We have not traveled on Spring Break in several years’. One reason is the crowds, and another reason is the expense. Traveling at peak times is too expensive for our family. We homeschool, and it is easier for us to travel off season and get better hotel rates. Gas is sometimes cheaper too.
Spring break travel on a shoestring for frugal families involves more preplanning, but the savings is worth it. Obviously, hotels are the most expensive part of the trip. Gas and food fall in place for a close second. Our last big travel trip on Spring Break was to a Disney park. The majority of our expense on that trip was a hotel and food inside the park. Since then, we have almost mastered traveling on a shoestring, even to an expensive place such as Disney.
Drive on a Shoestring
Driving is so much better than flying in my opinion. You control where to stop. Yes, gas may be expensive, but the experience is worth it. Also, no claustrophobic seating arrangements sitting next to someone who wants to talk aimlessly.
I prefer driving because of the many options it offers, and it is cheaper for six people.
Dining Out on a Shoestring
Dining out is expensive. Both are feasible on a shoestring. One thing I have started to do is eliminate the kids’ meals and drinks. We all drink water. If they have a drink included with the meal then we will have lemonade or something.
Kids’ meals eat up the budget quickly. Instead of ordering three kids’ meals, I order adult sized sandwiches and a side large enough to split. Then they each have a sandwich. When we frequent a sit down restaurant, I let them order an adult platter. Then, they can take home the leftovers for another meal. This method does save us money in the long run, because as my kids get older they eat more. The kids’ meals were not filling them up and we would end up spending more money.
Therefore, we eliminate water and order up to have leftovers. It works.
Another way that we try to dine out on a shoestring is to go to a buffet. That way the kids’ eat all they want with drink and dessert included.
Frugal Snacks and Drinks on the Road
Snacks for a roadtrip can be expensive. Healthy snacks on a road trip are less expensive. One way we save a lot of money is to bring a couple cases of water and load them into a cooler. Other great traveling snacks are oranges, grapes, carrots, celery bananas, and pretzels. Most fruit or veggies taste good and fill us up. To load up on sweet snacks I head to the dollar tree. They have snacks for a reasonable price, and drinks also.
Usually, I will pack a brown bag for each child and label it with their name. They get their bag of snacks and choose when to eat them. When the bag is gone, they are done. For me and my husband, we like different things so I pack peanuts and rice cakes (carmel). His choice is pretzels and candy.
Hotel Rewards and Savings Tips
There first way that we try to save money on hotel rooms is to stay in the off season. Since we are homeschoolers this makes traveling a little easier.
The second way that we try to save money on hotel rooms is to use our reward points. Sometimes this saves us quite a lot of money. If the hotel is new to us, I ask if they offer any kind of savings, discounts or rewards. This is my second question after checking in.
The third way we save money on a hotel stay is to seek out a morning breakfast option. Some hotels do give a good, hot breakfast in the morning. I like this because it allows us to fill our bellies before a long day of driving.
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