Defining Family Values and Planning Budget-Friendly Vacations For Large Families With Kevin Payne – Episode 159

Planning budget-friendly vacations for large families with Kevin Payne from Family Money Adventure
Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Big family travel planning tips – discover how to make affordable vacations a reality for your large family. Wondering how you can plan affordable vacations for large families? Kevin Payne from Family Money Adventure is here to help you make money moves that feel right for your family and live adventurous lives. Not only does he share his best tips and advice for making travel a financial priority for big families, but he also suggests fun ways to involve children in the travel planning process. Based near Cleveland, Kevin also shouts out some of his favorite things to do in the Cleveland metro area and throughout Ohio.

Continue reading or listen to the podcast episode here!

This episode is for you if you want insights on managing family finances and planning travel for large families, including budgeting tips and travel-hacking strategies.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Pandora | YouTube | Any player

In this episode, we cover:

  • [2:31-4:07] Deciding to prioritize travel as a family value
  • [5:19-7:54] Family financial management and budgeting tips
  • [9:26-10:51] Importance of conversations in financial planning
  • [11:11-12:02] Identifying and prioritizing family values in financial planning
  • [19:23-21:42] Strategies for affording travel with a large family
  • [26:07-27:41] Involving children in travel planning and decision-making
  • [29:36-32:47] Recommendations for local attractions in Ohio, including Cleveland and Columbus

Big Family Travel: Prioritizing Travel As A Family Value

Kevin Payne lives with his wife and four teenagers in Cleveland, Ohio. Travel has been an important part of Kevin’s life since childhood. Despite having a large family, Kevin and his wife have consciously decided to prioritize travel. They understand the importance of shared experiences and believe that travel has a positive impact on their family.

Travel became one of their main family values, reflecting their desire to create lasting memories and explore new destinations together. By incorporating travel into their family budget, they ensured they could continue to afford and enjoy their adventures without sacrificing financial stability.

Prioritizing travel as a family value is more than visiting new places. It’s about fostering connections, creating memories together, and instilling a sense of adventure and curiosity in children.

Defining your family values: A how-to guide

Family values are important, valuable, and energizing.

Kevin mentions that travel is important for his family, along with being entertained and supporting his kids’ activities like youth sports. What are your family values?

Family values play a crucial role in driving financial decisions within a household. By aligning your budget with these values, align and prioritize spending on things that truly matter.

Having honest conversations about money and values within a family or partnership can help you make informed financial choices that support your goals, aspirations, and overall well-being. Being attentive and respectful during these conversations helps build trust, foster empathy, and strengthen your relationship, ultimately leading to more effective financial decision-making and planning.

Kevin shares that creating a value-based money plan involves identifying what matters most to your family and planning your budget around those priorities and aspirations. This can involve setting aside money for specific goals, such as saving for travel expenses, funding children’s activities, or enjoying experiences that bring joy and fulfillment.

Setting aside money each month for travel in a travel fund alleviates the pressure of financing these activities on short notice and ensures you have the funds available when needed.

Learn how to build travel savings in a travel fund by listening to this episode.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pandora | Amazon Music

Conversations are key for families

Having open and honest communication within a family is key to achieving financial stability and harmony. Respectful conversations facilitate collaboration, shared responsibility, and alignment within a family or partnership as you work together toward pursuing your dreams of building a secure future for your loved ones.

Have conversations about budgeting, spending, and setting financial goals with your spouse or partner. While budgeting often seems daunting, having a plan for your money is important. For example, by having open conversations about budgeting, families can work together to set financial goals, prioritize spending, and save for the future.

By regularly discussing and reviewing where your money is going, identify areas where you may be overspending or not aligned with their values. This awareness can help families make more mindful money decisions and reallocate resources towards priorities, like saving for emergencies, retirement, education, or travel.

Remember, these conversations do not have to be formal.

Kevin Payne: “We’ve gotten a lot more out of conversations than planning the time and having a specific topic. A lot of times it’s just conversations on the way to our son’s basketball game.”

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

How To Plan a Family Vacation

Planning a family vacation can be an exciting yet daunting task, especially when considering the logistics of traveling with a large family. With a family of six, including four teenagers, Kevin emphasizes the importance of setting a travel budget, involving the entire family in planning, and prioritizing experiences that align with family values. Here are some key travel planning tips for large families.

1. Involving the kids in vacation planning

Offer children the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. Letting the kids help pick destinations or activities can make family trips more enjoyable.

