Living Frugal and saving on Vacation

by Patricia
(Northern California)

I have been living frugal and saving on vacation for a number of years. It began due to necessity and it became just a way of life. I love saving a buck.

I have been a semi-retired teacher for 3 years.

I love to vacation and I have friends who do also. For the last 5 years two friends and I have gone together to Hawaii, Canada, Oregon and Washington and split the cost of lodging,rental cars (when we didn't drive our own) and gas.

We always book a place that has a kitchenette or at least a microwave and refrig so we can make several meals in. When we eat out, we make it lunch which is always cheaper than dinner.

We have also stayed at hostels which are not just for kids. Not being youth, we do book a private room though which in a hostel is very reasonable. Bath down the hall doesn't bother us.

We have found free concerts, inexpensive plays, and we love to find consignment stores which every town seems to have. As we are seniors, museums and many other places offer senior discounts.

If possible, we take our bikes and tootle around parks for exercise and to better see the sights. These are just a few inexpensive get-away ideas that I hope others can use.

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Oct 23, 2010
Rest rooms
by: Kathy

The comment I have is to restrict your consumption of water or liquid on the road, if you take meds that cause a dry mouth situation.

I find that stopping every hour or so, causes me to add significant hours to a long trip. That in turn often results in an ( extra ? ) motel stay.

Don't dehydrate yourself, but a few hard candies will alleviate that dry mouth feeling as well as extra bottles of water. And the frustration of not being able to find a rest room.

Gary, I love this site. Great info, good humor!

Blessings, Kathy

Gary says: Thanks Kathy... anything to keep moving is critical...with one caveat, we try and stop once every two hours to stretch and use the john.

Oct 23, 2009
Great stuff
by: Gary


Great advice...lunch is cheaper than dinner...why pay resort prices for beer or soft your own, drink them in your room.

No kitchenette at the motel? Many times we have filled the waste basket with ice and enjoyed cold drinks on the road.

For car trips, always take a cooler, keep sandwiches, snacks and drinks ready for a snack on the go.

To avoid motel bills we take the cooler and stop only for gas and bathroom breaks...driving 2 hours max between stops. Get some book tapes from the library and the miles will melt away.

It is 800 miles from Our Phoenix home to Sacramento, Julie's family. This is an 12 to 13 hour, one day journey made easy with the cooler, book motel bills.

Enjoy, frugal ones.

Oct 22, 2009
more saving on vacation
by: SteveB

Pat's comments are very well taken and remind me that when we take the BIG vacation (Hawaii in Nov.), staying in the time share, lunch will be the restaurant meal (always much less expensive) and if we have to go out for dinner, we will snack lightly in the room with our store bought alcoholic beverage, then go and enjoy a couple appetizers and perhaps a salad. That can easily cut the evening dining costs in half.

Oct 16, 2009
Listen up folks
by: Gary


Thanks for your contains a great way for all of us to save when we travel.

When choosing a motel find one with a small kitchenette.

Compare the cost of going to the store and buying a box of cereal and milk and having breakfast in the room,to going to a restaurant for breakfast.

Families this can be a huge savings. You know what the kids will eat. Get it and have it in the room vs watching them push food around a plate in a restaurant at $5.00 per child.

Adults a refrig in the room will allow you to put your favorite beverage on ice and enjoy while you watch TV.

We have had many a pleasant evening when traveling with just wine and cheese for dinner. If you pack for this you have just saved a trip to the restaurant.

Thanks Patricia!

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