A good vacation doesn’t have to break the bank if you have a plan! Research the area you are heading to, find some of the best activities and have fun! Take a look at these helpful tips to spend less on a vacation.
1) Set A Budget
Setting a Budget is probably the first thing you should do. Get a good idea of what you can afford financially and what you are comfortable spending. This will give you an idea of how far away you can go and how long you will stay.
2) If Possible, Bring Your Own Food!
Most vacations last at least three days to an entire week or more. Whether or not the place you are staying only has a mini fridge or an entire kitchen you can take advantage of packing some of your own food items. We go to the beach for one week every summer. The place we stay at has a full kitchen so a few days before our trip I start to stock up on breakfast items, snacks and other quick meal ideas. You can put them in plastic bins, a sturdy cardboard box or just some reusable grocery bags. This saves us a ton of money for the full week of eating as a family of four. If you do not want to pack and travel with any food items, you can always plan a grocery shopping trip for when you get there. Look up the nearest store and plan your list ahead of time.
3) Stop At The Visitors Center
Most touristy type cities have a visitor center where you can pick up a bunch of brochures on the local restaurants, mini golf, water park or excursion spots. They even include coupons! My husband and his dad signed up for a fishing trip and found coupons for their boat at the visitor’s center! You can also ask the information desk about some of the more affordable, better quality places to check out. They will have the inside scoop and this can save you more on money and time. An added bonus is that you get some really great reading material on the area you are visiting. Kids love to look through all the info as well. Plan you trip! Make it fun for less!
4) Look For “Kids Eat Free” Or Only Eat Lunches Out.
What good is a vacation if you never eat out! I love getting good food! In most cases it can be best to eat out for lunch or eat an early dinner. Many times there are early bird specials Or the lunch menu is just much cheaper than the dinner menu. Also look for those signs and places that advertise where kids eat free! Sometimes a buffet will offer a free meal for a certain age group Or just kid’s may eat free with each adult entree. And lastly, if you have young kiddos, think about making them a quick meal at home and having one of the adults make a “take out” run. This saves not only on the kid’s meals but the tip and drinks as well! I don’t know about you, but I enjoy my meal so much more when it’s not full price! lol
- Check our Kids Eat Free List
5) Snag Daily Deals Ahead Of Time
Be sure to scan Groupon and LivingSocial for the deals in the area you are traveling to. This will help you plan activities and the restaurants you want to visit way ahead of time!
- Places to Check for Deals: Groupon, LivingSocial
6) Is there any Public Transportation Available?
Are there buses, trains or taxi services in the area to take you to your shopping, dining or activity destinations? The beach we go to every year has a bus system where you pay only $2 per person for a bus pass that lasts an entire day! Kids are usually free. This saves a lot on gas and traffic aggravation, so be sure to check out your options. It is also good when having a little too much fun, gives you a built in designated driver.
7) Use Restaurant.com!
Take advantage of the money you can save with Restaurant.com! Just enter the zip code of the area you are going to, to find the best places to eat for cheap! You can also use their mobile app if you want to do some research while you are there!
- Check for Today’s Specials: Restaurant.com
8) Plan Your Trip For The Off Season
The prices drop drastically when heading to those hot spots during the off season. If this works with your family’s schedule, it is a great advantage! In addition to the lower hotel prices you may also run into cheaper dining specials! As well as less traffic and people around that you would have to share your vacation experience with. Be sure to keep this option in mind when planning your next adventure!