Disclaimer: If this isn’t your season to save weekly, we’ve been there. Totally understand. My heart in writing this post is really just to encourage you that travel may be attainable than you realized. I also wanted to add that if you want to tweak this to save more, awesome. I just hope you can sit aside cash to travel when we all can again!
I’ve created this 52 weeks saving schedule. I really want you to get creative here. Can you sell some stuff? Can you pick up a little side hustle to hit your weekly savings goal. You’ll also notice there’s a few weeks you don’t have to save anything. If you have a tight week and need to shift things, just mark that week off whenever it happens.
So, while you’re saving your money for vacation or otherwise, I’m going to share some ways to stretch your money while you are on vacation!
1) Consider staying in your own state. I mean, this is especially true for us Florida people. However, I found it to be true living in Oregon too. There are some wonderful places in your own state to vacation and most will offer “resident rates.”
2) Travel during off seasons– I fully recognize this gets tricky with school schedules, but if you can get creative here there’s a lot of savings to be had.
3) Consider staying with friends/ family/ or camping. In Oregon, you can rent yurts for something like 50 bucks a night right on the coast. They are stunning. Camping is super budget friendly, a new adventure for most, and fun. If you have friends who live somewhere cool like Jacksonville, Florida. See if you can buy groceries and help with chores in exchange for a place to stay. I loveeeeeee being those friends!
4) Find a place with a kitchen. This is an unpopular opinion, but I totally stand by it. Cook your own food, for reals. Bonus points if there is a free breakfast suite option. Bring the kids cereal for breakfast, order a walmart delivery or pick up. Keep meals simple.
5) Invite your friends. This is our go to way to vacation right now in this season of young kids. Invite your friends to travel with you. Get a house or townhouse or whatever, split the duties and split the cost. Also, see if you can swap out childcare so parents can go on dates. This is especially fun I think, because once the kids are down you can play games together, drink wine, whatever.
6) Drive! I have been pro car trips for ever and ever. I love the budget friendly component, but also you can bring more stuff from home. You have more control over when you stop, etc. I am pro car trip + this saves a ton of money. I’d also encourage you to look at asking for gas gift cards for gifts like birthdays.
7) Skip the vacation packages (well, most of the time) — Also, compare individual price things vs. package deals when it comes to things like hotels and theme parks together.
8) See what unique discounts are available to your family. So, for our family we seek out discounts for veterans and foster families. We learned foster families get free state park passes and 50% off camping at Florida State Parks. These equal huge savings.
9) Watch out for random ass deals– For example, we saved money on the kids’ LEGOLAND tickets because I noticed clearance lego sets I snagged at Easter had kids visit free tickets on the back. You’d be amazed where you see coupons like this– juice jugs, makeup, etc. Keep an eye out and stick this away.
10) When someone asks what you want for your next birthday or holiday, tell them the truth. Gift cards for dinners, activities, souvenirs for whatever trip you’re planning.
11) Look for pet friendly places or ask your friends to care for your pets. We save so much money when we can bring our dog or swap dog care with friends.
I recently learned about RV camping THAT IS ALREADY SET UP for you! For example, Meacham’s RV in the Orlando area will get you all set up for a 3 night minimum stay at Disney’s campground. They also offer offsite options, but as a Disney person, I love this so much! I like having our own space, but still getting a Disney experience with s’mores at night and pool days. They also offer services beyond Disney too, and I love that they are pet friendly in some of their properties. I’d really like to do this at one of the local state parks like Crystal River!