I’m sitting here on a rainy day at the beach and I can’t help but think one thing. A rainy day at the beach is better than a rainy day at work…am I right?? Anyway, it’s given me a chance to catch up on some writing while my family sits around reading, watching tv, and playing. While it may be the beginning of summer, I know a lot of people are planning their vacation for the year. In my years of being a cheapskate…I’ve learned a few ways to save money while you’re on vacation.
Vacation with friends/family
Going on vacation with other people makes the trip more enjoyable. It’s especially more fun if you go other people that have kids around the same age as yours. Can we say free entertainment? I mean really, my son is in hour three of playing cars and sharing snacks with his cousins. They may be 4 years apart but they absolutely love each other so they can play forever. Even when they get into arguments, they don’t stay mad long.
Besides it being more fun, it’s also way cheaper to share vacation expenses than to load on all of them yourself. Between my family, my sister’s family, and my parents we got a nice house that is walking distance from the beach. It’s definitely a place my family wouldn’t be able to afford on our own. We also share groceries. We all decided that certain things we would bring from home, but others we would wait and get groceries together once we went to the beach. Which brings me to my next point…
Do Some Grocery Shopping At Home
Now this tip is of course for if you have room in your car. What I did this year is bought some non perishable items and dry snacks at Aldi (see how I save money grocery shopping). It’s important to not overspend at home if you plan on buying other groceries on vacation.
Obviously, before you leave home you should eat everything in your fridge and not shop. There’s no point to go grocery shopping for milk or other perishables and then have it all go bad while you’re gone on vacation.
Have one Night Out to Eat
One major way to save money while on vacation is to mostly cook yourself but plan to go out to eat one night. If you plan your menu ahead of time, you’ll save even more money. That way you aren’t guessing every night what is for dinner. You know exactly what you can buy/bring from home and what needs to be bought at the grocery store.
The one night you go out to eat can be as a big group, as a family, or even a date night. As long as you budget for it, and make a plan it’s fine to do vacation meals however you want.
Use Cash Everywhere
Before we left for vacation, Robert and I decided how much we were willing to spend on things. We’re talking about food, souvenirs, and anything else we might want to buy. We also chose to not include gas trips in our cash because we find it easier to just use our debit cards at the pump. Other than that, we’re using cash for everything. Robert and I decided that $300 was more than enough for our family of three for the week. Robert took the cash out before we left so we can use it when we need it.
We only chose $300 because we really don’t plan on shopping too much, but if you enjoy shopping on vacation plan accordingly. The main tip here is to have a plan for money on vacation and stick to it. Plan for what is best for you and your family.
Don’t Go Big Every Year
Robert and I decided that this year may be our last beach trip for a while so we are enjoying every minute that we can. It’s not that we can’t afford to go on a big week long vacation every summer. Believe me, we could probably figure out how to save for it with our multiple savings accounts.
It’s just that we aren’t willing to spend hundreds of dollars for one week of fun when we have debt to pay off and going through the baby steps. Robert and I decided together that we can go on camping trips and do a lot of free stuff in town over going to the beach. We want to live differently now so that we can thrive differently later.
These are just a few of tips that my family has learned in this week at the beach. But all of these tips can totally help for any vacation anywhere else. If you have any tips that you’ve learned that are different, let me know in the comments. Let’s keep saving together!