Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saving Money- While on the Go!I

We love to travel, yes as a family!  During any given year, we usually make at least 1 long distance (12 plus hour), 1 short distance (4 or so hours) as well as several day trips.  During the next 6 weeks we are going to be on 4 day trips. The first of which was yesterday but just Haley and I. As I was driving yesterday, I had some extra time to think and plan for the next couple of weeks.  Here is a list of idea to cut down on the cost of travelling. Some of the tips work great for all trips, other are specifically for day or short trips. I tried to include which ones we use for which. Do you have ideas or suggestions? Please leave a comment below!
  • Check gas prices and fill up on a plan. I saw gas at the cheapest $3.53 while grocery shopping on Thursday so I filled up. We travelled east to Raleigh and the cheapest I saw gas was $3.58.  This is not always the case so check ahead and decide which is best.  On long trips keep a watch on prices and if you have less than half of a tank and see gas for 3 or 4 cent less than other places go ahead and make the extra stop.
  • Bring Drinks for everyone! This is the biggest money saving trick we use on any trip. If we are going on a short or day trip, I bring a small cooler with 3-4 drinks for everyone. For Zach, I save water bottles and fill with juice so that he can have a fresh drink when he wants. This is even a bigger saver on long trips, I usually pack the same small cooler and then bring cases of drinks that we rotate in.  A twelve pack of soda can range from 15 to 40 cent a can. This sounds expensive but compared to the $2-3 per can you pay at convenient stores and/or hotels this is really a no brainier. I try to purchase juice boxes for longer trips and squeeze them into Zach cups as needed. In Disney, we froze several bottles of water, then refilled these at fountains in the park.
  • Bring Snacks- This is also important any time you are away from home. Currently, we have a variety of snacks in the diaper bag. For day trips, I try to also pack one meal. One of the things that Lily really enjoys is a picnic. So we have stopped at rest areas and enjoyed our sandwiches for lunch on a couple of occasions.  During the winter or even on rainy days, eating a sandwich while travelling is just as much fun as stopping and grabbing a burger at McDonalds. Just not buying the expensive food at ball games, and/or competitions saves at least $20 a day. I try to carry a small bag of snacks even while running errands because stopping for a drink or small snack can add up quick. With my kids they are hungry no matter the time of day.
  • Pack a small emergency bag including diaper wipes, feminine supplies, lotion, gum, Kleenex, band aids and a small bottle of medicine for headaches and such.  You can easily find a Walmart but save the $10 for a  treat such as donuts!

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