Family vacations are a wonderful opportunity to bond with your children and forge memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. However, taking a trip with your little ones isn’t always the most relaxing or budget-friendly experience. Parents have to be ready to fend off all kinds of potentials for disaster, from cranky kids to unpredictable schedules. Thankfully, the following tips will help you keep everyone happy — and save some money along the way!

Keep Your Feet on the Ground

There are several great reasons why taking a road trip is better than flying. For one thing, plane tickets for the whole family can be outrageously expensive. Driving to your destination is a fantastic way to cut your transportation costs and have some fun on the way. If you’re concerned about putting excess wear and tear on your family vehicle, consider renting a car for your family road trip. Companies like Enterprise offer a wide variety of vehicles to choose from. Look for something large enough so your family will feel comfortable for long hours on the road and ensure that your selection fits your budget as well. You might even be able to find some Enterprise coupons online to save money on your rental!

Bring Lots of Snacks

Nothing averts a tantrum like a good snack. Keep your little ones happy and energized during your travels by packing along lots of exciting finger foods. Red Tricycle recommends road trip snacks that won’t make too much of a mess in your car, such as veggie sticks, fresh fruit, roasted chickpeas, and homemade fruit roll-ups. What’s more, bringing snacks long on your trip will also help you save money! When you or your kids start getting hungry, it can be tempting to grab a quick bite at a nearby café or restaurant, even if it’s terribly overpriced. Being prepared with snacks will let you steer clear of those tourist traps.

Pack Plenty of Entertainment

Like snacks, it’s hard to go overboard when packing entertainment for your kiddos. Pack travel-friendly toys, load up your devices with shows and games, and put together little activity kits — these are great for toddlers and younger kids! If you’re taking a road trip, look up some fun road trip games that you can all play in the car together. Remember to make plenty of stops at free roadside attractions and playgrounds to give your kids a chance to burn off some energy.

Limit Your Destinations

One of the best ways to avoid stress and save money when traveling is to slow down and be flexible. Packing your itinerary full of stops and attractions will leave everyone — and your wallet — feeling completely drained. Consider picking just one or two destinations for your trip and staying in each place for longer. Not only will this help you save on transportation costs, but many vacation rental sites offer discounts if you book for a week or longer!

Master Off-Season Travel

Traveling during the off-season is essential for avoiding crowds and curbing travel spending. If your kids are not yet in school, take advantage of this by traveling during the school year. While it’s harder to embrace off-peak travel when your kids start school, summer holidays in the Northern Hemisphere coincide with the off-season for many destinations. For example, New Orleans is a great place to visit during the summer after the winter and spring crowds disperse.

There’s no reason you have to spend your next trip stressing over an impossible budget and a complex itinerary — you deserve to relax on your family vacation! Consider swapping the flight for a road trip, be prepared with fun goodies, and slow down your travel plans so you can all enjoy your next adventure. You will never want to travel any other way!

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