Kevin recommends, whenever possible, allowing children to have a say in where the family travels and activities, which fosters a sense of ownership and excitement about the family vacation.

Consider creating a poll to gather family members’ input on trip preferences. This creates anticipation for the family vacation and helps children develop important decision-making and planning skills. This collaborative approach to family vacation planning ensures each family member feels valued and heard, ultimately strengthening family bonds and creating lasting memories.

Lastly, trip planning can serve as a valuable learning opportunity. Kevin recommends assigning children tasks like researching destinations, comparing options, and making decisions based on budget constraints. Children can develop important life skills such as budgeting, critical thinking, and problem-solving. These transferable skills can be applied to various aspects of their lives, helping them become more independent and responsible.

How will you involve children in the trip-planning process?

Listen to this podcast episode on Spotify.

2. Setting a realistic travel budget

Planning ahead by creating a designated fund for travel expenses reduces the stress and financial strain of spontaneous or unplanned trips. Set aside money each month towards family trips, whether local or regional.

3. Utilizing travel rewards wisely

While travel hacking can be a valuable tool for saving money on flights and accommodations, covering the entire trip with rewards alone is not always feasible. Kevin suggests setting a goal for what travel rewards should cover, such as flights, and using a travel budget to cover the rest of the expenses.

Consider using travel rewards to cover specific aspects of the trip, such as flights or accommodations. For large families, using travel rewards and a travel budget can make travel more affordable and avoid overspending.

Kevin highlighted that as a Point A to B travel hacker, he aims to use travel rewards to cover specific aspects of the trip, such as flights, while using his travel budget for other expenses.

As expected, large families must accumulate more travel savings to afford family vacations. Kevin stresses planning ahead, looking for deals, and choosing family-friendly airlines to maximize the benefits of travel rewards.

Kevin Payne: “When we use travel rewards, I don’t try to pay for everything with it.

My goal is to cover the flights at least with travel rewards and then use our travel budget for the rest of it. I don’t try to pay for everything with travel rewards. There’s no difference between a couple doing travel rewards and a whole family, other than you just need more of them. It requires more time and effort, maybe more cards to pull that off.”

5. Choosing family-friendly accommodations

Large families can opt for vacation rentals or hotel suites that offer more space for their family to relax after a day of activities. Kevin emphasizes the importance of knowing your travel style, as his family often prioritizes space and comfort over luxury amenities to enhance the overall travel experience.

Listen to this episode to learn how to define your travel preferences and better align your travel spending.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Pandora | Any player

5. Exploring local destinations

Vacations for large families do not have to always be to Disney World or exotic destinations across the globe. Kevin emphasizes that travel experiences do not have to be extravagant or luxurious to be meaningful and memorable. When planning affordable large family vacations, balance enjoying travel experiences and being mindful of budget constraints.

As a parent, you can feel the pressure to give your kids these unbelievable experiences, by throwing it on a credit card. Then months later, you’re struggling with how to pay it off. You don’t have to travel far to travel.

Discover hidden gems in your own city or state to enjoy budget-friendly and memorable experiences. Look for local activities, attend events, and visit nearby attractions.

Ultimately, planning big family getaways is possible. Kevin and his family showcase how you can financially commit to making travel a central part of your family life. In the comments below, share tips on how to plan a family trip!

About Family Money Adventure

Family Money Adventure by Kevin Payne inspires individuals looking to expand their families while maintaining financial stability and exploring new adventures. Kevin Payne shares his experiences and insights on navigating the challenges of raising a family while pursuing financial goals and traveling the world.

One of the key takeaways from this travel podcast is the importance of finding a balance between financial responsibility and enjoying life’s adventures. Kevin emphasizes the value of prioritizing experiences over material possessions and how to make smart financial decisions that support a lifestyle of exploration and growth.

Discover creative ways to save money, generate additional income, and plan for future adventures with loved ones. Kevin’s candid conversations and genuine approach make the podcast relatable and engaging.

Overall, Family Money Adventure podcast serves as a reminder that financial stability and family adventures are not mutually exclusive. By embracing a mindset of financial empowerment and intentional living, create a life filled with meaningful experiences, cherished memories, and a strong connection with loved ones.

Connect with Kevin Payne


Podcast: Family Money Adventure

Instagram: @familymoneyadventure

Twitter: @TheFMadventure

Read the episode transcripts.

