Going on a vacation is usually pretty exciting stuff. You’ve spent endless hours pouring over websites and looking through photo galleries, to plan the perfect getaway. You know exactly where you want to go, and have set aside the funds to get there… ideally. Oftentimes, however, when you are parenting children and navigating through this thing called the middle class, like so many of us are, this isn’t exactly the way things take place. We’ve had to figure out the best way to conquer family vacations on a budget, many times.
What’s a parent to do?
Budget. Deal grab. Compromise. And hit the road!
Every vacation doesn’t need to be a luxury one, especially when you have young kids. In fact, some of the best vacations ever are the road trips where you turn down the stress, and amp up the fun.
I’ll give you some insider tips on how to explore St. Louis, and make the best of your time!
Plan Activities Ahead
When you think of activities, you usually think of spending money. This doesn’t always have to be the case. We visited a ton of activities while we were in St. Louis, and managed to not spend much at all. Don’t be afraid to call ahead and check for specials (or look online for deals) and don’t write off free events! The St. Louis Zoo actually has free entry, and parking and walking to look at the arch doesn’t cost a thing!
A few other ideas are Six Flags St.Louis, Magic House, Forest Park, and City Garden.
If you need inspiration, check out “25 Things To Do In St. Louis” for ideas.
Plan For Food
Taking a cooler on a road trip is always a good idea. I packed sandwiches, chips, and lots of snacks before we left, so we weren’t stopping to pay expensive gas station and fast food prices along the way. It’s also a great idea to find a hotel that has a fridge and microwave accessible to you if possible. Young children often find it difficult to focus on their meal and meal time, especially in a new environment. Simply store it away and reheat for them later when you get back to the hotel if you must.
Remember The Reason
We can oftentimes get soo caught up in having the perfect vacation, or taking the perfect pictures, that we forget to really enjoy ourselves. Don’t let ever smile on your child’s face, or ever sightseeing event be experienced from behind a camera lens. If you have a spouse or traveling buddy, trade off taking pictures and recording events so you both get a chance to jump in on the action.
Most importantly…. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for more post about our trip, and tips on planning family vacations on a budget right here on Traveling Tuesdays!