Traveling has always been part of my family culture.
Money was tight growing up but we always made it a priority because we were in Washington and visiting family required us to come to Utah. My family would roadtrip across the country multiple times a year, even without dad, and traveling has just always been part of my childhood, so that’s why it’s so important to me now & why I think you should make traveling a part of your family culture.
Because traveling is a priority of mine, I realized that if I wanted to travel as often as I liked, I needed to make it work without my husband.
Luke loves to travel too, but he prefers to take work off for the big vacations rather than the routine visits to Washington. It was anxious at first and maybe a little scary, I would even recruit friends to travel with me so I wasn’t as lonely, but after doing it for quite a few years, I actually fell in love with traveling alone! When it’s just me and my kids, I get into a groove and I can just travel the way I want to. Its now harder for me to travel with other people.
This topic may not relate to moms and business all that much, but it’s actually something I get asked about most. How to afford trips, how to travel with kids and how to work around the kids’ school. I have found that traveling is my reset, my way to get out of a rut and push through the burn out that I get from work, so I make it a priority. Traveling may not be as valuable to you, but this episode will still include helpful travel tips and hopefully help you understand the value of getting out of the house for a little adventure every once in a while.
How to afford trips
One thing that is a BIG saver for us is points. I travel a lot for work, my husband travels a lot for work, so when we fly, we get a lot of flight points. We use the Delta card when we book our trips because when you book with Delta, you get more points. We use our Delta card for big purchases because those big purchases turn into points that you can use for travel! So if you’re making big purchases and not using the card, you’re missing out on opportunities. But be careful with a credit card, treat it like a debit. Whenever I use our Delta card, I’m passively getting points that basically allow me to travel at no extra expense. I use the Delta card when I’m grocery shopping, buying gas and all the other expenses. I’m flying for four different trips this fall and it’s all from Delta card points.
We also use websites like Priceline or Expedia to make sure we’re getting the best deals. I know it’s easy to just get on Google and book the hotel with the most stars, but if you get into the habit of booking through travel websites, you’ll save a pretty penny. And then when I’m traveling with other people, I like to use Airbnbs because they do end up saving more money in the long run. You can split the cost between other people and that’s less money coming out of your pocket. You also have more space to spread out with strangers, have the luxury of making your own meals and the best part of all, everyone gets more showers. You get more with an Airbnb than a nightly-rate at a hotel.
Another thing that saves more money is making meals when you can. When I go with my kids, I always try to make breakfast and lunch and have snacks throughout the day because buying all those meals instead adds up! I always try to get an Airbnb or a hotel with a kitchenette so we can make our own meals. I do just quick meals, mac and cheese, lunch meat and cheese, the little yogurts. It may be a little more work but it just saves a little more cash.
Driving vs. Flying
Last thing that helps me save money, always compare driving vs. flying. Right now it is extremely cheap to fly so it’s kind of nice to fly, but when you’re flying a whole family, it starts to add up. So this last trip to Washington, even though it was pretty cheap to fly, I knew it would be less to drive. I also know that masks and flights are pretty tricky right now and I just did not want to risk that with my kids. I was not going to do that by myself. So if it’s close enough for you to drive, weigh that cost and see if it might save you money rather than flying.
How to plan trips around school?
A lot of our trips are during the school breaks to utilize the kids’ free schedule. We try to do a trip during the summer, spring break and the holiday break. But this year we’re doing something different and going to Disneyland during school because I do not want to be there over a break with the rest of Utah, Arizona and California. I’d rather take the kids out of school for two days to skip the crowd because I know they can make up the work. It can be stressful thinking of missing so much school, but I try to remember that the kids are in elementary school, not high school, so it’s not a big deal if they miss a few days. My grandpa would always say, don’t let your education get in the way of your learning.
Now on the flip side, traveling without your kids is definitely something I would recommend. Luke and I have been doing it for five years and It’s so good for your relationship. It’s just so good to not have to worry about the kids and get some one-on-one time with your spouse. But we don’t have family here that can just watch our kids when we are gone so we have to actually budget another $500-$700 for childcare while we’re traveling with just us two. So it adds up but if I can plan for it in advance, it’s all part of the budget. It’s one of the most expensive parts of traveling but it gives me peace of mind and gives the kids consistency. Traveling is important enough to us that we make that work! If you’re excuse is you don’t have childcare, don’t let that hold you back because these one-on-one trips are important
So those are my biggest travel tips. I would add that we do have a travel budget that I add into every month, so we’re ready to go if we see a good opportunity come up and we’re just feeling burnt out. I put quite a bit into the travel budget because travel is really important to me. For me, going on vacation is a HUGE reset for me and something that I really need to keep me going. During COVID I hardly traveled at all and when things loosened up a bit, we took a quick family trip to Vegas and I was totally rejuvenated. It just really helps with the burn out! So I try to schedule some sort of adventure with my girls or my family once a month.
I definitely prioritize these things because it’s what brings me out of a rut and makes it worth it to work. It just helps me to live in that abundance and live a fulfilled life. If it’s important to you, I would definitely recommend prioritizing traveling because of all the benefits. It doesn’t have to be something big, it can just be one night at a local hotel. You don’t need five days or seven days. Just a time away from the house to give you a reset.