Danielle Desir Corbett: What does affording travel look like when you have a large family? Today, I'm joined by Kevin Payne, a personal finance and travel writer who shares how families can better manage their money so they can afford the things they love, like living an adventurous, travel-filled life. helping you make money moves that feel right for your family. Kevin shares his best tips and advice on his website, And he also hosts the award-winning Family Money Adventure Show. one of my personal favorite travel podcast, by the way, and his Disney series is top tier. I'm going to Disney again this year, as I do every year, and I'm re-listening to Kevin episodes over and over again, just so I can capture all of his tips. Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four teenagers. He's also a donut connoisseur and sneakerhead. He says, few things bring me more joy than getting a new pair of sneakers. I really appreciate Kevin's no one size fits all approach to family finances. And I know that you will, too. Welcome to the thought card, a podcast about traveling money, where planning, saving and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the financially savvy travelers. So Kevin, my good friend, I feel like over the years, like we've evolved from just like on Twitter slash X to like recently last summer, being able to meet and hang out in person in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, which was insane. I had so much fun. So I'm like really excited to have you on the ThoughtCard podcast because we've never tackled family finances, particularly large families. And I think this is important for a couple of reasons, because they're large families, but also for expanding families. I know personally, I have some anxiety. I'm like, OK, it's the three of us. If the four of us like it's the five of us, like there's things for us to consider. And I'm just I'm super excited to chat with you. I want to start off with your decision to travel as a family, because I feel like a lot of families are like that was my old life. when I was single and they may delay or they may just never travel with their families, large families. So what was that decision like for you to like make the decision to travel is going to be a financial priority in my life, it's important and that we're going to actually do this together?
Kevin Payne: Yeah, so for us, travel for me has always been a part of my life. I can remember going on family vacations growing up and it's kind of funny. I've even had conversations with my parents recently, you know, because as a kid, you just don't pay attention to the details of like how much that actually costs to go on a vacation. I just asked them like, even like a month ago, like, how in the world did you pay for us to go to like Disney World or to the beach or whatever? So it's a big deal. So it's always been a part of my life. And for my wife, you know, somewhat as well. If we rewind back, we were like a family of four. We had two boys at the time. And then we decided to adopt two girls. This is a little over a decade ago. And you know, we were super excited about that. And there's a whole big long story behind that. But once became a family of six, it was like, like, how in the world are we going to pull this off what we've been doing with the boys and what we want to continue doing because there's a lot of, you know, different dynamics of being a large family, which I personally like I think of when I think of large family, I mean, a lot of people have different definition of what that means, you know, Maybe you think it's like you should have your own TLC show because your family's huge. But for me, it's just basically like we were big enough that we wouldn't fit in a standard size hotel room. So it made things a little more logistically tough too. challenge to travel, but we decided that that was a priority for us. We decided that that's one of our main, you know, family values. We know from before we had the girls that the boys really got a lot out of the experiences we had traveling, you know, even just locally, you know, or regionally, you know, there's a lot of different things that kids and families learn from traveling.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that. And I appreciate that clarification. Because like you said, the TLC shows, that's another sphere. I appreciate that commitment, because I feel like the will to travel is so important to keep it going. And it's often overlooked. A lot of times we make a decision that travel is going to be a financial priority for us. And then we execute through our financial systems and our organizations and things like that. Yeah. So I think that's important to first state. So talk to us about family finances, the management pieces of it. Are you having family meetings? Are you having dates? Are you budgeting? Like for your particular family, what does that look like? And I also want to also say what I love about your platform, Kevin, is that you're always sharing that. personal finance is so personal to your family, right? Yeah, it's a very individual thing. And a lot of times we're trying to figure out what's the best thing for us. So just curious, like, what does that look like for you that like financial planning process?

