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Traveling to Chicago with the Husband and Kids

Traveling with a family sometimes can be costly and frustrating, But if you plan correctly, you can not only have a budget but have a great time on your vacation with out worrying so much about spending the big bucks. I'm going to share some of my husband and I, tips and tricks for traveling with kids.

My husband and I love taking our kids on road trips, but we all know when you have four kids that trip can get costly pretty quick. Hotel, Food, Parking, Tolls, Activities. Here are a few ways to save a nice coin and not go broke.

Family Destination

My place of choice to have a good time with the family is Chicago. Why? First of all its a hop skip and a jump from home, and in about 4 hours drive. Second, the food is always so delicious😋

( I would go there just for the food and leave, LOL) . Third, we always find something cool going on in that city. They’re always seem to be something pretty cool going on while we are there.

We try to plan a few months before we go with the whole family. Searching for the cheapest hotels that are no shorter than four stars, even an Air B&B will do. We try to find places that are a close drive, between 4 and 8 hours drive isn’t really bad and it saves on flight tickets and the hassle of airports. We save airports for our big trips.

The Hotel Shuffle

When looking for a hotel, we look for something that can fit us all, two beds and room for an air bed. We tend to find hotels that are in the suburbs, maybe 30 mins from the city. These hotels seem to be the most cost-efficient, and a little drive isn’t going to hurt, especially if you're not a fan of city traffic and city parking.

The Westin Chicago Lombard is one of our favorite hotels in the suburbs, such a lovely hotel right across from a small mall. Free Parking with food close by and other shopping plazas are near the hotel. You can find Hotels cheaply in the downtown area, but you have to be on the watch and jump for those deals. has the best deals. To make sure you’re getting the best hotel for your buck on those blind deals, also make sure you use a map to narrow down where that hotel is and what is around it.

My favorite hotel downtown is Hotel Julian, Located 168 North Michigan Avenue, right across the street from Millennium Park, good discounts, and it’s in the middle of everything. The room we were in had just enough room for us, but it was a bit of a squeeze for my two little ones, we made it work. I will drop a few pictures down below for you to see.

Food Galore

Good Food. Well, let's say being at Hotel Julian there is no shortage at all. Our favorite foods are within walking distance. We always need pizza. OH Yeah! Deep dish! Gino East and Giordanos Pizza are so darn good. Nothing like a hot deep dish.

So a little info about a deep dish if you never had one. Its a 45 to 60 minute wait on these pizzas so, if you get hangry your best bet is to order an appetizer. (Pick the hot-wings from Gino East).

A Breakfast favorite is Wildberries, its not expensive, but can be a 2-hour wait, so be aware it’s pretty popular.

Pack food sometimes, make sure we budget for the foods we love to eat and goodies we want to buy. No spending unnecessarily, with a splash of splurge.

We are not eating out every meal, that’s why I tend to like the Air B&B because we can shop for food and plan out our meals on what days and include the restaurants we like.

Tip, take a look at the menus before you go and add those prices up, so you won't be surprised when that bill hits your table.

Keyword: Budget

We always drive when we go to Chicago, 4 hours is not a bad deal from our hometown, and it’s a bit cheaper. We invested in an EZ pass for tolls that saves time, and money.

When Downtown finding parking can be a bit difficult, Park Whiz helps you find parking at a discounted price for the days you need. Some places have in and out access. Most don’t, so be aware. Walking and Lyft will be your friend, so plan ahead, **walking shoes for everyone👟.

The activities are fantastic. If you're into sites like Millennium park, which always have something going on and for the most part it's free. When they have paid events, the prices aren’t bad. A few years ago, we got to participate in the world gelato festival, that was a very cool experience , and costed nothing be apart of the fun, we just paid the cost of gelato.

We love museums and attractions, but they are very pricey separately. I suggest a City Pass. A City pass can give you a 50% discount on the top 4 or 5 attractions. City pass prices for all of us are $572. If you only want to see a few attractions, check out Groupon to see when and if they offer discounted tickets, also check out One place we haven’t gone to yet is the Shedd Aquarium, that will be our next place to experience.

Chicago is a great city, its a fresh and fun place to be with your family ,and can be done on a budget . Do your research and stick to that budget.

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