Stretching Your Dollar: Travel Savings for Families

Charlotte (WBTV) October first doesn't just mark a new month, it marks the ticking clock to travel deals for Thanksgiving.  I asked local mother and travel blogger, Tricia Oakes for her best advice for families planning a trip for the holidays.

Oakes is a stay at home mom who always wanted to be a travel writer. That dream comes true every time she sits down to write on her blog Southern Spark, Family Flavor and Wanderlust.  As the mother of two Tricia shares great ways families can travel and stay on budget!  When it comes to holiday travel Tricia recommends you book early, like right NOW! "I think we start losing options and therefore you're potentially spending more money. The longer I wait to book what I need, the fewer choices I'm going to have because everyone else is starting to realize the holidays are coming, where are we going, to go who are we going to see," Oakes told me.

Tricia and her husband John have two boys, and if you're traveling with kids, early applies here too!! Fly early in the day when airports are less congested.  "In case there is a delay, you don't get bumped later from a later flight. Children are usually fresher in the morning and you aren't dealing with missing nap times or things like that, so definitely travel in the morning if you can," she always recommends.

Remember travel agents? We get so used to Internet web sites to search for deals, but Tricia says pick up the phone and give an agent a call. "When we went to Disney world last year we used a Disney travel agent. She ended up being able to get us some discount on the Disney food plan which is very expensive.   It was really great to save that little bit of money by booking through her," she explains.

Tricia has turned travel into a science even posting on her blog, Southern Spark, a series of printable packing lists.  This way you don't arrive at your destination, only to blow money on items you have sitting on the shelf at home.  "I don't like getting places and not having what I need and I don't want to go shopping I want to stay and be done," as most of us do.

Tricia has all kinds of suggestions for local places to visit on day trips close to the Charlotte area.  She even has contests on her blog, right now there is one going on for Disney on Ice tickets. 

Check out her reviews as well, she's got great ideas on restaurants if you're traveling in several major southern cities.  Being a travel writer was her dream, and now we're all benefiting from that dream come true!