August 8, 2011

Travelin Tips for Families on a Budget

Music Playlist at

Does taking my first vacation in four years constitute me as a traveling all star able to dole out advice upon my return?  You bet it does.  Are you traveling on a budget with the whole fam damily?  Then take a little advice from this girl . . .

1) Three little letters-M.P.G. 

Consider your vehicle when planning a road trip.  I have a little Saturn sedan and Pat has a Jeep Cherokee.  This left us little options for space with my car and skyrocketing gas prices with his.  So what did we do?  We borrowed his friends' minivan (thanks Grant and Amy!!!!!!).  This provided us with three essential elements when doing a road trip with small children--space (no matter how short the journey and how well behaved the kids, when squished in a car, they will fight.  Trust), a DVD player (say what you will, but this is a life saver for kids.  It keeps parents peace of mind and keeps the kids occupied.  I don't like TV.  Not at all.  My kids never watch TV at my house.  But this road trip, you better believe they got their fill of movies.  Worth it.) and killer gas mileage.   

2)  All hale the military discount.

As you might remember, Pat is in the Air Force.  This means every place we went, we were whipping that military ID out left and right.  You don't have to be in the military to get discounts though.  Amenities of all kinds are worth their weight in gold.  If you have a choice between a cheap hotel with no breakfast or pool and a slightly pricier hotel with free breakfast and a pool, take the latter.  It will be worth it to leave the hotel with full bellies and wore out, happy kids.  Also, there are tons of discounts available everywhere.  Don't be shy to ask for or research coupons, discounts and special pricing.  Your savings will add up.  

3)  And speaking of savings . . .

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you are already living on a budget, thinking of having to save for a vacation seems like shoveling snow while it is still snowing.  But you can be amazed at how much you can save if you just cut corners beforehand.  For a week before we left, we ate nothing but ground beef for dinner.  Pat and I brought things to eat for lunch at work or skipped lunch.  We really watched what we spent everyday leading up to our vacation.  

4)  Have a game plan.

Pat wanted to opt for spontaneity for the trip and we did to some degree, but we had general idea of places we wanted to go and what we wanted to see.  We looked up entry fees and mapped out mileage before we went.  Thus causing us to have a general idea of what we were allowing ourselves to spend on souvenirs and hotels throughout each day.    

5) If you can't afford to really get away, but need some time off, just get out of the house.

You don't have to jet set all over the country with kiddos for them to have a great vacation.  Kids are happy just to go somewhere new and different.  For the majority of our vacation, we didn't even leave our state.  But through this venture, we all gained a lot more appreciation and respect for our state and heritage just by exploring our own backyard.   

Sweater-Kohl's; Beige Tee-Mudd; Skirt-Rockin Robins; Belt-Kohl's; Pumps-Nine West, gifted; Necklaces-vintage from Grandma; Earrings-Wal-Mart; Sunnies-Pugg

Day Two 

To Do: 1) Go to the Sand Dunes
 (near Mosca, Colorado)

2) Go to the Black Canyon

 (near Gunnison, Colorado)

What I Wore

Top-Aeropostale; Shorts-1st Kiss; Boyfriend Jeans (above)-gifted; Sandals-from Mexico; Necklace-Wal-Mart; Bangles-vintage, gifted; Earrings-Kohl's; Sunnies-Elle for Kohl's (my poor little sunnies took a spill at the Sand Dunes, second pair to bite the dust in less than six months :-( )


  1. Some great advice. I know the best trips I've had are ones within my own state. Love those printed pumps with the pale pink skirt!

  2. Beautiful photos! Looked like fun!
    I love the way the skirt twirls - too cute

  3. Great advice and GORGEOUS outfit, one of my favorites I've seen of yours. Those shoes? So great!! I was supposed to go to the Sand Dunes this weekend but it didn't end up working out. I've never been! What a horrible Ha, whatever. I'll have to go someday, looks like fun!

  4. Thanks so much Megan! I loved those best too! I had to put these shoes on today. I was excited all night about it.

  5. Thank you so much Jessica! It was a ton of fun!

  6. Thanks so much Allie! I really appreciate that. I would def recommend going to the dunes. I had never been either and I am SO glad that I went.

  7. Love that flouncy skirt! And those SHOES!

  8. this looks like a great family vacay!

    p.s. the color of your dress is an amazing hue!

    dash dot dotty

  9. It looks like a great family trip!!!Love your shots and i am in love with your purple cardigan, so stylish!

  10. Thank you Claire! I really appreciate that!

  11. Thank you as always Federica! It was a blast!

  12. I love vacations, and I am definitely a planner. I like to know all of the good restaurants and sites on my route.

  13. Hi Frannie! Loving your stripes and trip photo's! Your family looks just lovely! AND you have the best blog name ever! Too cute! OXO Natalie

  14. Totally! Thanks for stopping by Rebecca!

  15. Natalie you just made my day! Thanks so much! All credit goes to a certain Verizon employee who used to call me this all the time. ;-)


You call it your two cents, I call it priceless. Thank you so much for visiting! I read and cherish every single comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Design By Designer Blogs