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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Help From You Guys...


I need YOUR ideas!! I am writing an article on saving money on vacations and I need your help to supply stories and tips on what you've done to save money. Since most of us are coming off vacations, now's a good time to send in your tips while it's fresh on your mind! Email me directly, find me on Facebook or just leave a comment here. I can't wait to hear from you and, really, I need your help. In my own life we save money by using my uncle's beach house for free. I don't think saying "find out if any family members have a beach house you can crash at" would be good info for the majority of readers... Really, I need you.
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14 comments:

Lisa said...

Try to go 'off-season'. Especially if you are not bound by traditional school schedules!

Kathy said...

My best advice, lower your standards. A vacation does not have to mean an amusement park, a condo in Hawaii, or a road trip through the U.S. taking in all the tourist attractions.
When I first married my idea of "roughing it" was staying in a hotel and not having access to all my shoes and clothes. ;)
Over the course of a few Christmases my in-laws gifted us camping gear - tent, outdoor kitchen etc. Eventually we had so many things we were made fun of - it was the inflatable couch that put us over the edge. It is possible to stay at a campground with indoor toilets and showers, which is where we started. Some even offer group sites. Not only do you save money on the cost of camp site, but you can co-ordinate meals with your friends and buy in bulk saving on food costs also. These days, because we are avid dirtbike/quad riders we love to spend weekends at a nearby riding area about an hour from our home. Well maintained outhouses are provided, and the cost is only $10.00 a night. Our favorite place to ride, a few hours away, offers free camping, and adequately maintained outhouses.
An added bonus of camping is that you do not spend extra money on entertainment, my kids (currently 14 and 16) love exploring the woods, catching crawdads and salamanders in the stream, and just being disconnected from all electronic stimulation.
If you had told me 18 years ago that I would love camping, and could happily go a few days without a shower or makeup I would have laughed. But these days, during riding season, we try and keep things ready to go so we can take off on a whim.

Arlene @At Home with the Grimms said...

I am always looking for freebies when we are on vacation. My hubby is from Savannah Ga so we go there alot. One of my favorite Savannah freebies is samples at Byrd Cookie Company. They do not have just a platter of stale cookie pieces...they have lots of samples of all their savory crackers and sweet cookies. We usually buy some of our favorites but you never feel compelled to purchase Byrd products. Keep in mind that they are closed on Saturdays. The Beach at Tybee is another great destination. It is a really low key beach...mostly families there so that is nice. I totally agree with Kathy's post...vacations do not have to be all about spending money. Just being together as a family and creating memories is the most important part of any vacation.

Denise said...

We do not do "traditional" vacations... we do not live near family... so we spend about three weeks visiting family. ( my hubs in a band director so he only has about 6 weeks off in the summer) We schedule playdates with cousins, fun day trips, suppers, sleepovers, shopping trips,etc. It is nice b/c it allows us to have down time with family, but do not stay long enough to "get in the way". Great summer memories.

Anonymous said...

Let's see--we make our own food--and only eat one once on a week vacation. WE decide ahead of time (as much as possible) what we are going to do, so that we know how much to budget. WE bring cash--when its gone, we stop going places. We slow down and enjoy each other. We do things that don't cost money--bike rides, beach time, walks, state park exploring, etc. We talk about our vacation before we go and get one thing from everyone on what they want to do, then we try to make that happen--usually there is more than one person that wants to do it. I just learned the trick of googling "kids eat free in (enter town here)" and then we can save even more by going to a restaurant that has free kids food. We use coupons. We go to events on off hours. We camp instead of using hotels.

Michellee said...

