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  1. #1
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    Default Frugal Vacation- How to Have a GREAT Vacation on Limited $

    Ok, new question time!

    How do you give you & your family a great vacation on a limited
    budget? What do you do that helps cut the costs?

    My husband and I despretly want to take the kids to Disney, but it's
    becoming a distant dream now. We are going to relocate this summer
    out of neccessity, and all of our Disney savings are pretty much
    going to that. It really sucks, BUT, with 3 kids, you have to
    move where the jobs are.

    Anyway, because the Disney trip is on hold probably for a few years
    yet (we originally planned to go in the spring of 2008), we are
    going to do a much smaller, closer vacation this year for us and the
    kids.

    Other than packing food, and not eating out at attractions, we're
    looking to cut costs by using coupons, getting a really cheap room
    that will sleep 5 (actually, it sleeps 8, and it's a bit more
    expensive than a regular room, but it includes a microwave, fridge,
    & grill for cooking), using coupons for area attractions, and going
    during the week when prices & crowds are much lower.

    I also plan to cover a portion of the gas by using my reward points
    at my gas station for a free $25 gift card, and filling up with that
    for the first drive. It probably won't cut the gas cost in half, but
    it should come close. It costs us roughly $30 to fill the tank up,
    and I'm anticipating only one fill up per "way", so 2 fill ups. I do
    plan to budget for a 3rd, though.

    I thought about camping, but we don't have -any- camping supplies,
    and cramming 5 of us into a tent just doesn't sound relaxing or fun
    to me or my husband.

    We plan to stop at small places along the way- city parks, zoo's,
    maybe a museum or two, and are looking to see how much a zoo
    membership costs for different zoo's. Many have recipricol's, where
    you can use your membership from 1 zoo to enter other zoos free of

    charge. The memberships are cheaper at different places, too, so if
    I find the cheapest one to get it at, then I can take the kids to
    zoo's all summer long free.

    Souviner's will be limited to a set price per kid (more if they
    bring their own saved birthday money and what not). We plan to see
    exactly how much each thing costs, and find out ahead of time of
    anything offers a discount or coupon, and that will go into the
    budget.

    While we do plan to bring most of our own food, I'll budget an extra
    amount for that, just in case. I plan to let the kids each get a
    snack here and there.

    So, what ways do you save money on vacationing costs?

  2. #2
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    Re: Budget101.com : Frugality on Vacations


    We take numerous day trip vacations during the summer and spend the nights
    at home.

    From: "herberkids3"

  3. #3
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    Re: Budget101.com : Frugality on Vacations


    Someone told me you can get coupon books for your state anyone know
    anything about this. We are on a very tight budget but would like to
    take the kids on a mini vacation.

    BB
    Crystal

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    Re: Budget101.com : Frugality on Vacations


    We save our change in a big wooden box I have. Whatever is in there by the
    time we want to go on a vacation that is the money we spend.
    Last year we went to an amusement park that was about an hour and a half
    away. We bought a 2 day pass ( which is cheaper) and spent one night at a
    hotel. I got a AAA discount.
    We came back the second night. The hotel had an indoor pool and a hot tub
    and a resteraunt.
    It was really nice.
    This year we will probably go camping. There is a really nice lake and
    campground about 45 minutes from here.
    We will take some daytrips while we are there to the local caves.
    Monika

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    Re: Budget101.com : Frugality on Vacations


    we really havent vacationed much because it is so expensive. One dream trip we did take was 2 1/2 weeks in Great Britain. It was a bargain because my husband is from there and we stayed with family, often ate with family, as well.
    We got an amazing deal on flights...round trip from Philadelphia, which is 20 minutes from me to London Gatwick airport which is close to my sister in law. For all 5 of us, the flights were $1451.00. My friend is head of security for the airline we took and even got us bumped up to first class on the way over. I sort of felt like the Beverly Hillbillies go to England lol.
    We had an amazing time, spent half in North Wales, and half outside of London. Did lots of the touristy things, but also spent alot of time with family. Even went to France for one day!
    We rented a car for less than $300 for the entire time thru EasyCar. Our biggest waste of money was, no doubt, the eating out. There was really no reason for it as often as we did. Prices are much higher over there to begin with and we had family more than willing to have us for a meal. We were completely broke when we came back and I wouldn't do that again. I'd be sure that are bills were paid up for a month after we got back. The stress put a damper on the whole experience.
    My husband is going back this year for just 9 days, and the trip is already much more expensive with flights and car rental. I'm sending over a limited amount of spending money because he is a TERRIBLE spender.

    I'd love to get back soon and its one of the reasons I'm trying to save money. My girls need to see their family and I just love it over there.

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    Re: Frugality on Vacations


    We've had some wonderful vacations where we sort of roughed it, but
    without actually having to sleep in a tent. One of the ways to do
    this is to check to see whether campgrounds have cabins for rent.
    Some call them Kamping Kabins. You basically get the beds, light and
    possibly heat. You provide sleeping bags or other bedding. You'd
    probably need a camp stove or you could cook hot dogs over a campfire.

    Also, some state parks have cabins, platform tents, or yurts that they
    rent. Same sort of deal--you're renting a place to sleep, but you
    have to provide bedding.

