Helping Families Create Adventures
The resources you need to succeed!
Finding Flight Deals
Save, Travel, repeat!
Flights are expensive, especially when you are buying for a family and have to multiply that number by 4 or 5 or even 7!! My favorite thing to do is find the best cheap flights so we can go on more adventures than the average bear.
Finding Accommodation Deals
When booking accommodation with kids it is very important to read the fine print. In some locations, children under 12 stay free or you are allowed to add a cot for a fraction of the cost of upgrading to a larger room.
When booking a room specifically request what bed configuration you want.i.e. two queens vs. one king. If the hotel accepts and then does not deliver you are eligible for a full refund through Booking.com
Finding Adventure Accommodations
For those of you that are eager and excited to mix it up a bit more, these are my resources.
These can be great for kids of all ages, even the adult ones, due to the outdoors available. Each property is very different, so look around until you find something that you like. Also, please, please, please, email the location and ask for something that might make your stay more feasible. Many of the owners are very accommodating and support family travel.
I especially want to stress this if you have a child with any special needs. Properties might have what would make your stay more comfortable, but don't think to add it to their listing.
House Sitting For Families
Travel Insurance + VPN's
Skyscanner is fabulous at flight comparison. You can select travel everywhere to find the cheapest flights from your departure city. You book directly with the carrier, no extra fees or middle man.
Famous for being sued by the airlines due to their amazing travel hack. Sometimes getting to your destination can be cheaper as a layover for a different flight.
**Only works, with NO checked luggage.
Booking.com is our goto for reserving rooms. Features we LOVE are looking at reviews from families, free cancellation on most stays along with not paying until you arrive, and that they refund your money if your reservation is not as advertised. *We have had to use this and saved us $1400 USD.
Airbnb is our goto for anywhere we are staying for more than a few days. I can't stand buying coffee every morning. Most places offer discounts if you stay for a week or a month. We have even contacted the owners to see if they might lower the price. The downside is that you have to pay for everything upfront. *Note the cancellation periods, read the fine print first.
Planning a road trip? Then becoming an IHG Member is totally worth it. You can find almost any IHG member hotel at a random highway exit. You get extra perks and earn points towards your next stay. Some of our favorite properties are Holiday Inn because kids EAT and STAY for FREE!. Some of the fancier properties that we have stayed at are the KIMPTON (super hip and chic) along with the Staybridge Suites that have awesome family rooms with kitchens.
We actively used Hipcamp.com in 2019, and it was a lifesaver for our road trip from Pennsylvania to Wyoming!
We were able to camp directly on our route.
You are staying in unique places with different settings and amenities than average State Parks. You can find glamping, camping, and lodging options. Many spots take dogs too! Woof!
Maybe sleeping on the floor isn't your style, and you prefer to whip up your meals inside. Renting an RV, Fifth Wheels, Travel Trailers couldn't be more straightforward.
You can rent one for your entire road trip or in your destination area and avoid all the unnecessary pulling.
Visiting family, rent an RV for some personal space too!
A common misconception is that hostels aren't for families. If you look close enough, you can find family-friendly hostels for a fraction of what a traditional hotel might cost.
Get a unique vibe, meet a stranger, and teach your kids how to travel via hostels! :)
House sitting is "watching people's houses while they're away in exchange for free accommodation." In 2019 we made it a goal to housesit with kids.
Not only did we get to spend a month in Colorado in a beautiful home, we learned how to care for horses, a donkey, and work a wood stove. AMAZING experience for all of us.
MindMyHouse has the lowest annual fee at only $20 and is an excellent site to get started. Make your profile, check out some house sitting options, and apply for some that look like a good fit.
Don't be discouraged if you see some that say no kids. Tons LOVE having kids in their house. :)
World Nomads is a traditional insurer that we have used on trips to various destinations. Their website is easy to use, and they cover 150 countries. You can even purchase insurance while you are already traveling.
You can purchase specialized sports insurance, depending on your activities.
Allianz has a lot of different insurance plan options varying from multi-trip, single trip, one trip cancellation, and my favorite rental car protection much less than what rental car companies offer.
NordVPN's super fast VPN service offers you cyber protection (not sharing your data) along with allowing you to access the web anywhere in the world without interruption.
We used NordVPN while living in China for a year and were able to communicate with family just fine.