Summertime. The time of year for road trips to amusement parks, beaches, and foreign adventures. But what if you don’t have the money to go on vacation? Is there a way to vacation frugally? There are ways to go on a cheap vacation. Let me tell you how the frugal take a summer holiday!
We have a favorite motel that we like to go to in Maine. There is one room that we stay in every time, and it always seems to work out great for us. It has two twin beds for the boys and a full size for us. It also has a kitchenette, which is a must. And it is steps from the beach.
I also love that it is privately owned by a super sweet couple, not a big company like Hilton or Mariott.
We have not been in a couple of years, so I am excited to return. Here are some great tips on how to go on a cheap vacation!
Go someplace within driving distance.
More than likely, gas costs will be cheaper than airline tickets. Find a destination that you can drive to! I know people who drive to Disney in Florida from my town. That will take a few days, but it might still be cheaper than gas and car rental! Our vacation trip will take us about 6 hours to get to!
Go in the offseason
Our hotel goes from $180 to $155 on August 20, starting September 3, down to $85!!!! If you have children in school, this might be a little harder to do, but in NY, our school doesn’t start until after Labor Day, so the end of August is still an option. The weather is still charming in September, so if you can get away, it’s the best time!
Get a room with a kitchen.
I know; who wants to cook while on vacation? I know I sure don’t, but if you can make breakfast – (cereal, muffins, microwave egg sammies, juice, and coffee) and lunch (sandwiches, chips, salads, and fruit), you can save $100 a day! We have a grocery store we like to go to while there, but I also pack up the food we have here to take. Specifically, things like peanut butter, bread, snacks, and coffee won’t spoil on the way. We are even bringing a small one cup k-cup coffee maker and our mugs to have coffee in the morning.
Don’t go to the most expensive restaurants.
We like to eat one nice dinner while out, but we will grab less costly options most nights. There is one place that we love. It’s a food trailer with excellent Lobster Rolls, and the chowder is incredible too!!
Go for family-owned.
In the area of Maine that we are heading to, there are very few chain hotels, but the ones there are rent their rooms for over $20 more a night on the same dates. Sometimes, family-owned is better!!! Check into it, and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if you are AAA, military, senior citizen, or even a teacher. You never know!
Take four steps back.
If you don’t mind, a longer walk or drive to the beach doesn’t matter; opt to stay a few blocks from the prime location. You will save more money and get a little exercise, also! I want to be able to step outside my door, take ten steps, and feel the sand between my toes! If I am going to the ocean, it is a must! No compromising!
Pitch a tent
I know camping is not necessarily a vacation but fun and a nice getaway from life. Plus, It is cheap! Camping equipment can be borrowed or rented, especially if it is your first time. I know some places will let you rent a camper. You can often find camping equipment inexpensively at garage sales and Craigslist.
State campsites with no electric or water hookups run from $8 to 35 per night. That is a pretty great price. There are some pretty great sites in the Adirondack Mountains of ours. We have a camper and enjoy camping! It is a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it!
Look For Deals
My friend Ilana at Life Well Cruised writes about cruising (I bet you guessed that!), and she has found some fantastic deals on cruises. Check out the blog for more info!
Is it worth it?
Don’t forget to save up for a trip. Whether you are trying for a camping weekend getaway or a cruise to the tropical islands, plan for it and save up all year. You can enjoy it much more if you don’t have that credit card bill hanging over your head!
Awesome tips Sara! Thank you! If we are someplace that has a kitchen I like to bring a couple premise dinner options liked taco meat or pasta sauce that have been prepped and frozen. It saves on dinners or a couple nights and we’ll usually opt for a couple lunches out too when meals can be a little less costly.
A couple of great ideas! I will have to think about this when we go next month! Thanks!!!