Thrifty Tuesday

Thrifty Tuesday – Travel Tips

I thought for this week’s Thrifty Tuesday I’d share a few travel tips on how we save a little money when we vacation. Specifically when we road trip since that’s the type of trip we’re taking this week.

When we go to Itasca, we always stay in a cabin or suite that has a kitchen if we can. I know it’s going to sound crazy, but this way we can cook a few meals if we want. I know, I know, it’s vacation! Why should we be cooking? But seriously, the Lodge inside the park has fantastic food (especially breakfast) but it is NOT cheap. We’ve found a few places in town that are decent too, but again, if we can save a little bit, we splurge once or twice and cook everything else back at our cabin.

Another thing we’ve found helps is that we end up kind of eating two major meals instead of three for the most part. Obviously we will make Ollie anything he needs or wants, but if we can do a bigger breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon) and eat it between 10 and 11, we can stretch out until dinner pretty well. We have tons of snacks and we’ll take those along on adventures if we need them.

We drive the vehicle that gets the best gas mileage – that’s kind of a no brainer, but it makes sense and it does make a difference. The last time we went we had just got Nate’s Suburu and found we made it all the way up on one tank of gas and still didn’t need to fill up right away. And that was even with a storage unit on top of the car!

We let ourselves get souvenirs, but we try to set a limit on how much we each get to spend. We also try to seek out free activities if we can. For example, we found a disc golf course that has one of the best playgrounds I have ever seen. We also discovered a little Science Museum that we were able to visit for free with our Children’s Museum membership. And there are tons of trails to explore in the park. We don’t mind paying to do things as well, but we try to save a little where we can!

So, it makes the whole week a little more affordable which is one of the main reasons we like going back so frequently! If you have any good travel tips (especially air travel, why so expensive???) please share in the comments as I’d love to hear them!

3 thoughts on “Thrifty Tuesday – Travel Tips”

  1. I think if a trip is longer than a few days, getting a place with a kitchen makes total sense (esp. if you’re travleling with kids!). Eating out can get expensive and honestly, after three days of eating out I am usually over it and craving something home-cooked, so for longer trips it makes sense to only eat out occasionally and otherwise have the opportunity to make meals at home.
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  2. This was a great post, and so timely too since we’re getting ready to do a trip ourselves. I know that we’re going to spend too much $ on food–I don’t think our hotel rooms have kitchens–but I like the idea of doing an early lunch/late breakfast and an earlier dinner out instead of 3 big meals out. That may help us out! Also, yay for the free activities! Thanks to you we’ll be checking out the free zoo, and we’re also planning to do the sculpture gardens too. Great tips Beth!
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  3. We rented a cabin the first vacation we took with Charlotte, when she was old enough to eat solid foods but allergic to eggs. We had no choice but to bring all her food with us, since we couldn’t chance it, being that far from medical attention and knowing the average epinephrine shot only works for about 15 minutes. I’m a big fan of bringing things to hotels, too. Cheese strings, individual yogurts etc are all “treats” when you don’t usually buy them so it still feels fun and vacation-y without being a huge money suck.
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