    Another option is hostels. They aren't just for college students!
    When I was homeschooling my daughter, we took a lot of great
    education-related trips where we stayed in hostels. Most hostels have
    dormitory-type rooms, but some have family rooms, too. The great
    thing about a hostel is you don't have to eat every meal out! You can
    use the kitchen. This was great for us, because my kid would just as
    soon have Spaghettios or other comfort food after a day out. A lot of
    hostels offer free breakfasts.

    All of these options can be cheaper than a motel or hotel. Of course,
    you don't get the perks of a swimming pool, etc. I think part of the
    fun of traveling with kids is staying somewhere that provides them
    with some entertainment, such as a pool.

    Oooh, one other idea, check out the casino hotels on Indian
    reservations. They can sometimes be a really good deal.

    Sue

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    RE: Budget101.com : Frugality on Vacations


    We actually do camp at least twice each year; we?ve bought items throughout the years that we use to make it our own ?home-away-from-home? J

    If we go to a specific attraction, I contact the local Chamber of Commerce for brochures and coupons.

    Hotels - We try to always get a room with kitchenette (if staying in a hotel, continental breakfasts are mandatory for us!). Don?t forget about all the discount hotel sites where you can search for the lowest fares. An indoor pool is a good extra but sometimes that just makes the kids want to hang out there and not venture out for more fun.

    Using your rewards points for a gas card sounds great!! I am on a site that now offers a debit card so I usually opt for that option so I am free to use it when and where needed most.

    We try and schedule in some down-time for the kids. Yes, it?s vacation but that doesn?t mean I have to drag them in and out of a million places just to say we?ve been there/done that!! They mostly enjoy the laidback atmosphere and not having to be stuck at home.

    If we eat out at a nice restaurant, we do it at lunch time. Prices are almost half of those at dinner (and you can still use any coupons at that time) and you still get enough food to satisfy. We save the sandwiches for dinner. **you can see if the place you are going has a local Entertainment coupon book. They are typically $20 (they will start discounting them towards the summer as new books come out in October) and can save you much more than that in just a short time.

    We do take some food with us but I have started to understand that that isn?t always a good use of space in the vehicle. Yes, some things are too good to not take from home (sodas, car snacks, condiments) but some things you can just as cheap and easy at a grocery store near your destination. Most towns have a WalMart so I don?t worry about taking bread and fresh meat ? I just buy it there. **The kids have started requesting to have a picnic if it?s going to be a long drive. They get to eat and then run around exploring the rest area/ picnic area while we relax and regroup J We just have everyone make up a sack lunch (so you don?t have to prepare it there) and put those and drinks in a small cooler and that?s all we take out.



    Hope some of this helps! Yolonda

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    Re:Frugality on Vacations


    So, what ways do you save money on vacationing costs?



    My husband?s parents own a timeshare in Hilton Head. We are blessed to be able to go on vacation with them each year. That eliminates the need for lodging for our family. What we are responsible for is food, gas, souvenirs, and any activities we do. In order to keep the cost down we take our own snacks and most of our food. We plan on eating breakfast and lunch in the cottage, which has a full size kitchen. I also plan on cooking 2 or 3 nights. Nothing fancy but much cheaper than eating out every night. We usually stay for 5 or 6 days so, we plan on eating out 1 or 2 nights. To help keep the cost down on eating out, we eat dinner early (5:00pm) so we can get a better price. Then we eat a snack, like popcorn, fruit, etc later on. We only plan on 1 or 2 activities that require paying. We tell our children, ahead of time so they won?t be disappointed and keep asking. We let them help plan, ages 8 and 10, which really cuts down on the complaining. We try to get up early and go to the beach and then come back around 11:30 eat lunch and either go to the pool OR do our activity. We then like to go back to the beach in later in the evening to watch the sunset, look for shells, etc. We stop at the Visitor?s center when we first get on the island and we get coupons, free information, and a really cool place to tour. The visitor?s center is a wealth of information. We even research on the internet before we go, which is a great big help. One year we took our bicycles and rode them around instead of using our car. We had less sand in the car and had a wonderful time because the kids love riding backs. Not to mention healthier. As for traveling we make our lunch keep it in a cooler and stop along the way at parks, rest areas (our favorite) to eat. When we stop for gas, the kids know that they can?t get anything because we already have snacks, and treats in the car. I save lots of money by planning ahead. We leave our house about 3 or 4 am and this saves money because it isn?t has hot, no a/c, and the kids sleep, for quite a while. In the past we have stopped at a buffet type place for breakfast around 9 or 10 am and considered it brunch. This helped because we didn?t eat again until we got to the island, except snacks. Since the kids are older we don?t do this as much because they don?t eat free anymore. So a picnic is what we do, and then they get to run off some energy and play for a while. This makes the trip go by much faster. We live about 9- 10 hours from Hilton Head, so it can be very expensive traveling if we don?t plan ahead. We try not to buy anything on the island because it is more expensive, and usually buy our perishables right before we get on the island. Being prepared and planning is what makes for a frugal and fun vacation.



    Jennifer, KY

    God is GOOD!!

 

 
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