how to save money on vacation
Taking a vacation should not leave you broke and regretting your decision. It should be relaxing and fun and enjoyable. There are things we do when preparing for our vacation, to save money so we can do more. I’ve included some referral links as well to help pay the bills.
If you love to camp, these tips can also be applied when you plan your next camping trip too.
For us, savings start with renting a house or condo (from places like at AirBnB) versus staying in a hotel – This will give young kids a place to play and not be in a small space. Perfect if they are still napping. Allows you to prepare food versus eating out. Read the reviews of others who have stayed in the places you are looking and find one that fits your needs. There are usually filters you can select to help narrow down your search. We try to find a place that is within the price range of a hotel we would pay for.
Meal planning – this goes along with renting versus a hotel stay. Make a list of foods your family will eat and plan out what days you’ll make what. Try to have meals that you can use the food in other meals. (Hamburgers can be spaghetti, chili. Bread can be french toast, sandwiches, etc). Remember the condiments that you need as well. Do you drink coffee with cream and sugar? Butter for your toast and cooking. Some condos do have some staples. Leave getting your breads when you arrive, so they don’t get squished. Then make a list of things you may have forgotten and get those as well.
Portion – Use reusable bags and containers to take a portion of things you need with you (like coffee and sugar) versus buying (where possible). Smaller condiment bottles versus family size.
Pack light – this works great if your condo/house have a washer and dryer. There may be a shared laundry. It allows you to pack less and have more room for any must have things you find during your vacation. Don’t forget to add laundry soap to your list of things to bring!
Shoes – do you need beach shoes and walking shoes? It’s easier to have something to slip on if you are in the sand. And if you are doing a lot of walking, you may want to bring your tennis shoes. Add band-aids to that list of things to bring, just in case.
Medical bag – Bring a bathroom bag that will have things you need like toothbrushes, toothpaste, aspirin, band-aids, antiseptic, deodorant, important anti-diarrhea meds, sunscreen, sunburn cream, mosquito spray, itch spray, and Aloe Vera to name a few. Don’t forget the extra toothbrush, soap shampoo! A couple rolls of toilet paper would be good.
Food Prep – Do you need storage bags? Foil. Will you be grilling and do you have everything packed for grilling (or a camp fire). And ingredients for S’Mores! Do you need to take silverware? Take a roll of paper towel.
Sleeping – If anyone in your party are light sleepers, consider having a white noise machine or fan for them. You might need to take someone’s favorite blanket too if needed.
Try before you buy – If you are considering purchasing a condo/home, consider renting one for the weekend in the area you like. This will give you ideas on what you like and don’t like about the area. You can also talk with local people in the area about different areas that may be of interest.
What does your family do to save money on vacation?