option? These accomodations are rented out by their owners and usually come at a less expensive price than regular hotel rates.
Besides, it’s fun to visit a place by staying in a local home and experiencing what living like a local feels like.
- Cruise it up
If you don’t want to fly anywhere, cruises can be a good, and less pricey alternative. With the cost of flights constantly increasing and no longer including certain amenities such as snacks, meals, or Wifi, cruises end up being more economical.
Companies such as Princess Cruiseshave a strong reputation for fun and price-conscious cruises. Sightseeing cruises provided by companies such as City Cruises are also economical and fun to experience.
- Use credit cards for travelers
There are many cards that offer numerous travel advantages. However, as a working mom, there are some in particular that are best for traveling families because of the great rewards they offer.
I particularly like the low-fee cards such as the Capital One Venture One Rewards card which keep your annual fees low. In addition, these cards tend to also offer access to car rental and accident protection, as well as emergency travel assistance.
Another good option consists in branded airline and hotel credit cards. These allow you to accrue points based on your mileage, which can even end up getting you some free trips. A popular one is the Gold Delta Sky Miles credit card.
- Travel during off-peak seasons
Costs can creep up pretty significantly as the family grows. This is why it may be more beneficial for families to make travel arrangements during off-peak seasons. The prices tend to be more affordable then, and there tend to be less crowds as well.
Another option is to purchase your tickets well in advance to lock the best prices. The longer you wait, the more the prices creep up.
- Check rates around 4:30pm EST on Tuesdays
Interestingly enough, it appears that rates tend to be lower on Tuesdays at 4:30pm. Many customers report paying significantly lower prices for flights and other travel accomodations then. In any case, it’s good to check on the fluctuation of prices often so as to catch any decrease in rates.
- Pack snacks and food
You can never go wrong packing your own snacks and food, especially as you travel with kids. Having fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods on hand will save you lots of money (and time) on the road (or in the air). You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on fast-food and other snacks as you travel if you don’t take earlier precautions.
- Take cash with you
In general, taking physical cash helps curb excessive spending, especially when surrounded by children asking for the next snack or toy around. As you’re traveling, make sure to carry cash with you. This will not only serve in case of emergencies, but also to limit your expenses to what you have on hand.
Over to you: What are your best tips to save money on travel as a working mom?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sister