Save Money—Even on Vacation!
Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s prime vacation time for many of us! Let’s presume you did your due diligence and saved some money on your airfare and hotel by using a discount site such as FareCompare or Expedia to book your trip. Great job! But there are even more ways you can save on vacation now that you’re about to head on your trip! Here are seven tips for saving money on vacation:
- Pack your own snacks. Stopping at a gas station or a fast food joint every time you want a quick bite to eat can really add up over the course of your trip. Not to mention, they don’t typically offer a whole lot of healthy options. Dried fruit, nuts, and granola bars are just a few mess-free, protein- and fiber-rich snack options that also happen to travel well. They’ll keep you and your family satisfied on long car rides or flights without resorting to high-fat, high-sugar options. And you’ll save money, too!
- Pack your own drinks. This is not going to be an option if you’re traveling via plane to your vacation destination, due to airport security restrictions. But if you’re going to be driving, toss a cooler into the trunk and pack your own beverages. Remember to bring your own water bottles and thermoses, too!
- Bring your own sunscreen & bug spray. If you’ve ever forgotten these essentials on vacation, you know how much money they can cost at gas stations or hotel gift shops. Buy them BEFORE you leave and save yourself a bundle! If you are flying to your destination, remember to pack these in your checked luggage; again, airport security will not allow you to bring them on board.
- Pack toys/games. Taking along a deck of cards, a board game or two, and water toys is always a smart idea and a great way to save money on activities.
- Remember your reading materials! Averaging about $5-$6 each, buying a magazine or two at an airport shop isn’t the wisest way to spend your hard-earned vacation money, right? If you’re like most of us, you have a whole bunch of reading material lying around at home that you’ve been meaning to get to. Tackle your reading list and bring them along! Or, check out your local dollar store for cheap crossword puzzle and Sudoku books to occupy your time.
- Make some of your own meals. Whether you’re staying in a hotel room or have rented a vacation home, it’s easy to plan and prep a few of your own meals instead of going out all the time. Having a refrigerator in your room helps make this even easier. Pick up a loaf of bread, a pound or two of cold cuts, and some peanut butter and jelly for a few quick sandwich lunches, and fruit and yogurt make a great, hearty breakfast. Remember to bring your own utensils and plates if they will not be provided.
- Make an activity plan and search for discounts and coupons. A little planning goes a long way on vacation. Plan out your activities well before you leave, and remember to search for coupons related to those activities. Be sure to read the fine print to make sure there are no exclusion rules or blocked dates.
So, while your flight, rented property or hotel, and fuel may have been expensive, the rest of your vacation doesn’t have to be! If you heed these easy-to-follow tips, you and your family could save hundreds on your next trip. Won’t you have even more fun knowing how much money you’re saving?
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