Traveling on a Budget This Holiday Season

Whether you’re driving four hours in the van to your destination or packing up for a long haul flight south of the border, there are secrets to squeezing the most of each dollar you plan to spend.

“Be mindful of everything that is included in your hotel rate as taxes, parking and Wi-Fi may add significant expenses that aren’t always outlined in reservation confirmations,” Katie Dillon said. Dillon is the owner of lajollamom.com and has been flying transpacific for years on end; she is a contributor for Four Seasons Magazine and has many convinced she knows traveling like the back of her hand. Check out these PCS Roadmaps for more savings.

There is no simple formula for finding the best rates when traveling, but there is a simple rule: “The more research you do, the better,” Dillon said. “For the families who would like to make travel a priority, rewards programs over time can cut significant costs.  Also programs like CityPass can offer up to 50% off must-see attractions in major cities like Boston and San Francisco. In San Diego, a program called the Go San Diego Card offers similar discounts. Tourism Board websites typically have information about these types of programs as well as other discounts that can be found across the city.”

In the name of saving you time, and more importantly money, we’ll break down some of Dillon’s tips and tricks to make your upcoming holiday traveling easier.

Snacking on the road

Forget about pulling through drive-thru lanes and stocking up on junk food at the rest areas on the side of the highway. Instead, plan ahead and save big with healthy food and special treats from your local grocery store. “From granola bars to individually-sized packs of carrots, snacking on the go has become easier and less expensive,” Dillon said. “Keep a small cooler in the car for fruits and vegetables.” The average price for a pound of carrots is about a dollar, compare that to ordering food for a family of four at your average fast food restaurant. Not only are you saving a lot of money, you’re also eating healthy food, which can cut down on tummy aches and bathroom breaks. When you pull over to refuel the gas tank, stop for a night at a hotel or get out to stretch your legs, use your smart phone or GPS to search for nearby grocery stores and resupply your coolers and snack bags.

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