Summer vacation is a great time for families to go out and do things together. Visiting amusement parks, dining out, and staying in hotels can end up costing a lot of money. Travel expenses can quickly add up, too. Here are some frugal tips that will help your family enjoy summer vacation without having to go into a lot of debt.
Pack some snacks.
Make use of your child’s lunchbox this summer. It is the perfect container for easy to eat snacks that your family can bring along on car trips. Instead of stopping the car at the nearest fast food place, pass out some snacks to tide everyone over until it is time for a big meal.
Choose snacks that will hold up in the heat. Crackers, pretzels, trail mix (minus the chocolate) and dried fruit are some healthy options. It is also a good idea to fill a cooler with bottles of water. The drinks will stay cold until they are needed. Another great thing about water is that it won’t stain the car if your child spills some.
Avoid the gift shop.
Amusement parks, museums, and other “tourist attractions” usually have a gift shop. Some of these places will be devious and route guests directly through the gift shop in order for them to find the exit. The interesting items you see in the gift shops are probably going to be overpriced.
Avoid walking into the gift shops. You can make memories by taking photos of your adventure instead of buying magnets, t-shirts, and toys. Later on, if there was something that a family member simply had to have, consider buying it through the website of the amusement park (or other attraction).
Seek out the freebies.
There are some hotels that allow children to stay for free. If your travel plans include booking a room at a hotel, make sure you ask if they have that deal. It might not be advertised.
While you are at it, ask for details about their complimentary breakfast. Make sure your family takes advantage of the free breakfast in the morning. Doing so will save you the money that you would end up spending at a restaurant.
Many hotels will offer a free shuttle to and from the nearest airport. Or, they might have a shuttle that brings people to the nearby tourist attractions. It is possible that it will be offered as a free service. This could save you the money you may have spent on a cab.
Image by Mark Longair on Flickr.