Kevin Payne: Yeah, I think for us, it's probably for anybody else, it's an evolving process. We're big on budgeting. A lot of people have a negative connotation with budgeting or maybe, you know, past trauma from trying to stick to a budget and, you know, the guilt and stuff that goes along with that. But basically, just a budget is just having a plan for your money, you know, where you're going to spend, where you're going to save. I mean, it can be super rigid or it can just be really loose. you set aside money to save, and then you, you know, whatever's left, you use for bills and whatnot. And that's kind of more the route we go, is kind of paying yourself first, making sure that we are saving towards our savings goals and the future as far as retirement planning and, you know, college education, things like that. That's a lot. And then, you know, obviously we're making sure that, you know, we have enough to pay the bills and have it. Some of the big things I think that help us is one, having an emergency fund, a fully funded emergency fund. A lot of people, it depends on what it looks like, but for us it's like three to six months of living expenses is good enough to have set aside. I think the biggest thing for us that has helped us is started tracking our spending. You know, we use budgeting apps or, you know, just simply just using our credit card and bank statements each month to, you know, go through them and be like, Oh my gosh, like, look at what we just spent money on like that we didn't they had no plan for, you know, I think that that's one of the biggest things that people can do, even if you don't budget or whatever is to just know where your money's going so that I think it makes you more mindful as you go forward on what maybe are some triggers for you on for overspending or even seeing wow these things aren't anything that I really value or that our family values but yet we spend so much money on those and we set so little aside for vacations for college funds for home renovation, whatever, you know, your thing is like. So I think that's a huge thing that has helped us out for sure. As far as like we do, occasionally we'll have like a family meeting to kind of go over, you know, some basics, some things that the kids need to know. They're not really involved so much in the planning as far as finances go. We do involve a little bit more in the on the travel side. I mean, that's fun to do. I mean, you can do that as the kids get a little older. But I think my wife and I, we will have more talks. We probably should schedule that out. But a lot of times it's just conversations on the way to our son's basketball game or things like that.

Danielle Desir Corbett: So a couple of things I want to piggyback off and circle back on is how important is conversations in financial management, planning, I found that conversations are so important, right? It doesn't have to be so formal. But when me and my husband, my spouse, we're on the same page, or we're talking about getting on the same page, things just run so much smoothly. And I don't think that people talk about the conversations aspect. So how important is conversating with your significant other in terms of financial planning and really pursuing your goals.

Kevin Payne: Yeah, I think that's huge. And I'm totally right there with you. I feel like, you know, that we've gotten a lot more out of conversations than than planning the time and having a specific topic that like we're going to sit down in and plan out our budget or whatever. I think that just being on the same page. And also, I feel like, you know, you're talking about, you know, a married couple or just a couple in general, like you got two people with completely different backgrounds coming together. And, you know, you can assume that they're on the same page or that they feel the same way about money or that they've had the same experience. But I know from my experience that you know 20 plus years of marriage that we are not always on the same page that we have very different views on money sometimes or how money should be used or even earned. So just having conversations on those things on not just money, but like what matters to you, what you value. And obviously with conversations, one of the big pieces is listening. So, and I try to make it a point to be a good listener in those conversations, conversations with our kids. For me, I, I find out a lot about what my family values just by paying attention. You know, even if I'm not part of the conversation, I think that's why, like, I'm kind of known within my family being a good gift giver. It's just because I remember everything. Like I'll just save notes on my phones like, oh, she said she liked that or my kid like was really like interested in this thing. I'll remember that for later. But I think it's the same thing with money and with travel and with anything else is just paying attention to your family and having these conversations.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Something that I've noticed when I peruse your website and you've talked about it, you kind of mentioned it, sprinkled it throughout this conversation is family values. what are family values and how you kind of mentioned a couple ways, but like, how would you go about, especially if you're like a new family, or maybe you're, you're an older family, but you never establish your family values? Like, how do we go about establishing those for ourselves?

Kevin Payne: That is a good question. And that might involve actually sitting down and having a, you know, a real sit down talk with your partner, spouse, family, to really address those things. Then maybe that is part of a budgeting plan. For me, like for us, travel's a big value. It's basically anything that just really one without defining it with its own definition, but something you value, something that is important to you, something that gives you energy. So when I think about finances and having a value-based money plan, I think like we love to travel, we like being entertained, we like trips to Starbucks, you know, we, we like our kids play youth sports, that's a big thing for them, the activities that they're involved with. So when we craft our budget, we plan around those things, we make sure that we are setting aside money every month, whether something's going on or not, you know, for travel, say like, maybe we don't have a trip planned right away. But we can still save for one so that when it does come up, or you know, maybe there's a spontaneous weekend trip, you know, we got that money already and I don't have to put it on a credit card and worry about how I'm gonna pay for it later. I have that money. Now, I will still put on a credit card to earn those rewards, but I will pay it off immediately. You know how that goes. That's an important conversation to have with a spouse. It's an important conversation with your kids, even when they reach an age where they're able to have those kinds of talks.

Danielle Desir Corbett: How important is money to travel? I remember when I first started talking about travel and personal finance back in 2015, people thought I had like five heads. They're like, why in the world are you trying to talk about student loans on this travel blog? And to me, it's always been clear. And I feel like we're very similar where we created a lane where travel and personal finance are two sides of the same coin. So I'd love to hear from your take. Like, why is money such an important topic when it comes to travel?

