I’ve skipped Frugal Friday way too many times in a row but I thought this would be a good day for a quick post about ways to be frugal even when you’re on vacation. I’m hoping you’ll also chime in below and tell me ways that you save money when you’re traveling.
1. We camped for a lot of years and of course that is a super affordable way to sleep your family on vacation, especially when you also do a lot of the cooking yourself. Here are a few fun camp-food ideas.
2. For a mob as big as ours, a vacation rental is also a good way to sleep a lot of people on a budget. A house that can sleep a dozen or more can run $250-$400 a night, but divide that among 4 or more households and all of a sudden it starts looking more affordable, especially when you compare it to the cost of sleeping that number of people in a hotel.
3. Whether camping or staying in a vacation home, a fabulous way to save money on a trip is to cook for yourself. In 9 days of vacation this past week our group of 16+ people ate out exactly twice, and one of those times was on the way home. Also remember to use those coolers, and pack lunches and snacks for driving days. If you feel too disorganized to pack a whole meal remember that even apples, cookies and juice boxes in a cooler will help ward off the hungries and save you money.
4. When you do eat out– we all need a break from cooking sometimes!– choose your restaurants wisely. We tend to gravitate toward Mexican restaurants or pizza when we are on the road, since those types of restaurants tend to be more affordable. Another bonus of Mexican restaurants– free chips while you wait for your meal! That’s a big help when you’re traveling with hungry kiddos:)
5. If you’re hoteling it, stay in hotels with free breakfast. We also try to find hotels with sleeper couches and extra cots, to limit the number of rooms we’ll need. And remember to read the reviews so you won’t be surprised by what you’re getting for your money.
6. Splurge a little. On trips even when we’re cooking at the house, I lean a bit heavier on convenience food and often serve snacks that I don’t buy any other time. That keeps the trip feeling special, and makes life easier and more fun for everyone.
What about you? How do you save money on vacation?