I need to pack, pack, pack as well as get a bunch of things done around the house so we will be prepared for our trip tomorrow. We are only going away for the weekend, however, a lot of the packing list needs to go with you whether you go for one night or 2 weeks when you have kids, especially a baby! Stroller, playpen, baby bedding, diapers, wipes, Sippy cups, and that isn’t even a dent.
Then there are all the travel toys and activities for the pre-schooler so that he is occupied. Trust me the extra work finding things to bring for a pre-schooler to do is far better than the alternative of what it is like when they have too much time and not enough to do. We made that mistake on a plane ride once and people in different rows were handing us stuff, mostly because they were very generous and probably felt bad for us.
There is nothing better than traveling on a plane and having really friendly people seated behind you. Kids love to stand up, look at them, and invade their space. I completely understand people not wanting that. I have sympathy for the people that are trying to have a peaceful flight and they are seated near kids. Being on the other side and having very young children that are not old enough to be completely reasoned with yet, it feels like a miracle when you are next to really understanding people. Your brain wonders let them stand up, and invade someone’s privacy, or have the overtired kids who can’t nap on planes all out loose it. It is such a hard thing, and I have to put out a BIG HUGE THANK YOU for all the people who have been so patient with us!
In addition, we need to fit the sleds, cloths, boots, and winter gear of course, into the car somehow. Plus the electronics camera, phone, computer and their accessories...yikes! Thought that was it? Nope not yet. Here is where the traveling for less money comes in...
Bring your own food.
If budget is not an issue for you, than I can see how it would be worth the extra money to just get food when you are at your location. It saves time, and is definitely less of a hassle. However, if you do need to keep the cost down bringing your own food is a huge money saver.
Vacation destination areas such as Whistler are very expensive. The grocery stores there are small, crowded, and the prices are high. At least the ones I have been in.
Bringing your own food saves a lot but in order to do it, it takes your time and organization. When it seems like it is not worth it, just pretend you are getting paid with the money you are saving. If it is a matter of being able to afford to go away or not it is completely worth it. We already have a vacation to AZ planned in March so we need to keep our costs down.
Plan each meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks and beverages. Do that for each person. A couple of days really adds up to a lot of food when you have 4 people. Bring meals that are easy to prepare, and are filling. This will help you reduce the urge to go out to eat. If you do this, a splurge might mean getting a specialty coffee, or hot chocolate, which will cost you a lot less than dinner for 4. Fortunately, I have a gift certificate to Starbucks from Christmas so we are all set for that too J!
When making your food list keep items that need to be left cold on one side, and items that can be left out on the other. It will make it faster when packing the cooler, and food bags. The night before gather all your refrigerated/frozen items on a shelf in the fridge so they are ready to go. Don’t forget things like hot sauce, ketchup, peanut butter or whatever else you need with your meals. I like to put these items in small tupperwares to bring so they take up less space.
Make extra ice ahead of time to fill your cooler. Fortunately we have an ice machine so I plan on emptying the ice from the machine into bags in order to make more. That way it is ready to go.
All that being said I have a lot to do! But first, I think I need a green tea to motivate and calm me J
What do you do to save money when traveling?