We usually go to the mountains, so usually a year ahead we start making payments on the cabin we will be renting. you can find all different kind of rentals. We rent from Sunday to Sunday for $350. We just have to leave it like it was when we got there. Its a very nice cabin full equiped with everything we just take the food or go to the local winne Dixie. It has pool tables, foosball, all kinds of games. But the day before we go I bake a ham and and we fix sandwiches on our trip to the mountains. We would stop at a nice park and have a picnic. At the cabin, we would get up and I would fix a big breakfest and then we would go off for the day with cooler full of drinks, sandwich meat and fruit. Uusally if we grill hotdogs or hambugers for dinner we would grill enough to take with us on our trip out. In the mountains their is so so much to do that doesn't cost anything. waterfalls, hikes, playing in streams, picinics. My baby now is 21, they all talk about the fun we would have in the mountains. We wouldn't spend hardly any money. And enjoyed each other playing the games in the evening at the cabin. A fun time. I miss them.

Kristen Myers said...

MaryBeth,

We are planning on taking our first Disney vacation this Christmas break and are attempting to do it on a cash only budget. One of the ways that we are planning to save money is by buying our breakfast foods/larger bags of snacks at home and shipping them to our hotel ahead of time. (Most hotels will hold packages for guests if you place the name of the guest and the check-in date on the outside of the package.) By doing this simple thing, we believe we easily can save at least $15-20 per day for a family of four.

Best of everything on your article.

Sherry T said...

Hi Marybeth,

Some hotels offer great packages including or deeply discounting admission to local attractions. By checking hotel websites we found a deal including admission to the Toronto Zoo for $20 extra (usually about $80 for a family of 4). Do your research online!

Sherry

Flamingo Mama said...

we make all of our meals when we go to the beach. what i did this year was very helpful. i only brought some food from home this time because we didn't have that much extra space. instead i went online ahead of time and found the local grocery stores in the area. i saw what was on sale and was able to forumlate a "meal plan" in my mind knowing what meats were in sale. it saved us money, but most of all it saved me a headache with having to shop and pack for all the food ahead of time.

Annett said...

Plan ahead, if possible. Look for package deals. Don't spend $ on expensive hotel rooms if don't plan to spend much time in them. Opt for a nice hotel but not "cheap". Rent a condo w/ another family and split the cost of the rent and groceries. Eat out at a good restaurant ONCE. Eat sandwiches or cook at the condo the rest of the time. Have a good time but set up a budget before you leave and stick to it. Don't try to do everything, pick and choose.

jend124 said...

If you are planning a Disney vacation, www.mousesavers.com has codes for discounts to hotels. The hotels also offer food plans.

Sam

Kristi Butler said...

Hi Marybeth!
We had a wonderful trip to Disney this year!! There were 8 of us. We rented an amazing home near Disney for a fraction of the money it would have cost us to stay on site. (And came home each evening to our own pool and spa...heavenly for our tired feet!) We cooked our breakfasts and dinners (most nights) and packed our lunches to take in the parks. You can rent a locker just inside the park to keep food and drinks cold and you don't have to lug them around. That is waaayyy cheaper than Disney food...and better...and healthier. We took all of our snacks and drinks too. We did splurge on the occasional ice cream or frozen lemonade. It was over 100 degrees!!

On our usual vacations (Disney was a splurge!), we save money by cooking. We all take turns...my three married daughters and myself.
We, too, are blessed with my parents and their friends who generously share their condos!

Also, I'm very blessed because my hubby is a coupon fanatic...and studies the grocery store websites for what's on special. He never strays from the list...as opposed to me...who thinks everything looks so good and buys impulsively. He won't even let me go to the grocery store!!

May your project be blessed!!
Hugs

Mom Can I? said...

for our big family beach vacation, we plan the meals and do the big shopping ahead of time...cook waht we can at home and freeze it to take with us. we cook things that are crowd pleasers, hamburgers, lasagna, steamed shrimp, pork tenderloin, etc. we are a large group (30-35 people including kids) and we can do all meals, and all beverages (including alcohol) for a week for $120 per adult. that's all meals and all beverges!! (we don't count the kids) not too bad for a week!

Sarah said...

Here's my take on Budget Travel. Probably won't help your article but might make you giggle.
http://alittlewhineandcheese.com/2010/07/12/insufficient-memory/