Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Frugal travel

Something I've learned from Dave Ramsey-the best part of a vacation is paying for it in cash (or debit). Either way-not having credit card bills looming in the future. Since changing our way of living, I have seen a definite upside. No bills. The stress of traveling with children is nothing compared to what it used to feel like paying for something with a credit card and worrying if we were going to have the funds to pay it in full by the next month's paycheck. This may seem like common sense to some-but when you see your parents pay for things on credit-and don't have a clue about how things get paid-then you understand how huge of a milestone this is for our family.

We've streamlined how we travel with children. We pack a couple of coolers with drinks and sandwiches. We bring breakfast food and snacks. Dinner we figure we'll eat out, but always keep our coupon binder handy, and look for local places. The internet is a useful tool-from finding a 3 1/2 star hotel (Holiday Inn Suites) on Priceline for the same cost as Motel 6, to finding local attractions that are off the beaten path.

This most recent trip was no exception. I wasn't panicky about the 4.17/gallon for gas (and spending $70 per fill up, that's saying a lot!) I wasn't worried about how much we would spend on eating out. I will admit that finding out our hotel room had a full kitchen upon arrival made planning for dinner a little easier. My main focus-on having the best possible time with my family. We had an amazing getaway as a family. We ate well, the kids had fun-and Robert and I had some alone time once all four children were asleep. We relaxed, and made memories that will last. With all the heartache in the world, it was nice to have some respite from it all. No worries, and no credit card bills that followed us home.

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