Tips for saving money on transportation
Family traveling is always so much fun but as we all know, it can get expensive. If you are like us, you first start with a budget for your adventures and this budget largely is taken up by transportation cost. Worry not, Mommy And Me Travels has collaborated with international family travel experts to bring you tips for saving on transportation cost around the world. We are sharing with you the tops 3 Money Saving Tips for Transportation in all categories (plus a bonus 3 for the most expensive, Air Travel).
Top 6 Money Saving Tips for Air Travel:
1. Regina from Full Time Field Trip saves money by redeeming reward points for FREE fares.
“Airfare is usually the most expensive type of transportation. Therefore, I focus my money-saving energy on reducing the cost of plane tickets. The absolute best way to save here is to redeem reward points for FREE fares. That’s not always a possibility. My next best tip is. Drumroll please. Break up your airfare into two separate reservations.
Ticket pricing is often tiered by the number of seats reserved. So when you move from a party of two to a party of four, your price increases. To combat this, make two reservations rather than one and get a cheaper rate. It can be super tricky to make two reservations at the same time. We’ve made plenty of mistakes. You may need separate devices and separate credit cards to be successful. But as a family of seven, we save tons of money this way.”
2. Annette from Tips From A Typical Mom blog saves money by signing up for airline credit cards.
“Let’s start with the flight. Did you know that flight prices are not going to fluctuate that much between the airlines and sites like Expedia, Priceline and Agoda because the airlines just don’t discount their airfare that often? And when they do, they have about the same rates as everyone else. So the best way to get good deals on flights is to get an airline credit card and earn free flights, or follow a person on Instagram who is always checking flight prices like CheapSLCFlights, Scotts Cheap Flights, or another person in your area that checks deals and posts them often. Just go to Instagram and search for “Cheap Flights (enter your city here)”. The site that I have a membership through saves me at least $5 per ticket over any other site though. I know that $5 isn’t much, but you also earn travel points through the site. You can learn more at http://WholesaleFamilyTravel.com.”
3. Kris from Gadsventure saves money by being flexible on travel dates.
“Saving a few dollars on each plane ticket can add up to hundreds of dollars when travelling with a big family. With that in mind, the best trick I have discovered to find savings when booking is using Skyscanner’s ‘Whole Month’ function. This enables the user to compare and choose the cheapest day in the entire month to fly.
Being flexible is the most important factor in getting cheaper flights, as well as avoiding peak tourist periods, festivals and school holidays.
Skyscanner is a fantastic tool and I use it to research prices every time I look for international tickets. Another great tip when using Skyscanner is to search using an incognito window so your cookies are not being used and prices remain low. Hit Shift+command+n to go incognito on Apple, or shift+control+n on a PC.”
4. Here at Mommy And Me Travels, we save money on Air Travel by maximizing the airline alerts.
Finding deals on flights can be a game of patience and waiting. Here are just a few ideas that will get you started on saving on your next family flights. Sign up for all the email alerts. This allows you to quickly know when an airline has a flash sale. Don’t miss the buying opportunity, be ready to click buy at a moment’s notice. Focus on one airline alliance. This will maximize your flight miles for future free flights. Want more flexibility to build miles, check out travel credit cards that allow you to earn miles for every dollar you spend. We are currently loving the travel perks and the miles we get to accumulate from our credit card.
5. Deborah from World Wise Kid saves money booking airline tickets far in advance.
“Getting there – We plan international travel far in advance when tickets are first available. A favorite research tool is Google flight tracking to follow prices on different airlines and understand the options. Airline websites offer the low-price calendar and the route map to compare dates and locations. We save money by choosing the no frills, low-cost airlines, traveling with carry-on backpacks, bringing our own food, water, and entertainment.”
6. Melissa from Disabled Disney saves money by shopping around.
“When we do fly I use http://cheapoair.com because when my daughter came home last Christmas, I checked prices on sites like Expedia or Travelocity and it was cheaper. I can also use the Shopkick App and get kicks by booking through them! There are a lot of transportation options out there. Don’t think of the transportation as getting to or home from your trip. Use that time as part of your trip and making memories with your family!”
