This year will be full of new experiences for our family when it comes to travel. We always do the usual trip or two to my in-laws in Ohio, but this year we decided to make some experiences that Sonny Boy will remember for a long time. Also, he’ll be spending half the summer at home with me(camp won’t start until mid-July) so we all will need some real breaks.
First and foremost, we will be taking advantage of any discounts and free experiences in our area. Because Hubby works for the transit authority here, and we are only a half hour train ride from NYC, we’ll be taking FREE train rides into the city almost every weekend. I’m excited to share the city I grew up loving with my children and even my mid-western husband this year. We live so close but have yet to experience how awesome the city can be. Hubby and Sonny have already requested a trip to Central Park Zoo and seeing the Statue of Liberty. I’ll be keeping a look out on Groupon and Living Social for great coupon deals to use in the city to help us plan an even cheaper outing.
We’ll be having 2 big vacations this year. The first one will be a trip to Baltimore to see the National aquarium in Baltimore. My parents took me and my sister when I was a teenager, and even though I’ve been to some awesome places so far in life, that aquarium is something I still think about at least a few times a month. Baltimore is also the home of my favorite food on earth: Crab. I can smell the old bay now. I’ve gotten Sonny Boy addicted to crab as well as aquariums so this will be a great bonding experience for the both of us. I’ve already found coupons for the tickets to the aquarium, some of the best restaurants in the area, and we’ll even use some points I have saved up with the priority rewards program for Holiday Inn and get 2 nights free. If you want to book a hotel, always remember to see if you’ve ever signed up for that hotel chain’s rewards card. Also, make sure to make your reservations through sites like Ebates and Shop at Home. They pay you to shop, so you’ll get some of that money you spend on that hotel right back into your pocket.
I’ll second vacation will be a bit of a double-duty experience. I’ve decided to finally go to my first blog conference, which is conveniently called the Bloggy Conference. The main reason I decided to go to this one is that it’s located right in Ohio, only an hour and a half from my Mother-in-law’s home. So, Hubby and I will be going to the conference and the kids get to spend 3 days with Grandma! She is so excited, Sonny boy is super excited, and Mom and Dad are the most excited of all. Although the conference is only 2 and a half days, we’ll be spending time in Hubby’s hometown, as well as a few days at my Mother-in-law’s place. It’s also right in between the kids’ two birthdays, so I’m hoping to do something special for the both of them with my in-laws. So, I’ll get to learn more about blogging, Hubby will get some time to himself and some time with just his wife, and then we all get to spend lots of time with our family. We’re going to save money by staying with my Mother-in-law the first couple of days and staying at our favorite discounted hotel during the last part of the trip. Unfortunately, we’ll have to pay the high price at the hotel where the conference will be held, but if we keep everything else low, that won’t bust the budget too much.
Another interesting thing we’ll be doing for our last trip is shipping items we’ll need so we don’t have to travel with them. Duchess will need diapers and wipes, so I’ve been saving up some amazon gift codes and will order and ship those items straight to Ohio. We’ll also only pack enough clothing for about 3 days and then wash everything to wear again the rest of the week. My goal is to keep the car as empty as possible for gas reasons, and because I suspect there will be lots of birthday gifts we’ll have to bring back.
So, that’s what we have planned for our vacations this summer. What are you all planning to do? Did you find an inexpensive way to make those experiences happen?