Kevin Payne: This is awesome, first off, because I was working a day job and I was wanting to become a writer and a content creator. And it was almost like two stories going on at the same time, like we were trying to figure out our money. And at the same time, I was trying to figure out how to make more money and, you know, build a life that we enjoyed more. So, I came across a bunch of bloggers talking about travel, talking about money, and I actually came across a few that talked about both. And something just clicked for me. It just made sense. I was like, well, obviously you need money to travel, but there are huge components of my life, and like our family's life, and just I assumed that everybody else was the same way. And I will say that, you know, I came across a couple specific people. And actually, you're one of those people. I don't know if you know that. But like, I actually came across your website and podcast. And I was like, sick, this makes perfect sense that these are together. And, you know, as a, you know, content creator, when you get started, that people are like, Oh, you got really niche down and pick one thing. And I was like, And I had people tell me that, like, do money or do travel, don't do both. And I ignored all of them and said, I don't care. Like, this is who I am. These are big parts of my life. So for me, it's always gone together. It just makes sense. I mean, and part of that goes just back to travel being one of our big values. And with Family Money Adventure, it kind of you know, embodies both those things, but also family, too. Like those are the three big components of our lives. So we try to include all of them.

Danielle Desir Corbett: It makes sense. Like it makes perfect sense, because guess what? When I have to go on to book that hotel, they're going to ask me for what? A payment option. So it's always made sense. And I feel like we're kindred spirits in that, like it's an important value and the finances fall in line for that.

Kevin Payne: Yeah, and I think if you follow people who are content creators or money experts and stuff, they will touch on travel, but mostly just on how to budget for travel, how to do this and that. But we love to share our story of where we've been, where to go, tips that we've learned over the years, what not to do. That's a big one. For sure.

Danielle Desir Corbett: One of the things I love, like on your podcast, Family Money Adventure, I'm a big subscriber. I enjoy all of your episodes. You have a Disney series, and I would love to talk about Disney, but that's for another, that's like a whole separate conversation. But I just love that you have all of these savvy and smart ways that you can be money conscious and not sacrifice your experience that you're going to have. You can still have that Disney vacation or whatever dream vacation you have. You're thinking about your finances along the way. So I appreciate that as well.

Kevin Payne: Yeah. And I will say just real quick on the Disney thing, like somehow I really wanted to do a lot of Disney content, but not make that the focus of everything. And somehow I convinced my wife to let me get an annual pass. Just for me, not for her or for the kids. But in planning a trip down there to do research for our series, I came across all these Disney TikTokers and stuff, and I was like, none of this stuff applies to me at all. I don't care about the 19 snacks that I can eat at the Magic Kingdom. Yeah, I want to try them, obviously, but if my family went there and all six of us were there and we tried to do that, we would spend thousands of dollars on just that. So I wanted to create something that was for real families, for real people that are going there and not just try to get Disney's attention or whatever by creating certain types of content.

Danielle Desir Corbett: practicality I think is very, very important, especially for families. So I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about the nitty gritty travel planning process for larger families. Do you have a preference when it comes to plane, train, or car travel? Any preferences and why?

Kevin Payne: Yes, I will go by plane every single time if I could. If my wife would say yes to a two-hour trip and just go on the plane, I would. I don't know why. I grew up in a packed car going on vacations. just being on top of each other. And it just is not my thing. So mostly, you know, if we do something locally or regionally, we will drive if it's, you know, a lot of times we'll go to the East Coast for beach trips, we drive because of the type of supplies that we want to bring with us. You know, it's hard to do that by flying. But you know, anywhere else, like if we're going to Disney, if we're going, I don't even know where else, but like, I'm trying to find a way to fly, you know, if at all possible. I'll fly, rent a vehicle over there. I'm not opposed to driving or whatever. And I've never been on a train, actually. I really want to. That's one of my goals for this upcoming year is to try to find a way to make that happen.

Danielle Desir Corbett: On the East Coast, it's very easy. So, OK, with larger families, though, the plane ticket prices like for a family of six.

Kevin Payne: Yeah.

Danielle Desir Corbett: How are you making that feasible? I know you're big into travel hacking credit cards. Is that your magic strategy? Do you have a magic strategy? How are you? How would you recommend families, larger families to think about plane travel?

