1. Go camping! If you don't own a tent, borrow one. It is much cheaper than paying for a hotel and it fosters "family time".
2. When traveling long distances book your airline reservations early and look at some discount sites such as Expedia and Priceline or join a larger airlines email list and get private offers on low-cost airfare.
3. Invite another family to share the expense - it cuts everything in half and gives your children other kids to play with.
4. Travel during the week when there isn't such a demand - if you are driving it cuts down on traffic (travel off-hours, not rush hour) and if you are flying it avoids the business demand.
5. Search blogs for reviews, giveaways, and coupon codes for different vacation destinations. I've actually won mini-vacations from entering small contests and/or giveaways.
6. If you do reviews don't be afraid to ask for a complimentary stay in exchange for your review.
7. When traveling with small children via car be sure to pack baby wipes, snack foods, water, small games, and books. This will keep them busy and cut down on the time it takes to stop to wash up because of spill (baby wipes) or get a drink or snack.
8. Plan a week of day trips. If traveling it out of the question set up a schedule to explore something close by each day of the week. Let the kids each choose their #1 thing to do - swimming, bike trails, local park, etc. Make it a fun, family event and add something special such as a picnic lunch.
9. If you are staying in a hotel, try to secure a room with a small refrigerator. Buy lunch meats, milk, cereal, bread and save a fortune in eating out. The extra cost of the room upgrade is often much less than the cost of eating out.
10. Go visit relatives (if you dare).
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Toyota Sienna and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”