Top 3 Money Saving Tips for Train Travel:
1. Nikki from Yorkshire Wonders uses perfect ticket purchase timing to save money.
“We are always very keen to save money on getting to our vacations. Here in the UK train tickets are not terribly cheap but there are some ways in which you can save money. Firstly, the timing of when you book train tickets is important. Aim to book at around 12 weeks from the point of travel, this is when you will find the best prices. Too far in advance and too short notice mean very expensive tickets! Always check the price of return tickets as well as singles as sometimes one type is better value than the other. Consider investing in a railcard. We recently bought a ‘Friends and Family’ railcard that gives 60% off for kids and 30% off for adults when travelling together. The card is valid for one year and can save you money right from the very first trip. Lastly, do check both standard and first class fares. Sometimes first class fares are not much more expensive than standard and you could receive perks in first class (such as free food and drink) that makes the upgrade actually better value.” Visit her post What you get in Virgin First Class for first had ideas.
2. Here at Mommy And Me Travels, we save money by using the Train for travel.
We also like to get creative and think outside the box when finding ways to save money. Instead of flying, look at taking the train/amtrak to your adventure location. This will add to your children’s trip enjoyment. In many cases, you can buy a first class train ticket for the fraction of the cost of a plane ticket per person. (Check out location specific train options: EuroRail, Bahn.de, and/or HeathrowExpress.) That means you can save even more money if you buy a regular class train ticket and still have the enjoyment of relaxing and socializing while traveling. Of course, this only works if you are staying on the same continent. But, if you are looking to save money, same continent travel can save you hundreds by taking the train. I bet you will be presently surprised at how much you and your family enjoy taking the train.
3. Deborah from World Wise Kid saves money by using trains to move around from town-to-town.
“Moving town-to-town – Getting around is part of the educational experience – a chance to understand the culture. This means avoiding the tourist track of pricey packaged tours and living like the locals. Arriving somewhere may take longer, but the journey is just as important as the destination! A mix of trains, buses and boats enrich the adventure.”
Top 3 Money Saving Tips for Car Travel:
1. Annette’s blog, Tips From A Typical Mom, recommends renting a car at your location.
“Once I have my flight worked out, I move on to the rental car. Unless I am staying in an all inclusive resort that we won’t be leaving, I always rent a car. My family loves to drive around and see everything there is to see in the area we are visiting and it’s just so much easier to have your own form of transportation. For the little ones who still need a booster seat, we use the MiFold. It’s a tiny little booster seat that can fit right in the diaper bag or large purse. There are a lot of discount places you can rent cars through like Costco, AAA, AARP, and http://wholesalefamilytravel.com . My friend saved about $650 over the Costco price on Wholesale Family Travel when renting a car for their trip to Hawaii so that’s something to look into.”
2. Kirsty from World For A Girl saves money by using ride share apps.
“As for getting around when we’re there, tired little legs and afternoon nap times have converted us to the joys of road-tripping. We throw everything in the boot, make our own itinerary and we’re still able to do the type of quirky multi-destination holidays that we crave. At the moment, we’re based in Malaysia. If you’re coming out to this part of the world, my biggest family travel tip to download the Grab app on your phone. Grab is Asia’s Uber. Fares are really cheap AND you can pay the driver cash. My second tip would be to think twice before using tuk-tuks and rickshaws. They’re mostly used by tourists now and drivers often demand exorbitant prices. Make sure that you haggle hard, be aware of safety and remember that in a tuk-tuk you and the kids are down at exhaust pipe level!”
3. Shannan from Captivating Compass saves money by helping the rental car companies relocate vehicles.
“While it can be a complete sensory overload to drive in a foreign country, it is also one of the least expensive and most time efficient ways to get around most countries, especially if you want to get out of the city and explore sights off-the-beaten-path. To save your sanity, plan an itinerary that incorporates alternative transportation (train, bus, short flight) to a less popular city. From there, rent a car and continue on your family travel adventure, simply returning your car at the end of your trip to a predetermined destination. Many major car rental companies in Europe have one-way rentals very affordably priced (ie: 2 GBP/day in the UK!), if you are willing to drive a specific vehicle back into a more popular city or airport. In the UK, returning a car from Scotland to London helps out the rental company as more people fly into London that anywhere else in the UK. For helping the rental company out, they offer ridiculously cheap rental fees and then you just pay for your own petrol. It’s a genius way to save big on in country transportation in Europe!”
