We're traveling to Vegas soon so I thought this would be a perfect time to share 5 of our family travel tips and tricks with you! Trust me we're not experts, but we do have a lot of fun and manage to save a little money here and there. We travel back and forth from Canada to the US a lot and have learned many things along the way, sometimes the hard way. I thought these tips might give you a few ideas for your next family trip!
After we've decided on a location and set our dates I always take the time to look into the following five things:
1. Weather – always a good idea, not only does it help you with packing but also planning activities. I like to know the weather because hot and sunny means we'll need to pack sunscreen and stock up on some water at our destination whereas rain means we should pack our raincoats and for the kids some puddle pants and rubber boots. Weather can change from day to day but if you keep an eye on a quick forecast over a week or so you'll get a good idea of what to expect.
2. Local Maps and Websites – this was the best thing we have learned along the way. Checking for local blogs, city pages, or travel sites to where you are going can give you some insider tips that a tourist might not know. We've learned a lot about Vegas not only from being there part-time but online including some great kid activities to do that aren't on the strip because it's fun to be a local! Local maps are also a huge help, don't get me wrong a GPS or Google Maps on my phone are great but local maps with highlighted places to see or eat are always fun to check out. We find that our vacations are less expensive when we don't fall into the tourist traps!
3. Baggage and Packing – my favorite part! If you're flying be sure to check the airline baggage allowances because you can save a lot of money by packing in your carry-on, we did it for a two-week trip to Europe, so I KNOW you can do it to any destination! If you're going on a road trip you obviously have more room but why overpack if you don't need to. We lay out our clothes we're thinking of packing and trying to make multiple outfits out of mixing and matching a few pieces and throwing in a couple of accessories. Then I check to see if it can fit in my bag with a little extra room for a pair of shoes and to bring stuff back. I usually end up leaving half the clothes I have laid out and taking more money!
A tip for a seven-day trip depending on the weather I usually pack:
- a pair of jeans,
- a dress,
- 2-3acouple tank tops,
- 2 t-shirts,
- a hooded sweatshirt,
- 1 long sleeve,
- a few accessories like a scarf or shawl
- a pair of flats
You can always wash a few pieces in a machine or by hand to mix and match on a different day. You'd be surprised at how creative you can get with a limited selection, and it leaves a lot of room in your bag to bring stuff back!
4. Where to stay – VRBO (vacation rental by owner), discount hotel websites, phone hotels or check for online deals. If you don't have somewhere to stay at your destination taking a look at the local blogs and maps will give you an idea of what you want to do, helping you select the perfect accommodation location. We love using VRBO.com because you can get a house, condo, or apartment around the same price as a hotel and have a full kitchen, laundry, lots of space, and a ton of tips from the owner! Take a look at the site it is a lot of fun, and you can find some pretty neat places. Discount hotel sites like Priceline, Expedia, and Travelocity can offer you a higher rated hotel at a lower price, so that's always something to check out.
5. Groupon – I don't know how many times we have got discounted attraction passes, hotels, and restaurant meals at a discounted rate. You can usually find deals at most destinations or even local ones because they offer deals worldwide!
I have that gives you a few tips for your next trip, anything you want to hear more about?