5 Money saving hacks for your next vacation

We are loving being out and away from our home, family, jobs…. really just the everyday hustle and bustle. We decided in January {of this year} that no matter how bad it would hurt financially, we needed to just “rip off the band-aid” and go see the world with our 2 little boys.

We’ve noticed that in all our conversations with friend, family and people we meet on the road one of the 1st questions we get asked {when they work up the most polite way to ask it} is “How can we afford this?” 7 months of full-time traveling for a family of 4 is not cheap, but there are ways to make those dollars stretch a little further.

Whether your able to set up passive income streams before and during your vacations or you’ve been good to pinch your pennies and build up savings to start you on your adventure. These are tips on how to continue saving even while your spending.

Before all this though, you really need to take a look at yourself and decide, “what kind of traveler am i?” Are you a nomad and able to sleep in hostels or at campgrounds? Or do you require luxury, hand-made meals and stress-free travel? Or {like us} are you somewhere in the middle? If you need luxury, this post is not for you 😉

USE MILES TO FLY: We researched a few different cards when we flew to Alaska last July {2016} and by the time we were ready to book our flights back to Alaska this July, they were free! I mean think outside the box too. When your using this card don’t just use it for the normal gas and groceries, we have auto pay set up for things like internet, cable, utilities, phone bill, gym passes, netflix etc. Get the most you can out of it, but then make sure you pay it off each month. Thats the game, if you accrue interest, over time you might as well have just paid for the flight yourself.

Also if you have the ability to do so, diversify and have 2 different cards. We were thankful for this when we got to Europe this spring and found out that NO ONE {seriously, no one!} accepted amex. Thank goodness we had our visa card to use as well.

HOME AWAY OR AIRBNB: We have saved so much money booking through these sites rather than staying at a hotel. Plus you have the bonus of a kitchen, washer and dryer and a fun local in-person experience with the cities and towns that you visit.

One of our favorite things is getting to know each of our hosts. They truly have become new friends. Who else has the best tips on local food and things to do? Its their town, let them introduce you to it.

BUY SOME GROCERIES: This tip is easy and obvious for stays at a Homeaway or Airbnb, but probably overlooked {or looked down on} when staying at a hotel. I’ll tell you what, I can feed my family in a room that only offers hot water as a heat source. Bread, pb&j, fruit, cold cereal, milk and ramen bowls can feed us for a week with minimal cost, if it needs to.

We’ve also noticed that most zoos, attractions and tours {unlike most in the states} allow you to bring in your own food. Picnics are a cultural MUST in France and Italy, why shouldn’t they be everywhere else too?

Yes we love tasting and trying foods of the town’s and countries that we visit, but it certainly doesn’t need to be every meal everyday.

MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE: Whether your bringing your favorite roast to each place you stay or you’re simply just using the free coffee provided by the hotel, make your own. I’m always shocked by travelers that talk about running out to Starbucks every day for their morning cup…. that’s like $10/day!! It doesnt sound like much, but it adds up.

CAR LEASE vs CAR RENTAL: I wrote a blog about this already when we were trying to decide the best way for our little family to spend 90 days seeing Europe. We had no idea that this option even existed until then. It is a fraction of the cost of a car rental.

Also take into consideration the size of vehicle and distance. My husband is 6’5″ so obviously we would love the extra room and space that an SUV would offer, but he still manages to fold himself into a little 5 seater every time. Better price on smaller vehicles and dont forget better gas mileage! Dont let that gas station sign with that unbelievably low price on it fool you, it is not actually so. We pay per gallon and in other countries it’s per liter {big big difference}.

Hope this helps! One traveling-fam to another. Don’t let the worry of money stress you out. Like everything, it’s one step at a time. If you want to make it happen, you can. It might take a little sacrifice and pre-planning, but its worth it!!

 

 

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