Kevin Payne: Yeah. So, yeah, that is definitely an expense to consider. I look at it a few different ways. One is the time thing. I just think it's faster to fly somewhere, generally, depending on how far away it is, obviously. But for us to drive from here to Orlando, say, is like literally a day, and then a day back. So that's like two days of a trip. And, you know, now for me, I work for myself. I can take off whenever I want. you know, within reason, but my kids are in public school. My wife's a public school educator, so they are stuck to a certain schedule. And, you know, they only have so many days off or whatever. So that's a waste to me. I would rather just, you know, yes, it does cost more sometimes. Part of that is just looking for deals. Part of it is planning way ahead of time. Part of that is having a travel budget so that you have that money ready to go when you need to. You know, we try to fly on certain airlines that are more family friendly, maybe don't cost as much. For me, when I fly, though, like we were huge into credit card rewards and things like that. But like we are not like getting luxury benefits and things like that's not our thing. Like we're point A to point B travel hackers. Like we just want to get from here to there and then we then we'll enjoy everything. You know, sure, we love the extra amenities and things like that. But So when we do use travel rewards, one of my goals, I don't try to pay for everything with it is one of my things. So depending on where we're going, for example, this upcoming summer, we are going to be going out to California, trying to do maybe like a LA to San Diego type Trip, our kids want to do a ton of stuff in LA, so it may just be LA. But my goal is to cover the flights at least with travel rewards and then use our travel budget for the rest of it. Maybe we'll use rewards for Airbnb, something like that. But I don't try to pay for everything with travel rewards. There's no difference between like a couple doing travel rewards and a whole family, other than you just need more of them. Really. And it just requires more time and more effort, maybe more cards to pull that off. So that's kind of how I look at it. For the most part, most of our trips recently have involved flying, though.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I appreciate that because I do feel like sometimes there's internal pressures to be like, I got to cover this entire trip, right, on points and miles. And I'm like, that's like 500,000 miles. Or it's a lot. Right. And I'm sorry, but travel hacking is not my full time job. So I love that reframe perspective that you have a goal of what you would like your travel rewards to cover. And then you have your travel budget to take care of everything else. Right. So I love that simple.

Kevin Payne: It's also I think having a travel budget, you know, setting aside money each month for travel. I think it just takes some of the pressure off and just provides some relief to know that there's something there. I think all parents would want to give their kids cool experiences, and travel's part of that. But there's this like stress, like if you don't have the money for it, but your kids, you know, hear about other friends going to places or like, you know, they see stuff on TV or social media and they're like, Oh man, that would be so cool to go there or whatever. And you can get like this pressure as a parent to like try to, you know, give your kids these unbelievable experiences. And like I said, throw it on a credit card. And then like months later, you're like, oh my gosh, how am I going to like, how am I going to pay this off? Like I'm getting all these interest charges and like I'm in debt just because I wanted to take my kids on a trip. And one of the things I'll say is that, like, you don't have to travel far to travel. Like we live outside of Cleveland, like Cleveland just has like a ton of stuff for us to do, you know, that like when our kids were younger and we didn't have as much money and didn't have a travel budget yet, like we were just doing local and regional stuff. We were finding free events. We were doing anything we could to just piece together some kind of experiences for our kids. So, you know, you do the best with what you got. And that's part of if you want to travel more, create a travel budget and set money aside that, you know, whatever you can. And then, you know, when the opportunity comes up, then see if it fits.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Do you think that kids, they remember certain things? Like, do you feel like when you have a large family or have a family in general, that like this pressure to be luxury, does it actually like enhance the trip for you as a family? Or do you feel like the kids sometimes remember the simplest thing, like that free activity that you didn't have to pay for or something that was as inexpensive?

Kevin Payne: I'm not sure that there's necessarily a specific formula for that. I think they pick and choose what they remember from a trip. My oldest son, he's in college now, he remembers the weirdest stuff from our trips. It wasn't even anything we planned, and he just has these memories of certain stuff. When I look back, that's actually me. I can still smell a holidome like my parents would take us to growing up. That was the coolest thing. oh my gosh, this Holiday Inn has a dome and it's a pool and there's a ping pong table and whatever. And like, you can grow up and be like, oh, it really wasn't that nice of a place probably, but you know, but I loved it, you know. So I don't know if certain things matter. I think one thing that does matter to our family when we travel is space. So like, They don't care so much about having the luxury benefits and this and that, but they do like to have their space to be by themselves after we've been together for a full day at all the Disney parks or at the beach. You're doing something and you're just surrounded by each other. Everybody, parents need their space too. A lot of times when we travel now, we will stay at a vacation rental. Something, you know, that just gives us a little more space than like a hotel would. There are hotels that have like suites and things like that, that we will do as well. But I think that that's a big thing for us.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that. Travel style, right? For that, when you're traveling, that's what you're going to think about it and put your finances towards. Okay. So talk to us about the travel planning process with teenagers. You mentioned that you're roping them into that process. What does that look like for your family?

