5 Ways to Save Money on Vacation


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Don't bust your vacation budget

Summer means vacation. It also means planning and budgeting. But there's no need to stress over those costs. With a few tricks you can save money on expensive things like hotel stays, food costs, and activities.

Be flexible with your travel dates

  • If you can stay in the off-season, you will save oodles of money

  • If your stay is less than a week, travel and vacation mid-week

  • Avoid holiday weekends (you'll avoid crowds and extra holiday charges)

  • If possible, book a last-minute stay (many discount websites have great last-minute deals)

Use Discount Websites

Discount websites for travel, hotels, and activities:

Look for package deals or savings on hotel stays. Before purchasing, click through Ebates first to save even more money.

Plan your Meals

  • Stay at a hotel that includes breakfast or a kitchenette (so you can bring your own food)

  • If you're eating out, eat your "big meal" at lunch

  • Eat twice a day with a lighter snack in between

  • Look for restaurants that offer "kids eat free" deals

  • Pack a case of water or other drinks

Here's what this looks like for us: Eat a later breakfast at the hotel and pack a snack and a small lunch bag of cold drinks  to take with us when we're out. Eat dinner before 4 pm (eating off the lunch menu if possible) at a place where kids eat free (extra points if you use a coupon!). If we're doing something in the evening we might stop for a snack somewhere or have something back in the room. The only "expensive" part of the day is dinner.

Travel Binder Printables

Taking a family trip?

Keep your kids happy while you travel with a few fun activities!

Print these pages, slide them into page protectors and put them in a binder. Include a few dry-erase markers and you have a great surprise for your kids on travel day.

Use Coupons

There are lots of websites that will save you a few bucks on entertainment, lodging, and food:

  • Restaurant.com (wait until you can find a coupon code to save even more money. We picked up a $25 coupon for a pizza place for $2 by waiting for a sale.)

  • Entertainment Book.com

  • Local coupon books while you're on the road

Act like a Local

  • Walk or use public transportation (look for local coupon books that offer travel coupons)

  • Look for "Free Days" at various attractions (a few of our local museums are free if you arrive within the last 3 hours of operation on certain days each week)

Those are some the things I do and websites I visit when we're planning for vacations. If you're looking for more travel tips, check out my 5 Money-Saving Road Trip Tips.

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.