Taking a family on vacation can be a ridiculous amount of money. Even when I’ve traveled alone and stayed with friends, it can sometimes be more expensive than I’d like.
Car travel gives you the space to bring more with you and save money on the other end. These can all be adapted to other forms of travel. The only difference (at the moment) would be liquids on airplanes. Check the TSA website for your specific airport information.
Starting a trip, I always try to eat breakfast at home. Whether that’s picking up bagels at the supermarket and toasting them at home or using up the milk with our cereal, it’s better than getting half an hour into a trip and everyone’s starving. Frozen waffles and home brewed or instant coffee are two other ways to save money before you leave.
Once you’re on the trip, if you’re traveling by car, what can you bring with you? Sure, you can pick stuff up when you get there, but it’s not always practical. I will bring a 12-pack of soda and a bottle of juice for the kids. It really is so much cheaper than getting individual ones out of the hotel vending machines. You can always use the ice machine, and most hotel rooms come equipped with a mini-fridge and a microwave.
The microwave can be a good thing to have if you bring popcorn for snacks or microwavable Easy Mac mac&cheese. Everybody loves mac&cheese.
Other snacks that pack well include Cheerios, pretzels, crackers, and water bottles. Cheese doodles and chocolate are pretty much the worse snacks. The doodles are incredibly messy and the chocolate will melt, even in the winter.
Bring your own shampoo and soap.
Don’t buy anything in a convenience store and avoid supermarkets for anything that’s not food. Stick to Target and Wal-Mart for what you need, if you shop at those stores.
Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up at the water fountain on the other side of security. If you each have your own reusable water bottles, you can buy a gallon of water and share it around instead of buying individual disposable water bottles.
Look around when you’re packing and see what you can bring instead of buying. By the same token, be careful not to overpack. Weigh out what’s worth buying.