Kevin Payne: Yeah, so a lot of times we will let them help us to even just pick where we want to go. Sometimes not, but sometimes, you know, because we have surprised them in the past with trips. So obviously they're not as involved in those. But, you know, I think kids as they get older, like, you know, they have ideas on what they want to do or what they like. So we try to do that every trip looks a little different i will say like we're kind of in the planning stages right now in booking stages for our california trip for next summer so because we got a couple kids in college and a couple at home i'm actually gonna like for this one going to create like a google form or like a poll or anything and just pull them on different things that they want to do because i already know like We're not fitting in everything that they want to do So I kind of want to do a vote on some stuff and see what they want to do So I may do that because I should have done that over the holiday break. But but anyway, it's good to involve your kids even if it's just a little piece like we're gonna go to this city or this place like why don't you go online and just look like what place would you like to go eat at or you know, like we were thinking of These four different activities, which one sounds the best to you? Those are ways to get them involved too without them completely planning the trip. Even if you want to involve a little personal finance lesson, be like, hey, we have this much money to spend on activities during the trip. What could we do? do your homework, do your research. They all have social media, so you just type in, like, Ocean City, and boom, there's like a thousand videos on things to do there. Or, we're going to Dallas, Texas, like, what's there to do there? So, those are just, you know, what we've done so far. I think even younger kids, like, you could do that in some way, you know, even just certain aspects of the trip, like, Hey, we're looking at rental homes on Airbnb. Check this one out. What do you think of this one? What do you think of this swimming pool versus this swimming pool? Like, you know, how cool is that?

Danielle Desir Corbett: I can't wait to be at that stage of Baby K. Like, I feel like he's going to do that at three. He'll be like, uh, this Airbnb versus that one. Yeah. So I just love the process of having everyone's input and making a decision together and saying, hey, we're going to do this together as a family. So I just, I think that's so special and so wonderful.

Kevin Payne: Yeah. And I think that that's like a, a great skill for kids to have, not just like, obviously it helps you plan your trip, but like that just gives them practice in planning anything, you know, how much better do things go in life generally, when you have a plan, obviously, you know, you know, being spontaneous is great too, but like, there's a lot of things in life that work a lot better when you have a plan. So that's a great skill for them to already have, you know, in their mind, start thinking about how to plan something.

Danielle Desir Corbett: transferable skills.

Kevin Payne: Absolutely.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Absolutely. So I know that you're based in Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio near Cleveland. I'd love to get your input on some of your favorite local Ohio adventures. And I also know that you're a donut connoisseur. So definitely add if you had any like donut recommendations to let's add that in as well.

Kevin Payne: Yeah. So obviously, you know, we live in a suburb of Cleveland. So for us, Cleveland is huge. And, you know, when my wife and I got married, we moved away. We, for the most part, had lived a lot of our life in the Cleveland area. And so when we moved back after a few years of marriage, like we really fell in love with our own city. Obviously there, here, there are, you know, some of the more well-known things like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We have a really great zoo here. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is just awesome. We are members there. I would say the Christmas Story House from the movie is here. That's a big thing that people love to come see. I can remember going there with my brother and we actually got to go under the sink where Ralphie's brother hid. So that was kind of cool. Just downtown is really great. One suggestion I would have if anybody comes here is that I think it's called Cleveland Walking Tours. It's a gentleman named Scott and his partner and they do these historical tours of walking tours of Cleveland and we did one a couple years ago. It was phenomenal. We were planning to do one with our family. pretty soon as we had done one with some friends. So now we really wanted to get our kids down there. But they do them all year round. They do holiday themed ones. They do, you know, specific to architecture and things like that. Cleveland really has a rich history. I say Playhouse Square. Most people don't realize some of the things in Cleveland that are like super impressive. And that's one of them is Playhouse Square, which is like our Theater District is actually the second largest in the United States behind New York City. People don't know that. Like our orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, is like the second ranked one in the United States. So, like, it's really big for arts and culture. Outside of Cleveland, though, if we hadn't had our I'm horrible at direction. So whichever way away from us towards the lake, you will hit, it's called Shores and Islands, Ohio. Sandusky is part of that, which is home of Cedar Point Amusement Park. It's a big, we're members there or have season passes there. It's one of the best amusement parks in the country. But that whole area is just so full of stuff to do. And I don't think people realize that Ohio actually has islands. So, you know, you can take a ferry over to these islands. There's like I don't even know how many there are. There's like four or five islands and they have tons of stuff to do on there. You know, there's lighthouse tours, there's, you know, restaurants, bars, shops, there's historical landmarks. There's, you know, all the outdoor activities you can think of are available there. And then lastly, I would say in Ohio, Columbus is super underrated. It's actually like the second largest, like, you know, metropolitan area in the Midwest outside of Chicago. I never realized that until like just this year. Like, I took my son down there for an Ohio State football game, and we just like explored all over the place. There's so much to do there. The downtown area with all of the, you know, obviously, if you're into sporting events, it's a big area with hockey, with college sports. Columbus Crews just won the MLS Cup, so big there. But there's just so many different museums there. I think COSI is the science museum. Our kids have always loved going there. It's a really great adventure.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I remember we were talking on Twitter about like the Ohio Islands. I was like, wait, and if you look at those pictures and the videos, it's beautiful. Like you would not think it's in the US. I don't know why, but it's beautiful. So beautiful. So I have never been to Ohio. So I definitely want to make sure I head out and actually I've never really been to the Midwest to be fair, beyond like Chicago, like I've been to Chicago many times. But I think hearing from you, a local, I think is offers just all of these insights. How about donuts though? Like we want to hear about any places for donuts you recommend.

