Like most families, we’ve pretty much always had to be very frugal and wise with our money. It’s so ingrained in me now to shop the bargains that I just can’t stand to overspend on anything. I want quality at a bargain price! (Thanks, Mom!)
Going on vacation is no different – it has to be done wisely, but we can still have the BEST time when we get away, and we also enjoy some splurges,at a fraction of the cost! Here’s how we do it:
- Go to your destination at times when it isn’t peak season. One place we stayed this month was going through some renovations, so we got a reduced price. The renovations were on the outside and never even affected where we were. I can still swim in the pool while they paint the outside walls of the hotel!
- When eating out at the restaurants that everyone has raved about,
- Go at lunch time. The portions are plenty and the price is greatly reduced.
- Share a meal. 90% of the time, we share an entree. Most restaurants serve way more food than one person can eat. We like the same things, so we generally always share a plate and go away completely full!
- Avoid the appetizer. If they bring bread to the table, let that be the starter for your meal.
- Drink water. At $2 or more for a beverage, that can add lots to your bill!
- Eat the other two meals in your condo. We usually stay in a place where we can cook. I’ll fix simple meals, but delicious food for breakfast and supper meals.
- Buy snacks and water bottles at the grocery store and keep them in the car with you when you’re out. Having an occasional treat can be planned for by taking advantage of the next tip!
- Look for specials that are running at your favorite restaurants. Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, Sonic, and lots of other places have specials from time to time. Search the Internet and see what deals you can find. Starbucks had half price Frappes when we were at the beach! That was a great treat on a hot day!
- Avoid the tourist-y shops. They are way more expensive than most stores. If I need a hat, sunglasses or sunscreen, I run to TJ Maxx, rather than the Beach Shop!
- Do things in the area that are free.
- Bring your own or rent bikes to enjoy the paths in the area.
- Museums, parks, libraries, outdoor music, gardens, beaches, pools -the list is long of all the things you can find to do that cost nothing extra!
We felt like we truly splurged, but we spent a fraction of the money we could have had we not used our strategies that have become our favorite way to travel!
Were you surprised that not one of the suggestions was to stay with relatives?! If you do stay with family, only stay a night or two! “Fish and company stink after three days!” =)