Vacations planned during cold winter days are now eagerly anticipated and watched more closely than a rambunctious school boy waiting for the final bell of the final school day. Before hitting the open road for that, “once in a life time” vacation, cookout or other venture, consider a few suggestions.
If plans have been made to drive to this years’ vacation location, or flying on a discount airline, here are 5 tips which may save a few bucks and preserve or enhance the fun factor.
1. Clip Coupons
In many households disposable income has been disposed of. Meaning, there is not much play money left to play with. Therefore, coupon clipping could save more than a few dollars.
Traditionally newspapers offered various types of coupons from perishables and frozen foods to fast food discount coupons. With today’s’ technology, internet sites such as “All Solutions Network” found at; http://tiny.cc/ozsl9 offer savings in nearly every area including food. Consider the savings to a family of 5 when traveling if they have a couple of “buy one and get one free” coupons for different restaurant.
2. Make Sandwiches
Parents are concerned about the diet of their children. When traveling, making a few select sandwiches can also save more than a few dollars. People go to supermarkets to buy groceries. Why not take advantage of the groceries already purchased and make a few sandwiches for the trip.
Children tend to want to eat along the way. If flying, buying an in-flight cold cut sandwich could cost more than parents want to pay. Packing a few of a Childs’ favorite sandwiches may help keep them calm, quiet and asleep until landing.
If driving, packing sliced meats and the fixings in water tight bags can save on stopping time, driving time, and cost. Stopping every few miles for sandwiches and snacks will make the trip much longer and more expensive.
3. Group Vacations
Money is tight and everyone needs to get away for a vacation. Okay, why not pool the resources of a two families and rent a motor coach. By pooling resources the full expense is not in the pocket of one family or person.
A little research can produce an interesting range of rental prices and periods. By comparing rental pricing with each families estimated cost for vacation, pooling may be a positive idea.
If fellow vacationers agree with the idea, be sure to call ahead and reserve parking or camping sites. Summer time is the season when many sites may fill quickly.
Note: This idea is not advised if the two families are not extremely compatible. If someone has a tent or two, take them along for the kids. They may love the idea of sleeping outside, or the adults may.
4. Use cash, traveler checks or prepaid debit cards
Traveling is a challenge in itself, but using credit cards can make a great vacation not so great a month later. By planning and budgeting, vacationers and travelers alike can maintain more control over expenses.
Carrying large amounts of cash, ($300 and up), can be a bad idea. Why not stop by one of the chain super markets or department stores and purchase a prepaid debit card. These cards cost only a few bucks, and can be loaded up to a few thousand dollars. This is surely a better idea than carrying large amounts of cash. If for some reason the prepaid credit card is lost or its number stolen, thieves don’t have your primary personal bank or credit card.
It may also be a good idea to go by your bank and purchase a few dollars in travelers checks for cash purchases.
5. Use a hot – cold thermos and bottled water
Convenience stores and travel centers make their money by charging higher prices for being at their customer’s convenience. Buying bottled water, fruit and soft drinks, hot drinks and most other items will cost more. Pulling the old thermos from the rear of the kitchen cabinet may be a good idea.
A 16 oz. cup of coffee will likely cost over a dollar. Cold drinks are the same. Why not make these purchases at the super market before or during the trip and save those few extra dollars. Hot coffee is hot coffee no matter if it’s served in a name brand cup of your own personal Sippy cup. But your cup is cheaper and taste better. Purchasing bottled water is overpriced as well.
Summer is a fun time of year. Traveling for whatever reason does not have to cost a fortune. By using a few money saving tips, the trip or adventure could be the topic of conversation, on cold winter nights, for years to come.