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Easy Ways to Save Money When Vacationing with Family

Updated on January 15, 2012

A family getaway doesn't have to be expensive or hard to plan, and if it is planned ahead of time, you can actually save money using simple alternatives, especially with food and drinks. Here are five different ways to save money when on a family vacation no matter where your destination is.

Pack Your Own Snacks

For those who have young kids, you know the importance of snacks. While the mini bar in the room may be tempting, it will be more fun for the kids if you pack your own mini bar inside a cooler. Include favorite snacks and healthy treats, and don't forget to include a favorite indulgence or two. Some amusement parks will allow small bags to carry inside, or even carrying coolers. Kids can carry small backpacks with pretzels and pre-made bags of snacks you've assembled at home. Packing snacks for munching during the day will be much less expensive than purchasing them at a park.

Purchase Souvenirs Before You Leave the House

Souvenirs and keepsakes for the event will be an important final step during the vacation, especially with the kids. Buy all your swag before you leave for the vacation. Check out online discount stores featuring merchandise and fun gear with the amusement park's logo prominently displayed. T-shirts and toys are easy finds and can be hidden in suitcases and brought out at just the right time for everyone.

Carry Your Own Water Bottles

Have everyone carry their own water bottles. Some parks will not allow snacks or coolers, but water is something that each person can carry. Instead of drinking expensive soda all day, water will satisfy a thirst and is easily refilled. Bring bottles that are sized convenient enough to carry around, even for little hands, but large enough to hold at least 8-ounces of water. That way you are not refilling constantly, and the little ones are able to carry it all day without problem.

Make Your Own Meals

If you are staying in a hotel with a dinette or small kitchen, make your own breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on the daily activity. Oftentimes, there will be cooking equipment ready for you to use as well as serving plates and utensils. If you know you will not be around a convenience store or supermarket, plan ahead and fill a cooler with refrigerated items or frozen goods and transfer them to the refrigerator when you get there. Pantry items can be stored in a spare suitcase or bag. Pack a cooler with enough fixings for a meal each day instead of eating out at restaurants daily for every meal.

Look for Package Deals

If convenience is needed on a vacation, scout the many deals offered for full packages. These will include meals, hotel stay, and entrance to a park. Some cities will even have package deals for different amusement parks grouped together. For example, if you know you will be visiting different parks in one week when out of town, some travel agents and online vacation dealers will package different amusement parks and family activities together making it much less expensive to do several things and see different sights on a single vacation.

What Ways Do You Save Money When Vacationing?

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  • R Shelton profile image

    R Shelton 5 years ago from California, USA

    I like that idea for flavoring plain water!

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    These are all great ideas, particularly about bringing snacks and water. I like to bring drink mix packets with me to drink flavored water.