Whether you’re flying or driving, a summer family vacation can set you back. It’s one of those times it’s crystal clear that life a deux was not only simpler but also cheaper. Still, a vacay with kids in tow can be filled with discounts and smart shopper techniques so that you can save extra for the souvenirs you have a hard time saying no to.
Here, eight effective money-saving tips for your trip:
1. Purchase airline tickets a few months (or at least 21 days) and earlier in the week as fares tend to increase as date approaches and toward the end of the week.
2. Travel Saturday if possible since it’s typically the cheapest day to be on the move.
3. Make your car more fuel efficient for road trips by: Getting regular maintenance, keeping tires properly inflated and aligned, changing air filter regularly—a clean one can up gas mileage by 10%, stay below 60 mph (easing off the gas pedal from 65 to 55 can also up mileage by 10%), tighten gas cap/fill up early morning or late night—all for less gas evaporation.
4. Check TSA guidelines before flying so you don’t have to trash any of your already paid for stash—they will let you go on board with more than the typically allotted 3 ounces of liquid if it’s baby formula, breast milk, or juice.
5. Travel with portable play yard or blow up infant bed (they fold down well and are easy to carry) if hotel charges for crib or side rails.
6. Book destinations with free nightly entertainment like shows, boardwalk jugglers and musicians or roving magicians.
7. Choose all-inclusive resort like so you don’t worry about wasted overpriced drinks and hamburgers
8. Check if your or your partner’s company is a corporate sponsor of any attractions like museums, aquariums or zoos. Employees typically get in free or at a discounted rate so be sure to pack your employee ID.