July 2, 2013

Vacationing on a budget

How do I budget when on vacation? Great question self, how do YOU do this? Honestly, I am having some trouble with it.

 Looking back over the past year of marriage, Stephen and I had some pretty big trips. We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon, Maui for our one year anniversary and a couple of day trips here and there.

You see, for all these trips, I was employed full time except Maui, which we used my payout from my former jobs vacation days to pay for this. We haven't taken a vacation since I quit my job and I am trying to figure out how to even go about taking one without breaking the bank. I do pull an income, but almost all of the money I bring in besides tithe goes to our savings and emergency fund. We want to have a safe nest egg in case life hands us tons of lemons. So not dipping into the saving or giving up our financial goals is important. 

So how do I take Stephen on a much needed break from his work that's cost efficient and fun? My plan is to go this month to Savannah, GA (about 7 hours away from our home) and enjoy 3 days of  "us" time. If you're like me in this, here are 3 ways to manage to enjoy ourselves without trouble financial issues afterwards.

1. Staying in a hotel that's off the beaten path. 
For us, we don't plan on staying in the hotel room much, besides sleeping. We are spending most of our time exploring, so we don't need the most luxurious hotel in the hot spot of the city. We aren't going to stay in a scary, near abandoned unsafe area, but we don't need the most fantastic hotel ever. 

2. Shop at your local grocery store and pack meals to go. 
I know this is not the most exciting way to have fun, but it can save so much money besides eating out. Most hotel rooms have a mini fridge for cold foods. If not, by non refrigerated foods like bread, bananas and peanut butter for lunches. Simple is key here. Don't spend hours slaving in the kitchen.

3. Make a plan on what activities we want to do ahead of time. 
Making a "plan" can help cut down on costs. If there is a certain  tour we want to go on, we look up coupons before we leave home or cheaper times to go. We also research free things to do that still give us a great experience on vacation. 

 You can apply all three of these ways to save on any trip anywhere and feel good about being smart with your money. 

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  1. That's the way we vacation! There are ways to have tons of fun without breaking the bank!

  2. If you can save money on meals by cooking your own, you'll save a ton of money during your vacation. Food is one of the most costly items.


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