A few years back, when we started traveling more regularly with the kids, we wanted to make each trip memorable. However, we also knew that putting too much on the itinerary or disrupting much of our natural schedules (sleeping/ eating/ downtime) could be disastrous.
We decided that as much as we wanted to find the best local joints to eat at or the most Instragram-able cafes, we would have to weave these spots into our everyday routines.
One way that we were able to do this was gifting the kid's gift cards to their favorite places, think Chic-fil-a, In-and-Out Burger, Chipotle, or Starbucks, for holidays and birthdays. We would receive Christmas gift cards to Whole Foods and movie theaters as a family.
We loved this idea because it helped us reduce the gifts we receive from family members; creating more memories and less stuff around the house!
My ah-ha moment was realizing that the kids felt like they could control part of the trip by suggesting a quick stop at Starbucks for their favorite drink, dinner at a place they knew and were comfortable eating at, or if a new movie was at the theater, we could check it out as a family (perfect for those impromptu rainy/cold vacation days!)
Who wouldn't love a gift card to get their favorite açaí refresher?! Imagine using your own "money" to buy one while exploring the Savannah Waterfront?! How fun is that!
Throughout the year, we gift the kids cards for holidays (Report Cards, Valentines, Easter, Christmas stockings), birthdays, and sometimes even in place of chore money. These gift cards do not have to be extravagant, and a simple $5.00 Starbucks card goes a long way!
While we do these little gift cards for the kids, I begin to put aside gift cards for Whole Foods, Target, and Amazon. These gift cards range from $25.00 to $75, depending on our monthly budget.
Why do I purchase gift cards to Whole Foods, Amazon, or Target for travel?
It is the most effortless way to budget your trip and have a little fun too!
A small grocery delivery is the easiest way for us to stay on budget, not shop while hungry, and allow the kids to relax after a long day of traveling. For most of our trips, I use a grocery delivery service (when possible and depending on the specific area) to deliver things right away when we arrive at the Airbnb. These items include; snacks (check out my favorite mom-approved snack items here), drinks, simple dinner fixings, breakfast options, and any toiletries we may need to remember/ left out of packing.
Check out our six quick and easy breakfast ideas that will keep your vacation stress-free!
Here are a few more ways to save money while traveling.
Love coffee? Be sure to use your Starbucks App. You can earn 2x stars per dollar you spend when you pay with the app. You can download funds and then start accumulating stars. Now, these stars can be spent on anything from a cup of your favorite jazzed-up drinks to pounds of coffee, even merchandise! Stars expire after six months, so using them is essential. * We love to use our stars while traveling! We also take advantage of the free refill of brewed iced or hot coffee/ tea when we stay in the store! It's an incredible hack for those early morning travel days when we purchase something for breakfast and then grab a free drink for the flight!
Find restaurants with KIDS EAT FREE- or a variation of FREEBIE promos!
Enjoy FREE local art, museums, and playgrounds by inquiring with the city's regional chamber of commerce. Be sure to look for discounts, day passes, and more before beginning your vacation; use the internet, Pinterest, Instagram, and the destination's websites.
There are so many ways to travel with your kids that are family and budget-friendly! We can travel with our kids more regularly because we've discovered ways to save money that let our dollars go farther and last longer!
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