John and Amy share some tips on how to travel efficiently and more often!
Love to travel but short on time and money? We've got some tips for YOU
Hi guys, this is Amy. this is John and we're with TPF! Trips, Places and FUN! Where we share some practical travel tips and visit some exciting destinations.
Today we'd like to discuss some ways to save time and money when you're traveling. So how to be more cost effective and more efficient when you're taking trips. One of the first things that we always go over when we're deciding to take a trip is who is going to go with us. So we are a big family of seven and it costs a lot of money for our whole family to travel somewhere, so we do something that a lot of people might think is a little crazy. Often, actually most of the time, we will only take certain members of the family on our vacations. Sometimes it's just Amy and me sometimes these are business trips and, for example, recently we took a trip to Florida and it was just us and our youngest daughter Eva. Most places are geared towards families of four, maybe five. If you end up traveling with more than five members as a family you end up paying a lot more money. You then have to rent a suite instead of a hotel room or you have to rent two hotel rooms. It's very difficult to get a rental vehicle for seven people, things like that. So sometimes we'll just divide it up. We'll take our youngest kids or we'll take our oldest kids or we'll take just the girls or just the boys or just the two of us. So that may sound terrible to some of you but you know, of course, there's times when we'll all pile in the van and go, all seven of us, but in order to travel a lot and you travel more cost-effectively sometimes we will take trips with just some of the members of the family. And for us it's more fun, it's more exciting, to go ahead and take several trips like that then it would be just to take one giant trip every three or four years. Yes exactly, so that's something to consider if you have a big family.
So one of the places that I usually start is an online travel site. Orbitz is kind of my web site of choice. I found they have great customer service. There was a time when we were on our way to Disney World in our minivan, and it broke down and we weren't able to make our hotel room that night and they actually refunded us to get a new hotel in the place where we were broken down. So there have been other travel sites that we had similar issues and they would not refund, but Orbitz was great that way so I love to give them our business. So I'll start there. I'll even look at places like eBay, VRBO, which stands for vacation rental by owner, Airbnb, all those places. So start there. You can usually get some awesome deals. So I usually use Orbitz for rental cars, I'll use it for hotel rooms, sometimes flights, but lately we've found that you can get great deals on the actual airline site like a Allegiant or Frontier. Some of those budget airlines you won't be able to find on Travelocity or Orbitz or those, but if you go directly for those sites you can get some amazing deals.
So probably my favorite travel strategy by far is TSA PreCheck. So I fly a lot, we fly often together, it is worth every ounce of money and every ounce of time that it takes. You actually register, it's worth it, it's absolutely worth it so you don't have to wait in the long lines, you don't have to take off your coat, don't have to take off your shoes, don't have to take out your laptop, don't have to take out your toiletries, you just cruise right through security. Then it'll save you some of that crazy that we all experience at the airport. Yes, as you go through security it saves you a lot of time and a lot of hassle and I think the whole process costs us around $80 or something for you to get. It’ll last five years and for us we had to go to Springfield, Missouri and there was one specific place, and you go in and it took me maybe an hour and I was done. So definitely worth the time and money to do that if you travel a lot.
Now, I want to encourage you, you know, oftentimes when we think of going on vacation, it's a big gigantic ordeal or planning a long time in advance and, that's great for certain trips. Of course, we love to do that. In fact, that's a lot of fun as you're planning your trip, you're planning your fast passes at Disney and you're doing it way in advance and you're making your dinner reservations, but another way to go about this so you can add some travel in between the big trips is to take short trips, just quick trips. Get everybody in the van or in the car and cruise a couple hours away. There's some place close to you and do it on the cheap. Go camping if you want to do that or just hang out at the lake if there's a lake there, go hiking or just what can you do there just to get away from the crazy hustle bustle of life and just enjoy an overnight stay with the family, just to get away. So you can do that, there's a lot of free things, a lot of cheap things, that you can do pretty much anywhere that you travel. In fact, I'd encourage you to check out our, I'll put a card right up here, “Disney World free and cheap strategies.” There's a way that you can enjoy Disney magic for free or cheap. When we took our trip to Orlando recently we actually got to experience a lot of the Disney magic for not much money at all, so definitely check out that video.
