Over on my travel blog http://www.thriftymommagogo.blogspot.com/ I have posted a review of the great family resort we recently had the chance to stay at. But what I wanted to say here today was a little along the lines of sometimes a tiny splurge or a family vacation can be a great investment. These days, in light of our recent break from Canada and the stresses of Canadian winter/ Mommy taxi/ regular routine of running the kids back and forth to doctors, therapists, schools and extracurriculars, I am refreshed and to me that’s worth all the money in the world. Not only that but my family is slightly rejuvenated. Sun and sand and abundant good food will do that. A week away from this crazy busy treadmill we live on gave me the chance to see my children again in a new light. I watched my fiver hit run a home run on the beach in Cancun and I overheard a tween boy say to another,” Holy smokes that little girl can hit!” I swam in the Atlantic ocean and we got knocked over by waves and I got the joy of hearing my older daughter speaking fluent French with the Quebecois tourist children at the resort. And I remembered that my husband is a really great father and, I think he recalled how to laugh. We are not independently wealthy people and we spent a lot of years grounded with our children, especially the youngest whose diagnoses Sensory Processing Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder gave us reason to be concerned that she wouldn’t handle travel well. So I think we deserve this occasional break from reality and I know we give our children a great gift when we let them discover new worlds with us.
For those who want to know how to travel cheaply these are my tips:
1. Shop around on line first and compare. itravel is an excellent site with a calendar that tells you when the cheapest days to travel are. If you are nervous about booking on line take the info to a travel agent in person and have her verify.
2. Prepare as much as possible. Drive yourselves to the airport if able, Robert Q and airport shuttles can be costly.
3. Dollar store. My flight bag is full of tricks for travelling with kids, mostly bought at the dollar store.
4. I like to stash small packets of dry cereal in my bags for when we are hungry and not near food.
5. Don’t buy all the souvenirs you find. The trip is enough and so are the pictures. I try to limit my kids to one small souvenir to bring home. Who needs more T-shirts and sombreros?
6. If or when you book your trip make sure you purchase it with Aeroplan or on Sears Travel or whatever other card that gets you rewards. Then pay off immediately with cash. This got me an instant $60 from Sears which I might use on our next flight. Also I have a further 6000 points or more to redeem later. I’m all about the points.