This is a tough one. We try really hard to have saved enough money that we don’t have to skimp while on vacation. But, I would rather choose to skimp if it meant at least taking a vacation.
- Plan your meals – Have it all worked out. Know what meals you will buy and what meals you will take and what meals you will make. Food is a big factor and fast food is cheap, but sometimes just not an option, so have a plan in place. We usually try and pack snacks, eat light lunch then hit a nice local restaurant for dinner.
- Plan your stay – Some places offer a free night if you stay for 3. Check and see what deals are being offered and ask if you see nothing. Stay in a place that is close to what you are doing. Sometimes the places can be close enough you don’t even have to use a car. Saving on car rentals or just gas. Also check and see if you can park your car for free.
- Decide on souvenir purchases ahead of time – I have seen a couple of moms that bought cheap Mickey ears or t-shirts before going on their Disney trip and pulled them out of the suitcases when they got there. Brilliant!! If you decide to buy on your trip give your kids a budget. Here’s a great example of how to set a budget.
- Plan a destination that is not touristy – Want to keep from spending money aimlessly the whole time, go to beautiful Montana and take in the sights and enjoy the outdoors. Hit beaches outside of big cities and just enjoy the sand beneath your feet. You get the idea.
- Don’t feel like you need movement every single minute – If you spend the day out and about, be ok with sitting in the hotel resting in the evening. Don’t feel like you need to pay for the whole family to go to a movie. It’s a vacation just relax.
- Go to a Mexico all inclusive resort – I have a hard time spending money at these places because all your needs are met and paid for. Sometimes we will leave for a meal, but what’s the point.
- Don’t give up your money – I think cruise ships are the worst, but there are ways to stay frugal while on a cruise.
- Going to Grandmas house on the farm is a vacation – especially if this is the opposite of the life you live in the big city. Sometimes it just nice to get away for a few days. I personally love leaving town and heading to the country where I grew up. In a town of 150 people you don’t tend to spend a lot.
- Every city offers something free – Do your homework ahead of time and find free things to do. Sometimes cities aren’t all about shopping and eating. Sometimes just wandering the streets or the gardens they have is more enjoyable and that’s really getting to know the city.
- Do your homework – Go into any trip with a plan. Have your budget and stick to it.
What other ways do you stay frugal while on vacation?