So one thing that we do to cut down on our costs is we share a suitcase. So with some of the budget airlines now, Allegiant and Frontier and a lot of those, you are paying for your carry-ons. That used to not be that way but that's how it is nowadays. So in order to cut back on the cost we share a suitcase, and we don't like to check our bags, that's another tip that we didn't consider. Don't check your bags. Carry on. Yes we like to carry on, that does save time and it can also save the hassle if you ever, you know, lose a bag. You know, what a pain that is, but anyway we like to carry on one bag and we share our bag. So anyway, we wanted to share some tips on how to do that. Often, if we know we're gonna be gone a week or two or three weeks we will make sure that the hotel that we get or the resort that we stay at does have a place for us to wash our clothes. So we'll check into that sometimes. Also we have a few kind of bag tips to share with you. John is going to talk to you about how to use packing cubes. I love packing cubes. These are containers that you can buy at Amazon. They're very inexpensive and they're zippered, the ones that I have you open this bag and you roll your clothes very, very tightly. So you're gonna roll your shirts you're gonna roll your pants very tightly you're gonna stuff them into the bag you're gonna zip it up and so all your shirts go into one bag all of your pants go another bag. You know, everything has its own bag, and then you put these bags into your suitcase and boy does it save a lot of space. In addition to your carry-on most airlines are going to allow you to bring a free personal item. A lot of times that'll be a laptop bag. That's usually what John carries on. I usually bring a backpack. So this is my backpack. Inside of my backpack I usually put a small, my small purse. So this is my Vera Bradley hipster. But this is what I put inside my backpack. That doesn't take up very much space, so that I leave the rest of my backpack for souvenirs or my toiletries or whatever I need to stick in there, but this hipster is great for, I can carry this on a lot of the slower Disney rides or things like that just because it stays nice and secure. Or I have a fanny pack which John always makes fun of me for that. I don't ever make fun, sometimes or all the time. The fanny pack I have, it's actually a really cute one and I get compliments on this thing everywhere I go. This will also fit nicely in that backpack and this is something I can actually take on a lot of rides. Now people want to know where you got that. I just got this on Amazon. I will tell you the name. Lackhays. Spell it. LACKHAYS. So and Lackies? I don't know how to pronounce it but this one is super cute. Seriously every time I wear it out I, just so many people ask me about it, after you, where I got it and then she looks at me and then I just roll my eyes. And I'm like, see there are cool fanny packs.
So, something that we tried fairly recently for the first time was using Uber and Lyft when we went to Orlando. Now that only works if you don't plan on traveling long distances. So for example, the Sanford Airport in Orlando, we’ll fly into there sometimes. That's quite a distance and it gets expensive if you're going to take an Uber from there all the way into Orlando or all the way to Disney World, but the main Orlando Airport, use Uber, use Lyft and boy it's actually a lot of fun. I thought, you just punch it into the app, within a matter a minute or five minutes there, they are, they're there to pick you up and take you where you want to go. And you meet a lot of cool people and very, very cost-effective. You're going to save the parking at the Disney resorts, I don't know if y'all know, but the Disney resorts are charging you to park now, so you'll save that parking or if you are not staying in a resort but you're driving into the theme park it will save you the parking at the theme park. So actually Uber can actually save you a lot more money over a rental car if you consider some of those things, but again you have to figure out how close you're going to be staying, you know, to the airport, to the theme parks and see whether it'll make sense for you, but it's also extremely convenient because when you're done with a theme park for the day all you do is you get your Uber and they pick you up right there at the gate. No, no taking a tram out to the parking lot and all that, so that can be extremely convenient – as well as cost-effective. Definitely and be sure to tip your driver very well. Yes.
One other little tip that we have, especially for at the theme parks at Disney or whatever, we will only eat two meals a day. Really you don't need more. They feed you so much food. Usually, you know, we'll keep snacks and stuff on us, but will usually eat a late breakfast or an early lunch and then, you know, a later dinner. So that's really all you need is those two meals a day and some snacks. That'll save you versus doing all three meals a day. Now I remember there was a time when I was a little, little kid and my mom, we all were flying to Orlando to go to Disney, and my mom packed an entire suitcase full of canned goods, a huge heavy suitcase which would not save you money. These days, since you're paying to check your bags and stuff like that there's a better way, and by the way, just a little bit of a side note, don't worry too much about forgetting things when you travel. You can buy almost anything that you might forget when you're there. Those times I've had to buy socks or I ruined a shirt and I needed a shirt and I would buy a shirt or toiletries or whatever. And so don't stress out about packing too much. You can always get something.
And one last tip is always check if it's cheaper to buy your tickets online. Usually, you know, the theme parks or different attractions you might want to go to are going to have a discounted online price. Also always do a quick Google search to see if there's a discount available. You'd be surprised. A lot of times I'm about to check out and I'm like, oh let me just see if there's a discount available and I'll save an easy twenty percent or, you know, buy an adult's I can get a child's free or something like that that I never would have known about had I not searched. Or you can give the place a call and just ask them if they have a discount, a valid discount at that time, and a lot of times they'll just give it to you. And definitely make sure that wherever you're going and whatever attraction you want to visit, make sure that is going to be open when you get there. Don't presume it will be. It may not be, for example we're going to Orlando soon and I was all about going back to the swimming with the dolphins, Discovery Cove, and I, we wanted to go. We've been before and it's closed. It's closed when we're going so that's something we had to, of course, take into consideration. Yes, it's a good thing we didn't pre-buy our tickets for that because we wouldn't have been able to go. So right.
So we hope that we've given you some things to think about and some ways to save time and money while you travel. And it would mean a lot to us if you would give us a thumbs up and subscribe and that really does help the development of this channel. So it does mean a lot to Amy and me, and then ring the bell and that will ensure that you are notified every time that we upload a new video which is happening several times a week. Yep. safe travels everyone!