Vacations are fun! And it goes without saying that they’re going to cost you money. But honestly? That doesn’t mean you have to blow your entire savings on it!
Here’s my take: You set a vacation budget, and then you see how much mileage you can get out of it.
For instance, if we cook our own supper two evenings, and take advantage of our hotel’s continental breakfast, we can afford to stay another day, and because we got a fabulous groupon deal, we can spend two days at the amusement park instead of just one. That kind of thing.
You following me?
How To Be A Pro At Saving Money On Vacation
Cook Your Meals
This one tips can save you SO much money! I know that eating out is part of the vacation fun, but every meal? Not so much, and for more than one reason. For the person paying, when your pocket book is draining at a rate of three meals per day plus lodging, plus whatever other fun things you’re doing (amusement parks, etc), it becomes no fun very quickly. For the kids (and me *cough*), too much excitement ads up making them more cranky than anything.
Here are some ideas for no-fuss cooking on vacation:
- Slow cooker. This one is perfect for throwing your ingredients in before you leave the hotel, and having them ready when you come back. Using a slow cooker creates No fuss, and hardly any prep time at all!
- Electric pressure cooker. It makes cooking fast and easy. The downside it, you’ll have to prepare your food on the spot – likely after a busy day of vacation activities. Cooking with a pressure cooker is so fast though, that you’ll probably have it done before the kids get out of their baths, so they’ll hardly notice. 🙂
- Microwave. The health aspects of using a microwave or hotly debated, but depending on which side of the line you fall on, it could make cooking meals on your trip super easy! Rooms with microwaves typically also come equipped with a refrigerator. With this in mind, you can bring a stash of home-cooked meals to stow in the ‘fridge, and reheat in the microwave. Easy-peasy!
Dads, keep in mind that for moms, taking a break cooking may be the biggest attraction of the vacation, so it might be a good idea for you to take charge of this area.
Stock up on Restaurant Vouchers
Yep, another food tip! Think ahead about the meals you do want to eat out, and look for deals on restaurant.com to cash in on. Another GREAT way to save money on restaurants through swagbucks.com. Collect Swagbucks by using their search engine just like you use google, or watching SwagTV, then cash them in for either Restaurant.com gift cards or gift cards to the restaurants themselves. Free food! This in one of my favorite ways to have a cheap date night too!
Grab Daily Deals In Advance
Start monitoring sites like Living Social and Groupon for deals in the city you’re traveling to. Aside from potentially saving a lot of money, since most tourist sites only list the main attractions, you may also find attractions that you otherwise would never have known existed. Groupon is also great for finding fabulous deals on hotels and lodging!
Skip Out On Souvenirs
I remember going to Disney when I was little – probably under five – and mom and dad bough us kids Mickey and Minnie Mouse ear hats. They were fun to wear for like, a day, and then they got crumpled. Where I’m going with this is: souvenir just don’t pay off for kids. And for adults? The best souvenirs are memories, and lots of pictures to prove it. The kind of souvenir you buy just ends up adding clutter to your home later on. So save money: skip the souvenirs.
Get Store gift cards to save on gas
That’s right, buy yourself a gift card! Many stores, like Walmart, offer discounts on fuel when you use a prepaid gift card, or store credit card on your purchase, and if you’re driving a long way, 3-12 cents per gallon really adds up fast! Even if you’re driving a short distance, every penny counts!
Another fuel saving tip: checkout gasbuddy.com. It can save you carry amounts of money! In our little town, I’ve found that gas can fluctuate as much as ten cents per gallon in a two mile radius. So in our town, that cheapest place to fill up is usually H-E-B. At ten cents cheaper than the gas station on the other side of town, and using my H-E-B gift card, I actually save twenty-two cents per gallon! That’s crazy!
These are all easy savings methods that are easy to implement as a family, and they will save you so much money, you’ll be able to vacation longer, and without stressing over your budget.
So go on – have a fun vacation! (you know I will!)