After many trips, big and small, we have learned a few things we try to do to save money when we travel with our kids. Check out our post about Disney deals and add your tips in the comments below.
Bring snacks: We never leave home without at least a few granola bars and a water bottle tucked away. On our latest Disney trip we brought a lunch bag full of snacks, cereal, fruit, granola bars and water bottles into the parks each day. The kids finished these off before 11am! But they stayed happy and energized. Snacks also provided distractions when things didn’t go as planned or when waiting in line.
Don’t pay full price for toys: There is nothing worse than feeling forced into buying an over priced toy. We let our kids choose one toy on a big trip and the rest is purchased before we travel. We grab a few toys from the dollar store when we are going to a theme park or even on a long drive. Those crazy light-up toys can cost a small fortune when you buy them at the fireworks show, but similar ones from the dollar store do the trick.
Make breakfast: There is nothing worse than over-paying for breakfast only to have your kids waste the food. We like to take oatmeal, cereal, yogurt and fruit to have before we leave our hotel room for the day. It is often possible to grab some milk at the local variety store. Most hotels don’t charge extra for a fridge in the room.
Don’t pay full price for clothes: We’ve found some great themed clothing, including Star Wars, Disney and Superman shirts, dresses and shoes at Giant Tiger and Wal-Mart for a fraction of the price in most tourist shops. We save them to surprise the kids when we arrive in our destination.
Budget: We tell our kids they have a certain amount to spend – usually whatever cash the grandparents have given them – and we stick to it. This let’s the kids figure out what they really want and understand that they can’t have everything. Plus we like to say – grandma bought you that toy.
It pays to be little: Kids under two years fly free. At Disney kids under three are free to enter the parks and to eat. On the flip side, once kids turn 10, Disney charges them the full price. It pays to ask what policies companies have on young travellers.
Start small: Kids are easy to impress, they don’t need bells and whistles. If you show an interest in the activity, little kids will too. Of course this changes as children grow – so save some of the big stuff until they are “too cool.” A walk around the local pond can be just as fun as a trip to an expensive attraction.
Disney has loads of freebies: We have taken advantage of so many fun free activities off the beaten path at Disney. When you book your travel with us we will share all these fun tips with you. Plus the great thing about booking with a travel agent is that you don’t pay any extra because Disney and most other hotels, resorts and cruise ships pay the agent’s commission.
For more great tips check out our friends’ blog post: They are travelling throughout Europe with three little kids