Vacations and quick weekends away can get expensive fast.
It doesn’t have to always end up that way though.
If you simply use this quick tip, you can cut a big chunk of money off of your weekend getaway or full blown vacation.
How To Save Money While Travelling
This tip may seem stupid, but if you really think about it, it has massive potential to save you money. Simply cut back on dining out, or completely eliminate it, while you’re on vacation.
I know that a lot of people love to eat out when they reach their destination. We’ve been programmed to believe it is part of the vacation feel.
Before you completely revolt, the occasional special meal at a nice restaurant on vacation isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about eating out when you get in the car or head to the airport.
The best part about this tip is the bigger the family the more you save.
Your Dining Options For A Road Trip
If you are driving to your destination, stop by the grocery store before you leave for your trip. Instead of spending money on the typical restaurant experience, buy some items you can pack for lunches, dinners and some snacks for in between.
Most people just stop somewhere for a fast meal in the rush to get to wherever they are going. Your fast food options normally include McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King at most interstate exits. These meals can be quick if the restaurants are appropriately staffed. Sadly, that isn’t always the case.
Gas stations are another option but they have very inflated prices due to the convenience fact. Typically, they only carry snacks and lighter meal items. You could easily spend just as much eating at a gas station as you would at a fast food restaurant.
Packing your food is even faster than fast food or a gas station because you don’t have to stop at all.
I always liked to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with Pringles but you can pack deli meat sandwiches in a cooler if you prefer. For drinks, I pick up a 24 pack of water bottles, which is the only time you’ll ever see me buying bottled water. We usually pick up a 12 pack of soda, as well.
Again, the larger the family the more you stand to save. The best part is, I always have leftover drinks to enjoy once I reach my vacation destination so I don’t have to pay the high prices from vending machines or local vendors.
Essentially, I get to save money twice with this trick.
Your Dining Options When You’re Flying
Things can be a bit more complicated in the airport but bringing along food and drink is still manageable. Airport food is very expensive and, unless you like overpriced food, is rarely worth it.
You can easily pack some food in your carry on bag. Unfortunately, drinks are a bit harder because of those pesky security guards. There is a way to get around it. What I do is buy a 1.25 liter bottle of Coke Zero a week or so in advance.
When I am done drinking it I keep the bottle. You can take empty bottles through security and the fill it up with the water fountain on the other side.
Drinks at the airport cost at least double what they are anywhere else so I always bring an empty bottle.
Feel Free To Dine Out At Your Destination
Like I said before, once you reach your destination you’re free to eat out if it is part of the vacation plan. Just avoid fast food options you could eat at home. After all, why spend money doing something you could do at home. You might as well cook.
Personally, I like eating at beachfront restaurants when I’m going to beach. I try to stay away from the major chains like TGI Friday’s because I can go to them at home and it is the same exact experience.
Another Great Way To Save On Vacation Costs
I have one more secret way to save on vacations. My wife and I regularly use credit card rewards, including sign up bonuses, to pay for most of our vacations.
In fact, we’ve taken several cruises for free thanks to these credit card rewards.
If you’re interested and never carry a balance on your credit cards, check out my list of the best sign up bonus credit cards.
Don’t Forget The True Meaning Of Vacation
Vacations should be about experiences and memories. The car or plane ride is rarely one of them. So, save some money next time you head out by stopping by the grocery store before you go.
Not a big fan of dining out? If you really want to save more on your vacation, book lodging with a kitchen.
All you have to do is stop by the grocery store on the way to your lodging destination and stock up on groceries. Then you can cook your meals for much less at your vacation home.
Do you have a travel tip you’d like to share? What do you think about this idea? Let me know if you plan on trying it out!