Vacation on a Dime

One of the tough things about saving money is giving things up.  One of the things we have given up is travel.  We have not left our dear hometown of Chicago since December.

Now, tomorrow, we are about to embark on our first trip of the year!  Although I wish we could say we are headed on a very exotic vacation but we are just headed home!  A chance for me to see both my parents and in-laws and a chance for our kids to see their grandparents and cousins.

But, before I head out, a few tips for those of you going near and far about doing travel, cheaply:

  • Leave when there is the least traffic.  Sitting costs gas, gas costs money.  Save yourself a couple dollars and plan to leave when there is the least amount of traffic.
  • Pack snacks.  Everyone is drawn to the drive thru or snack stop on the road.  Let the temptation go and take things from home.
  • Leave off the AC.  When driving in the summer if you can handle a couple cracked windows you will get better gas mileage with the AC off.  (Our kids will sleep during the drive so this is great white noise and a great money saver!)
  • Pack ahead.  There are Targets and Wal-Marts all over the country.  It is so easy to stop and get that “one thing” that you left behind.  Make a list a week before you are to leave.  Keep adding to it as needed.
  • Limit the packing.  I know.  I just said make a list and add to it.  But EDIT IT!  We all take way more on vacation than we need to.   Lighten your load!
  • Rest up.  The best part of taking a vacation, even home, is enjoying it!

So, what are your vacation tips?  Anything you do every time that saves you a few dollars?

Don’t worry – the blogging will continue through my vacation!  🙂

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    ~ by Rachael Judd on July 1, 2010.

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