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Traveling With Family? Sleep Around & Save!

Last week I got on a plane, for the first time in 13 years (insert gasp here).

As a kid, I had no problem flying. We would go to Florida every year to visit my grandparents.

My brother and sister would be seated comfortable in the non-smoking section, watching a Disney flick.

As the youngest (and weakest) I got to sit in the backety back of the plane, with my mom and all the other nervous fliers who were rapidly chain-smoking.

My theory is that whatever brain cells I have (and I do have many) that control neuroses and fear were simply far too busy  contemplating cancer and asthma.

It was only years later that I had the luxury of really focusing all my energies on a fear of flying.

But thanks to some Ativan and a really patient stewardess, I made it to Chicago unharmed a few days ago and am already itching for my next trip.

Which is fortunate, ’cause I was running out of excuses to give my kids about why we don’t fly. “Oh those planes don’t stop in Canada” got old real fast. Ditto for “You’re not quite tall enough to fly just yet”

Dang you, smart kids of mine!

And they really want to test their wings (really corny pun intended ;)

We have vacationed in the exact same spot (that we drive to, happily) for the last 9 years. But now I have resigned myself to letting my kids  (and that groovy Ativan) join me on my next flight. Which will be odd because I spent a long time convincing my kids that the whole wide world really was only made up of 3 different cities, all within driving distance. And also, it will be expensive too, no doubt!

Enter Tracie Wagman, co-owner of Help We’ve Got Kids She makes it her business to know how to get around a city, while creating memories, not debt. She has offered up some great ideas on savvy ways to discover new cities. Take note: You don’t need a family to enjoy these tips, same savings apply for a girls getaway too #JustSayin

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  • Online Discounts 1 of 7
    Online Discounts
    Google for local museums/galleries/children's museums etc. 99% of the time they have a free day or a day when prices are half off. Find out if they have children's discounts or family passes
  • Research First 2 of 7
    Research First
    Check online with sites like frommers.com. They have loads of information about thousands of cities and the site is free. You can find out about museums, currencies, tricks etc
  • Search Tourist Boards 3 of 7
    Search Tourist Boards
    Check a city's local online website. You can find out about public transportation passes (many cities offer discounts for families or discounts for several days at a time). Local city website often offer discounts on museums and galleries and sometimes hotels as well
  • Pre-Pay 4 of 7
    Pre-Pay
    In many cities you can pre buy passes for great attractions and in this way you can save hundreds of dollars and also pre plan your trip to maximize your dollar. If you pre plan your trip you know how much food you need, how you are going to travel (bus, car, etc) and the time each attraction is open so you aren't scrambling at the last minute grabbing a cab or a very expensive snack at the cafe
  • Seek Out Social Media 5 of 7
    Seek Out Social Media
    Use tripadvisor, twitter and fb and ask questions. There are so many people out there with great ideas and ways to help!
  • Sleep Around 6 of 7
    Sleep Around
    Consider staying off site (if you are going to a place like Disney for example). Through Craigslist or dozens of other sites you can rent apartments or condos. This can be much cheaper than hotels and usually have a kitchen which leads me to my next point....
  • Eat Well On Budget 7 of 7
    Eat Well On Budget
    Whether you are staying in a hotel or an apartment, buy and bring a lot of your own food. A mini fridge can fit milk, juice, veggies, fruit etc so you don't have to go out for breakfasts or even go out for snacks. In many instances you can buy enough food to even make your own lunches. It is cheaper and healthier! Then just dinner can be a treat

Have you tried any of these suggestions? Have anything that works for your family? Please let me know!

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