Top 3 Money Saving Tips for Driving:
1. Shannon from Grab My Passport saves money driving as often as possible.
“There are so many ways to save on transportation. Personally, we try to drive to as many places as we can, if time allows. Not only can you save time by driving, but you can cut the costs of needing a rental car or taxis, and you can pack your car with snacks and other items you may have had to spend money on if you flew to your destination. With airlines adding on so many fees for everything these days, we rarely fly. Road trips can be fun, even with little kids. Just be sure to properly prepare for your road trip and enjoy! Memberships like AAA (in the US) are cheap and a necessity if you’re planning a family road trip.”
2. Melissa from Disabled Disney recommends watching gas prices.
“Saving money on transportation is an integral part of any family vacation. We normally drive because it does tend to be a less expensive choice for us. If you are driving, we use http://gasbuddy.com to check gas prices. We don’t normally fly so we have our car and will not need to use a taxi. When it comes to hiring transportation, I look at which option is more cost effective for us. Apps like Uber and Lyft now give you an estimate on cost. If you want to use a taxi service you can call and get an estimate.”
3. Sarah from State By State saves money through an in-depth planning session before hitting the road.
“When you travel to a big city, transportation can get expensive. Gas, parking, and vehicle maintenance all cost more. Taking time to plan for how you will get from place to place is important if you want to save money. Many large cities have great public transportation, but when you have a family of five, like we do, those tickets sure do add up quickly. We have found that by traveling on certain days of the week or times of day, you can save money because kids might ride for a discounted rate or even for free. Another excellent money saving tip is to check the parking garages’ rates. Sometimes the prices between parking garages vary greatly. In Washington DC, we found a place we could park all day for only $10, while other places were charging $22 for four hours. We also like to take advantage of free trolley’s and shuttle buses too. These are great for saving money on gas and also let everyone enjoy looking around at the sites instead of having to focus on traffic in an unfamiliar city. Knowing how you will get around will not only save you money, it will save you time because you won’t be driving in circles trying to find a place to park or wandering around trying to find the right shuttle stop.” Visit her blog post on how a family of five toured our nations capital city for under $80 a day, https://statebystate.net/washington-dc-on-a-budget-how-a-family-of-five-toured-our-nations-capital-city-for-under-80-a-day/.
Top 3 Money Saving Tips for Getting Around Once in Location:
1. Sarah from Dandelion Seeds uses foot power for transportation to save money.
“Aside from checking airline prices across multiple airlines, using flexible dates, and cross-comparing rates on every travel website in the known universe, I opt for the biggest savings once I’m on the ground at my destination. Rather than spending money on car rental (and car insurance) or taxis, I walk absolutely everywhere that’s safe. When my kiddo was smaller, I’d put her in a good carrier with a 45-pound weight limit to keep my walking easy. It lasted for years. Although I don’t save time walking, I do save money on transportation (plus, it’s a great way to find local cafés and grocery stores, and save money on restaurant costs, too). Walking has given me my savings on transportation, much of my fun–and often, my best stories. Here, you’ll find some fun ways to keep your kids entertained while you’re en route. https://www.dandelion-seeds.com/positive-travel/top-five-travel-products-for-kids/.”
2. Yamy from GoFamGo uses complimentary Airport Transfers to save money.
“Most hotels offer complimentary airport transfers or have some form of shuttle service for a certain fee. Take advantage of this perk and make sure to check ahead for price comparisons with renting a car instead.
A complimentary shuttle service from your hotel gives you one less thing to worry about especially if you’re unfamiliar with the locality. Ensure that you communicate your needs to the hotel prior to arrival. Let them know how many are in your traveling party and when to expect you.
Going to Walt Disney World, for example, is an expensive family vacation. One way to save money while in Disney is to make use of their Disney Magical Express, a free shuttle service from Orlando International Airport to their resorts. They also have other forms of transportation like the ferry, the monorail and the bus within the campus.
You can view more money saving tips for Walt Disney World (https://gofamgo.com/best-ways-to-save-money-at-walt-disney-world/) on her website.”
3. Deborah from World Wise Kid save money by discovering places through walking.
“Exploring – Our travel routine includes discovering a place through walking. Whether hiking a trail, beachcombing or mapping out the streets of a city or town, foot-travel is free and allows you to stumble upon local wildlife and activities and create your own unique experience.”
Don’t let the cost of transportation hamper your ability to build family memories via traveling. Use some of these tried and true money saving tips for transportation when planning your next family vacation and adventure.
You’ll also find this post from the Family Voyage on How To Travel With Car Seats to have valuable information for traveling with kiddos.
Join us next week as these fantastic ladies bring you tips on Choosing Accommodations.
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