“Traveling with a baby is possible.” This is my blog’s description and this is my main reason why I’ve put up this blog, to document my family’s travels. Jeff and I traveled a lot when we’re not yet married and even after Gwen was born, that didn’t stop us from going to places. In fact, we strive harder to travel with Gwen in tow because we want to show her the world, or some piece of it. After all, experience is the best teacher and that we try to collect moments, not things.
Ernest Hemingway once said, “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” That’s why we do this traveling-with-kids lifestyle. Traveling with the whole family can be tricky and challenging when it comes to our budget. Some friends would think that we’re earning a lot hence we can afford to go on a vacation once in a while but the truth is, we’re just middle-class employees living paycheck to paycheck.
So how can we afford to travel? It’s just a matter of careful planning, setting your priorities, and researching for cheap flights and hotels with the help of some sites like Traveloka.
Here are my 10 Budget Travel Tips for Moms, by a Wander Mom (that’s me!)
- Book in advance. Most of our trips were booked a year before the travel date. Be updated with the promos conducted by different airlines.
- Travel off-season. There are many advantages when traveling off-season. Aside from cheaper airfares and hotel accommodations, sales and discounts are also given to tourists.
- Travel when your kids are under 2 years old. We took advantage of this, and I think we exhausted it. Let’s see: Gwen flew to Singapore at 7 months; to Kalibo, Aklan twice; to Cagayan de Oro before she turned 2 yo; and last was to Hong Kong before her 2nd birthday. Children under 2 years old travel for free without an allocated seat.
- Compare airline prices. With the various airlines, it’s not easy to keep tabs on all of them. Traveloka.com comes in handy because you just need to enter your destination and travel dates and it will show you the list of airlines and their prices from cheapest to the most expensive.
- Check out free walking tours or free admission to museums and other attractions. In Hong Kong, there’s a free admission to Hong Kong Science Museum every Wednesday and can be availed by locals and tourists.
- Travel light. You can save extra money by not paying the extra baggage fee. Most airlines allow each passengers 7 kgs. for their carry-on baggage. It can be pretty challenging especially if you have kids, but nothing is impossible for an expert packer.
- Bring a water bottle. Whenever we stay at hotels/guesthouses, I fill our bottle before heading out. A little savings can go a long way. The money you saved can be added to your shopping budget.
- Check out deal sites like Klook or Groupon in the country you’re visiting. Yes, deal sites are popular in other countries too. They have offers on restaurants, theme park tickets, tours, and pocket wi-fi rentals.
- Use the local transportation and buy their smart card. We usually take buses and trains to explore other countries because their transportation is very efficient. Hong Kong has Octopus Card, Singapore has EZ Link card, Japan has Japan Rail Pass, while South Korea has T-Money.
- Go to the local groceries instead of 7-Eleven. We like buying snacks, chocolates, and drinks for that late-night cravings. Just like here in the Philippines, prices at 7-Eleven is higher than the ones in bigger supermarkets. That’s why in HK, I shop at Wellcome or Prizemart, sometimes the price difference is 10 HKD.
I hope these tips can help you in your future travels. Are you also traveling on a budget? Care to share some travel tips?