Kevin Payne: Well, in the Cleveland area, a couple of them would be Jack Frost Donuts is a pretty big one. I would also say Brew Nuts, which is a kind of a unique thing because they actually, all of their donuts are brewed with beer as an ingredient. Obviously, it's cooked out so kids can have it and stuff, but they actually have like a working bar in their donut shop. So they're open in the morning for your normal breakfast donut crowd, but they're also open later in the evening for, you know, if you want to go out with some friends. And it's in a cool little artsy area called the Gordon Square District of Cleveland. Those are great ones. There's a ton in this area. We actually did like a Cleveland donut tour once with our family. We learned really quickly, we can't get one at every place. We gotta split this up. There's like 11 stops. I was like, that's too much sugar. But we try to, whenever we travel somewhere, go hit a local place. I'd say Washington, D.C. has some great ones that we've been to.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Portland, Oregon has a huge donut scene there as well.

Kevin Payne: I've never been there. I'm excited to go there hopefully this year. I believe that's, isn't that where I think TravelCon is happening there? So that will be on my agenda.

Danielle Desir Corbett: On the agenda, on the list. I love that.

Kevin Payne: Yeah, it's just in Asheville, North Carolina. There's some really cool like artisan donut shops there to check out. But it's just our thing. I don't know why. We just love them.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I just like the brunettes concept because I love beer. Like, it's so brewed doughnuts.

Kevin Payne: Like that's yeah, people are people here will either like them or they hate them because it does give it a little distinct taste. It doesn't taste like alcohol, but like they use it and I think they use it in place of the sugar in there because of the I don't know how that stuff works. But yeah, we love it. I actually Our one daughter hates donuts, and that's the only place she likes. So there's that, right? There's that.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that so much. Well, Kevin, thank you so much for stopping by. And I feel like you mentored me because, you know, as a mama growing and expanding my family, there's a lot of like anxiety and it's always helpful to hear how other people are doing it and how successful they are. So I feel like you gave me the confidence to consider some things in the future. So I really, really appreciate it. Awesome.

Kevin Payne: Happy to help.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Thank you. So let everyone know how to connect with you and definitely let us know about your podcast.

Kevin Payne: Yeah. So the best way is to go head up over to That's our website and our main area. You can follow us on Instagram at Family Money Adventure. And then on all the podcast players, the Family Money Adventure Show, we wrapped up season one, I think in November, and I am recording now for season two. So I'm excited. I'm super excited for the first episode of season two. My show is a solo show, so I don't normally interview too many people, but I will be interviewing my wife.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I cannot wait to hear that.

Kevin Payne: So that's going to be interesting.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that. I love that, everyone. All right, everyone, thank you for listening to another episode of the Thought Curd podcast. We'll see you in the next one.

Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy

11 Tips For Stress-Free Road Tripping With Kids – Road Trip Ready Podcast

22 Amazing Books About Travel For Kids (blog post)

Traveling As a Single Parent With Kids – Episode 15

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *