Vacation – A Wonderful Thing

Vacation

As you may have noticed I have not been very active in blogging recently. This is because my wife and I recently went on vacation and between prepping, going on vacation,  and being out of town for work as soon as I got back, I just haven’t had much free time.

We had a wonderful time on our vacation in sunny Orlando and I would like to share a few of the ways we saved on our trip.

How we were frugal and saved

The first thing my wife and I did to save money was to stay with our parents at their time share (free!). Going on vacation with family or friends is a great way to reduce vacation expenses by sharing the cost of lodging.  Lodging can be one of the biggest expenses of vacation so any way it can be reduced is great. Another great way to save money is to go on vacation to destinations where you have family or friends that you can stay with. Even if you only stay a couple of nights the potential for savings is huge.

We also saved money by going to the local grocery store and buying food to have around. We were lucky in that our time share had a full kitchen so we were able to store and cook any meal we pleased. We used a strategy of eating at least two of our meals each day at our condo. The food we bought was about the equivalent of one night meal out.  If you don’t have a full kitchen you can still save money by bringing breakfast bars, granola bars, nuts or your favorite non perishable snack items.  Obviously, the less you eat out the more you will save.

Another way we saved money was by avoiding souvenirs and other vacation trinkets.  We had our camera, and took plenty of pictures to help us remember our wonderful trip. We didn’t need a Sea World key chain or a Disney World wallet, and we didn’t buy any souvenirs for any family or friends (the wife was a little bummed about that).

We also saved money by taking advantage of all the free things our resort offered.  We typically spent time at the pool twice a day. The resort had an ice cream social so we went down there for a visit. We also entertained ourselves using the in room dvd player and stopping at the closest Redbox for some cheap movies. Watching movies was a great way to avoid the peak temperatures of the day and not get a sunburn which could but a damper on the trip.

We took advantage of free activities like visiting Downtown Disney, visiting the unique city ofCelebration, and doing window shopping at the local outlet mall.  The main thing we did at all of these places was get out and walk around, which last I knew was still free!

How we splurged!

We went to Sea World!  Sea World is hands down my favorite amusement park, and my wife had never gotten the chance to go. I grew up thinking I was going to be a marine biologist and work at Sea World as a trainer.

Going to Sea World was our biggest splurge of the trip, but we didn’t go on a spending spree either. We bought our tickets from the resort we stayed at a discounted price, saving about $10 a ticket. We also had our tickets validated for a second day for free!  While at the park we got a drink mug that allowed us to get refills for a buck, with tempatures in the mid 90s, staying hydrated was important.  Also the second day we went to Sea World we didn’t go for a full day, we did a half day and timed it so that we didn’t have to buy any food at the park.

As I said  before we limited ourselves to one restaurant meal a day, it was another of our splurges. Even though we splurged, we maximized our spending buy taking our leftovers back with us or by splitting our meals. We also avoided typical restaurant upsales such as pop, appetizers, and dessert that might have been easy to say yes too because we were on vacation.

We didn’t feel guilty about the splurging we did on vacation because we had saved for the trip, and spent within the vacation budget we set.

What do you do to save money on vacation?

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