I’m nomadic by nature. I’ve moved over 30 times in my 27 years, so it’s really no wonder I’m nomadic by nature. Traveling allows me to get outside my normal Arizona box and really dig into life outside of the desert state. With all this traveling it can become financially cumbersome and a little overwhelming. I’ve created a list of my nine favorite travelling tips from the past 3 ½ years as a travel-holic mama that will help you get a good start on planning your next trip.
1.For The Disney Nerd In Us All
Sarah LOVES Disneyland, but the cost for park hopper tickets and one day park passes has skyrocketed to over 147% in the last two years. This means that for the average family a budget conscious Disney vacation will still end up costing a little over $3,600, including trinkets and lightsabers.
So how can you still live out all your Disney fantasies and spend half as much? Go in October for Disneyland’s Trick or Treat Festival! Tickets start at just $75 per person. What’s great about this type of ticket is you’re given entrance up to 4 whole hours before the event actually starts. This means you can still enjoy a few of your favorite rides, shows, parades, or heck, even some shopping before trick or treating actually starts at 7 PM.
- Stop Paying For A Hotel, Opt For Air BnB
There have been many times where I’ve ended up paying for a hotel at $170 per night when I could have been paying $170 for five nights. Air BnB offers a plethora of stay options both locally and internationally. It’s a really smart way to travel with friends when you need a larger area to stay in, especially so in an area that has an expensive reputation, like Sedona. Full disclosure – Air BnB has become rampant with large variety of accommodations so always make sure you’re comfortable, safe, and the person renting out the place has a great reputation and you’re close to the amenities you’ll frequent.
- Join Travel Clubs on Social Media and Websites
You may not be able to travel with a buddy all the time, even more so a travel buddy that knows what they’re doing abroad, that’s why travel clubs online and on Facebook offer a plethora of experienced travelers and you could make a few friends too that might hook you up with a place to stay and great tips.
- Schedule your trip to last three days longer than normal
This one may seem odd to you, but it’s legit. If you’re planning to travel for a quick weekend trip, skip this one. Okay, so if you’re traveling abroad or even to the other side of the country you’re probably going to be tired, maybe even a little jet-lagged, so by adding at least three days to your trip, you’ll allow yourself time for rest when you get there, and time for rest when you arrive home. You’re probably wondering what the extra day is in there for – it’s there for two things: 1. To pack, or 2. To stay an extra day because you’re not quite ready to go home!
- Travel in The Off-Season
This one is a little more obvious, the off-season is the cheap season, for the “affordable” season. Many places offer off-season lodging for a more affordable rate not to mention the cuisine around where you’re staying will be different – perhaps even seasonal! Seasonal foods are exciting. If you’re a Disneyland tripper it will not be cheap – there is no Disney cheap season (unless you go back to #1), however, by doing the Disney in the off-season it will be way less busy and you can do both parks in less than two days.
- Plan a slow day
If you’re traveling for an extended amount of time it’s vital you have at least one day set aside to sit at cafe or park and take in the atmosphere and sip on a coffee. There’s absolutely nothing more satisfying than people watching – especially if you’re abroad.
- Back up everything
There are tons of companies and coalitions out there creating these year long digital office trips where you go with a bunch of people you don’t know and travel for months and months at a time while you work. It’s an amazing experience that I wish I could take advantage of, but I have my son and would trade nothing for it. However, I recognize the amazingness of it all and have to say jump on the opportunity. Now, being a mom accidents can happen. Being a mom who travels, accidents will happen. Back up everything you have in as many places as possible – dropbox, flash drive, external hard drive, google drive – wherever you can save it, save it. You’ll be so glad you did as you watch your back pack with your laptop slip off the front end of the boat into the Indian Ocean.
- Buy A Badass Camera and Take TONS of Photos
This one I feel is pretty self explanatory. But, for those who don’t understand, I’ll explain. Photos are small windows into moments – not memories – moments. Everywhere you go there are moments happening between people, nature, you and nature, and moments where the Earth touches the sky at 5 am. You’ll want to remember these moments so they can be memories.
- Don’t be Afraid
Life is full of opportunities. When you’re traveling you’ll run into so many more opportunities than you would have at home. Regardless of the opportunity, if it lights a spark, do it.