This post is sponsored by Extended Stay America where you can feel at home even on vacation.
Our family doesn’t spend top dollar on anything.
I’m obsessed with getting the most bang for my buck, which is why I love couponing.
Family vacations can be crazy expensive, and honestly, some years we just go camping.
But the years we intend to spend for the memories, we use Extended Stay America and totally avoid overpriced hotels and spending too much eating out.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Use the fully equipped kitchen in your hotel room to cook.
And by “fully equipped,” I mean a full-size refrigerator, microwave, and stovetop. Some locations also have ovens and dishwashers.
Don’t bother bringing anything along because dishes, utensils, pots, other kitchen essentials are available for free upon request.
You’re saving a ton of money simply by avoiding eating out on vacation! Don’t want to cook? Bring a bunch of freezer meals or quick frozen foods.
2. Don’t pay for a kennel! Bring your dog.
Okay, so we didn’t do this when we went to Disney World.
But Extended Stay America offers pet-friendly rooms, and we absolutely do it when we know we’ll be at the beach most of the day.
Depending on what kind of family vacation you have in mind, this is a great way to save money and also include your pet.
3. Eat a quick (and free!) grab-and-go breakfast.
The only time we don’t use the kitchen in our room is for breakfast.
We don’t want to mess with the dishes since we’re usually all chomping at the bit to head out for the day to play!
Extended Stay America offers us coffee, oatmeal, granola bars, muffins, etc. as we fly out the door.
4. Take advantage of Extended Perks in order to save up to $2,500 annually.
Instead of earning points by spending more money, Extended Perks gives you access to even more discounts and savings from leading national brands.
We use our Extended Perks discount when we book car rentals through companies like Avis.
You can even save money on tickets to Universal Studios. No points needed!
5. Use the on-site laundry facility to avoid doing laundry at home.
I can’t emphasize this enough.
It’ll cost you some pocket change, but if you want to avoid that "I need a vacation to recover from my vacation" feeling, this is one way to do it.
Extended Stay America has on-site laundry facilities, and you should spend an afternoon doing your vacation laundry at the end of a trip.
Yes, it sounds crazy to do laundry ON vacation.
But trust me, when you get home and you don’t have a single load to do, you’ll thank me.
(I don’t usually do laundry more than once, but if you want to pack light and do laundry a few times, that’s a winning idea too.)
6. Plan on Extended Stay America being wherever you’re going.
There are over 600 locations, so really anywhere we’d be vacationing, there’s an Extended Stay America.
Taking the family to LEGOLAND? How about an educational trip for older kids to Boston?
7. Let your kids relax with screen time from a busy day out.
Everyone has opinions on kids and TV, but I can tell when our kids are just DONE and need to veg. Extended Stay America has free in-room wi-fi and cable channels.
If those don’t excite you, consider bringing your television stick (Amazon Firestick, ROKU, etc.) to use in your room.
8. Stay longer than a week and get a housekeeper.
For longer vacations, Extended Stay America offers free weekly housekeeping. You just have to stay at least 7 days.
9. Book a night, a week or more and stay on-budget.
You can totally stay just one night. But you can also stay longer for an affordable price.
When my family travels, sometimes we are tourists and sometimes we are bums.
Meaning, you might like to do a theme park one year. But if you have the flexibility with your job, another year you might rather play at the beach in San Diego for a month.
With Extended Stay America, it could be about the same price.
10. Book now and save even more on your family vacation.
We know you love a deal, so we negotiated one for you.
Right now KCL readers get a 20% discount when you stay 1-29 nights at any Extended Stay America hotel. But you must book by 2/6 and plan to travel anytime between now and 5/31/17. Just use promo code: MA7KC.