There is so much of the world that you want to see, but quite often, you have been put off the idea, especially because you have children in tow. However, kids should not slow you down, and they should certainly not put the brakes on your travel plans. Traveling with kids can be an incredible amount of fun, and when you visit new places with your children, you make memories that will last a lifetime. There are lots of things to do and get ready before you travel and prepare for a journey, and getting ready to travel is sometimes just as important and just as fun as the journey.
Traveling on a Budget
It is possible to travel on a budget if you do some preparation in advance. Having a budget in place will not stop you from seeing the sights and places that you want to. A budget may just alter the order that you do things or the amount of time you stay in a certain place. When it comes to successful travel on a budget, you have to change your mindset. You need to adopt a different mindset because you want to now focus on stretching your money as far as possible to make sure that it lasts you for the duration of your trip. So prepare yourself for traveling on a small budget as soon as possible.
Planning Out a Route
When you are working towards a budget, you cannot just travel where you want to and when you want to. You need to have a plan, and you need to ensure that this plan allows you to explore as much as possible. Without a plan, you may find that you and your family end up drifting around from place to place, and this is when the costs start to rise. To plan your route efficiently and effectively, look at cost-effective routes and methods of travel. For example, you may find that to do the route you want to, you need to mix up the transport you use. For instance, you might use a bus and then hop on a train or a plane to get you where you need to be. Being as flexible as possible when you are planning out your route and embracing different types of transport will ensure that you can travel around even on the tightest of budgets.
Exploring on a Budget
You don’t just want to travel on a budget; you also want to explore on a budget, so how can you make this happen? To begin with, you need to look at where you want to go. What places do you want to explore and why? Exploration can be done cheaply, especially when it is planned out and done out of peak season. To get the most out of your exploration, there is nothing to stop you from going to new places at the end of the season (when there are no tourists around). If you aim to explore when limited tourists are around, you will certainly stretch your budget that little bit further, because more often than not, tourists push up prices. So, for example, if you want to visit Dunn’s Waterfall in Jamaica, go out of season, or if you want to visit the cloud forests of Costa Rica, visit in the months when tourism numbers are lower.
Sightseeing the Affordable Way
To make your exploration and sightseeing that little bit more affordable, you need to also keep a lookout for offers and discounts. For example, doing a quick search online should help you find coupons or discount codes. You may also want to sign up for email newsletters to travel companies and to sightseeing hotspots because, more often than not, they will send you a money-off voucher direct to your inbox. You can also make your budget stretch a bit further when sightseeing if you visit out of season or at the end of the season. When visiting in peak season, trips and entry fees can often be double what they are at other times of the year.
Setting a Budget
Before you hop on a plane or jump on a bus, you have to set a budget. If you do not have a budget in place before you begin traveling, then you will struggle to reign in the costs and the spending. When it comes to setting a budget, you need to think about what you want to see and where you want to go. You also need to think about other things such as food, drink, accommodation, and insurance. Realistically, you could travel with your family around Europe for around $100 a day, and quite often less (depending on where you go and when). To set a realistic and achievable budget, you need to do your sums. Look at typical costs for accommodation, look at costs for eating in and eating out, and then take the median figure to keep things realistic and achievable.
What to Prepare Before You Leave Home
What you do before you head off on your journey is sometimes just as important as where you go and what you see on your journey. The more planning and preparation that you can do, the easier your life will be, and the more you will see and do in your travels. For example, planning out your route, then sorting out your travel insurance will help ease the burden and stress. Similarly, you will also find it beneficial to plan out some of your first stops. Traveling with kids is tricky enough without knowing where you are going or staying. So, give yourself a break and plan out the first few places you want to visit.
Health and Hygiene
Hygiene and health standards and the level of healthcare you receive when you travel may be different or perhaps even lower than you are used to. It is advisable to get checked up by your Family Nurse Practitioner before you travel. This way, any issues can be flagged and resolved before you even pack a bag. As your family’s health is so important, you need to ensure that you have suitable insurance coverage in place for the whole family. It is also highly recommended that you pack a first-aid kit and medications. When thinking about hygiene, it never hurts to carry extra toiletries with you. Some places, especially those off the beaten track, do struggle to get the products that you and your family are used to. So, plan for this to ensure that you can purchase a few everyday essentials to keep your family as clean and hygienic as possible.
When you are visiting lots of new places and perhaps traveling for months on end, it is important to think about homeschooling and education. Ensuring that your children do not fall behind should be a top priority for you, especially if you are traveling with older children. There are lots of online sites that you can subscribe to that will give you access to learning materials and resources at any time of the day. Focusing on homeschooling will ensure that your children do not fall behind their age group or their peers as you are soaking up what new places have to offer.
Keeping Things Local
Where you can, it is important to keep things as local as you can. For example, if you visit the other side of the world, try and do what the locals do because it will be cheaper. When you visit new places, try not to get sucked into the tourist traps. Avoid tourist-centered locations at all costs because it is these places that will zap your budget. When you are visiting new areas, you need to adopt the mindset of a local. When you do this, you no longer see through tourists’ eyes. You also need to focus on traveling light, and packing just a few sets of clothes and essentials will ensure that you can move around as freely as possible.
If you can, try to book out travel and trips in advance as far as you can. When you book in advance – ideally up to 12 months in advance, you can see more, and you can do more simply because your budget will stretch that little bit further. Booking ahead also gives you more control over where you go and when. For instance, if you want to visit a tourist hotspot in-season, you might be able to if you book a year in advance because prices will most likely not have been set or finalized.
Use Comparison Sites
You must utilize comparison websites just as you would do when you are buying insurance for your car or home. You must actively compare the prices on offer. If you do not take time out to compare where you are going and when, then you could fall foul of expensive tourist prices, and ultimately this would mean your budget would not extend as far as you want it to.