Our family loves to travel whether it’s to Walt Disney World or Ireland, or exploring our home state of Texas. We love seeing new places, doing new things, trying new foods and making new memories. I have always loved to travel and now I love giving my kids the gift of learning through travel.
We also like to save money even when traveling. We occasionally splurge on luxury upgrades when we
travel, but mostly we look for moderate or budget friendly ways to travel – especially when planning for vacation options in the new year. Being frugal while traveling allows you to travel even more because the money saved can be put towards your next adventure. Or even in a savings account. 🙂 In our years of travel, I’ve learned a few simple frugal travel tips that anyone can do in order to save money. Here are five of our best tips frequently used by my
Frugal Travel Tips: Go More for Less
Free Is Your Friend
You can’t get any cheaper than free, right? There are many fun activities on a vacation that can be done
for no charge. Parks and museums can occasionally be free or include free admission on specific
weekdays. TravelingMom where I am a contributor has a list of Free Things to Do In The 50 States
Try searching for free activities near your next vacation spot to help with planning your next trip. State
and National Parks have become a go to for us when traveling. The photo above was taken on a hike in Lost Maple State Natural Area. It was free with our park pass. There are many quality and fun options that can be included in your trip for no charge. If you’re looking for frugal travel tips, definitely maximize what you can do for free.
Don’t Forget the Snacks or Picnic
Food is always one of our biggest expenses when we travel. Often we stay at hotels or rentals with
kitchens and we save by cooking our meals. However, I’m on vacation and sometimes that means I want
a vacation from the kitchen. We do occasionally eat out, which can be expensive. That said, it’s still possible to save! One of the easiest ways to reduce your vacation food costs is to bring your own snacks where allowed instead of purchasing expensive concessions. When visiting a park or any location with a nearby picnic area pack a picnic basket instead of purchasing a meal. If we mix bringing our own snacks and a picnic lunch with treating ourselves to trying a local restaurant we never feel we are sacrificing the quality of our trip.
Take the Road Less Traveled
Most people want to go to Hawaii or Disney World. They are amazing vacations, but also very expensive.
If the popular and more expensive destinations are not in your current budget that doesn’t mean you
need to stay home. Another frugal travel trip we often use is choosing somewhere off the beaten path
that is more budget friendly.
Some of our most memorable trips have been “the road less traveled”. For example, we had a
wonderful time visiting Arkansas. It may not be the first place to come to mind when vacation planning
but it’s filled with beautiful parks like Petit Jean pictured above which was the kids’ first hike, some great
museums, and even a fun amusement and water park. Choose a place less frequented by tourists and
you will find fewer crowds, lower prices and a great time.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the frugal travel tips we use on almost every vacation. I’m not talking about
visiting Costco here. Instead, look for package deals that include hotel, airfare, budget friendly and even
some attractions or any combination thereof. When combining your trip bookings you can often save
more than if you had booked separately.
Attractions are another great place to buy in bulk. Many cities offer a pass that can be purchased for one
price and includes many of the city’s best attractions. The places are usually somewhere you would want
to visit anyway and the pass is a substantial discount off of purchasing them separately. It’s a win-win situation. We loved the Dallas pass which included the amazing Children’s Arboretum, The Dallas Zoo and more.
Do Your Homework
Time spent researching your family vacation can mean money saved. Check for bulk deals. Compare
various hotel booking sites. Check for discount passes or free things to do. You can even check if it’s
cheaper to rent lodgings on a site like HomeAway or AirBNB. Check out the prices on local restaurants.
Finally, stay up to date on more travel tips and ways to budget 2018 vacations by visiting Alamo Rent A
Car’s Scenic Route. The more work and price comparison you’re willing to put in ahead of time, the
more you can save.