Who can afford to take 6 people on plane for a vacation regularly? I can’t! If we flew anywhere, that be the vacation (plus some;). But one of the benefits of living in Fresno is that I am within driving distance of so many awesome things!
I know that the idea of taking your kids on a road trip can be daunting but with a little planning and smart strategies it can be fun and affordable for all!
1. When you book use loyalty programs and go through shopping portals! I saved $13 booking my Marriott room that way!
2. Make and use a packing list. Make sure to include cords and prescription meds!
3. Make an itinerary. Are you eating out every meal or taking some with you? Do the attractions you are going to allow you to take in lunch? Lay out the rough schedule and add the food list to your packing list;).
4. Pack snacks for the car and the hotel. Make sure you include napkins, utensils, the like.
5. Take a file folder with you that contains reservation confirmations, maps with directions, attraction addresses and phone numbers.
6. Let your bank or major credit card company know you are travelling. They may place a freeze on your card if they don’t know for sure that it is you. When NerdDad and I had only been married a couple of years we went to San Jose for the Embedded Systems Conference and it was our first trip. After 4 days American Express put a hold on any new charges. It was not good to say the least!
7. Do a little gas planning. Vacation spots tend to have high gas prices so if you could hit the last Costco or bargain gas on your way it could save you big! We have found the Costco in Carlsbad that we hit on our LegoLand trips every year! Saved a goodly amount of money over a gas station right off the freeway.
8. Make sure electronics are charged for the car and then have a spot in your luggage where all the cords go!!
9. Put together a little first aid kit. Bandaids, aloe, wipes to clean cuts, etc. You will find on the road but it is annoying and expensive to get back to your hotel and realize that you need to go find a place to buy expensive bandaids;). On our first year going to LegoLand NerdBug fell and needed a bandaid. Then NerdDad got a sunburn on his neck. The hotel did have Aloe gel but it was like $10 for a small bottle that didn’t have all that much aloe in it! Now we always pack the first aid kit;).
10. When you are ready to pack up and go home, use your pack list!!! I think it is pretty self explanatory;). I also recommend that after all the kids and luggage leave the room, 1 adult checks under beds, in drawers and in closets! Peace of mind goes a long way on that drive home!!
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