Summer is here and it is time to get away as a family. If you are like most families, you took a staycation s last year. This year, you may be more inclined to actually go somewhere special. A resort vacation will probably fit the bill. With that said, going to a resort for vacation does not mean throwing all rules on frugality out of the window. Instead, you should be even more frugal than normal in order to get the best vacation for the least money.
In part 1 covered the early stages of planning such as determining your budget, deciding where to go, and how to get there. I also suggested sharing the trip to to cut costs. You can read part 1 of this report here:
Now that your budget is determined and you have decided on transportation, you need to find deals for your resort vacation.
Contact a travel agent: Travel agents know the best deals for resort vacations. They are most skilled at finding package deals such as a cruise and all inclusive vacations where food is included and you won’t have to worry about tips.
Rent a timeshare for your resort vacation. This is especially a good idea of you are traveling with a large group. Timeshares are typically larger suites and are either next door to or in the same hotel as regular hotel rooms. You will have more space, and possibly even better amenities by renting a timeshare from someone who is not able to use it this year.
Bring your own snacks. Snacks suck up a large portion of the food and entertainment budget. Vending machines, candy stands, and soft drinks are sold at prices at amount to highway robbery on resorts. It would behoove you to bring a bag of your favorite snacks to have when you or your kids get the munchies. If traveling with extra food is hard, find a supermarket near your resort to frequent and avoid the mini-bar.
Plan to eat only one restaurant meal a day. If your resort is not all inclusive, food will eat up a large portion of your budget. I like to take advantage of free hotel breakfast bars (fruit and pastries), and eat a large restaurant lunch around 1pm. Half of that meal is often saved for dinner, or dinner consists of snacks we brought with us.
Change locations mid trip: If you can find a great deal for 4 days and 3 nights, but the costs go up if you stay longer, then stay at a different location for the remainder of the trip. It can be a different location, or another location with a special deal. The best thing about this is that you can enjoy two completely different kinds of resorts on both trips. For example, you can four days at Disneyland, and three days at a beach resort, or on a cruise ship.