How To Save Money On Food On Your Next Vacation

3664819944_6d3803643e_zTraveling is always a lot of fun. However, at times it can be expensive. One of the more expensive areas of traveling is usually the amount of money that is spent on food.

For me, food is one of the best parts about traveling. I love finding cool roadside mom and pop restaurants that have been around forever, I love eating at local restaurants, and I love trying new food. However, all of that can add up quickly.

Below are several different ways for you to save money on food on your next vacation:

Visit expensive places during the day for lunch.

If there is an expensive restaurant that you know you want to eat at, then you may want to try visiting it around lunch time instead of at dinner. This way you can pay lunch prices instead of dinner prices which may sometimes be double the price.

Go to happy hour.

Many restaurants have some form of a happy hour, and they can be all throughout the day at different times. Your best bet is to call up different restaurants you are interested in and see when there happy hour is.

You may be able to have a great meal for just a few dollars. You may even be able to score drinks for super cheap as well.

Look for coupons.

There are almost always coupons out there for restaurants. Look in your hotel and see if they offer any coupons. You can also look on and see if there are any restaurants near where you are visiting that have cheap gift certificates on there.

I can often find $1 or $2 gift certificates that will get me around $25 worth of food. That is CHEAP!

Look for small local restaurants.

Instead of visiting chain restaurants or a restaurant in your hotel, you may want to look into finding a small local restaurant near you. The food will most likely be more authentic, and it will probably taste amazing too!

Go grocery shopping.

I know some people may not like this option, but if you really want to save money on food, then you may want to cook at least some of your meals at home. This does not mean that you do not get to experience the local flavors of wherever you are traveling to.

This just means that maybe for breakfast or lunch, or perhaps just a snack, that you have something on hand in your accommodation so that you are not forced to go out to a restaurant every single time you are hungry.

Some options for quick meals and/or snacks include:

  • Sandwiches. If you have a fridge, then you can buy sandwich meat and cheese. If you do not have a fridge then a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is always a yummy idea too.
  • Chips. I always have chips on me. They are a great way to have a quick snack that I know I will love.
  • Pizza. If you have an oven, then a pizza can be a quick-lunch or dinner idea.
  • Oatmeal. This can be a quick and healthy breakfast idea. You can even add blueberries, strawberries and more if you would like.

How do you save money on food when you are traveling on a vacation?

Image via Flickr by Antti T. Nissinen

Should You Fly Or Drive For Your Next Vacation?

Should You Fly Or Drive For Your Next Vacation?Right now, I am currently planning a summer vacation for several people. One of the things we are trying to think about is whether or not we should fly or drive for this trip, and it’s actually turning out to be harder than what we originally thought.

Below are different things you will want to think about when planning whether or not you will fly or drive for your next vacation.

Will the car make it?

The very first thing you need to think about is whether or not you have a reliable car. No one wants to take a long road trip only to have their car break down multiple times along the way. That would be expensive and very stressful as well.

How long is the drive?

Another area to research is how long the drive will be. If you don’t have many days available for the vacation, then driving 26 hours to a city when you only have 3 days available most likely isn’t going to be very fun.

Will you have to stop at hotels along the way?

Another cost you will want to think about if you are debating driving or flying is whether or not you will have to make stops along the way until you get to your destination. Hotel costs can add up, and don’t forget you will need to pay these costs both on the way to your destination AND on the way back.

How much is gas?

Right now, gas is very cheap. It’s almost at the cheapest price it’s been for quite some time. However, other times gas may be twice as expensive or even more, and this might make driving very expensive, especially if your car is not very fuel efficient.

Will you have to rent a car?

If you don’t have a reliable car or if it won’t fit everyone in your traveling group, then you may need to look into renting a car. If you need to rent a car for your whole trip, then this can significantly increase the cost of your trip. However, it is very possible that it would still cost less than paying for airfare for everyone.

Is the airport near the destination?

One of the reasons for why we are leaning more towards driving to the destination is because the airport is over one hour away from the actual destination. That means if we were to fly, we would also have to rent a car for the duration of the trip, which can add up quickly. Taking a taxi is a possibility as well, but that can be expensive as we would need multiple taxis and the trip is quite long from the airport as well.

How much is the expected airfare cost?

In the end, you might still want to look at the expected airfare cost. Sometimes it is not as expensive as you think it will be, especially if you shop for airfare correctly. Also, if you have rewards points then you may be able to fly for cheap or even free.

What do you usually do? Fly or drive? Or perhaps you take a bus or train?

How To Save Money On Summer Airfare and Traveling

How To Save Money On Summer Airfare and TravelingSummer is right around the corner and I am sure many of you are thinking about summer vacations. It’s probably cold where you live right now as well, so that probably just gives you extra motivation to start day dreaming and planning a vacation too.

Here are five ways to save money on summer airfare and traveling.

1. Only bring a carry on.

This can save you money in two ways. The first way is that you won’t have to possibly pay any extra baggage fees. These fees can add up quickly if you bring too many things with you. The second way that bringing only a carry on can save you money is that many taxis will charge you extra if you have many bags, and if you only have a carry on then you can usually escape these extra taxi fees.

Bringing only a carry on can also save you time, as you will not have to wait for your checked baggage once you finally arrive at your destination.

2. Look for airfare glitches.

The next thing you might want to look into is possibly finding an airfare glitch. I have seen super cheap airfare glitches lately that make me just want to pack my bags and go on a cheap and fun vacation.

I talked about this recently in a blog post of mine, so if you are interested then definitely check it out!

3. Shop for airplane tickets on certain days.

Shopping for airfare on certain days can usually save you a little bit of money. Shopping on a Monday is usually the most expensive day. I am not sure why this is, but maybe it’s because people go into work on Mondays and start daydreaming about their next vacation right away :)

The best days to look for airplane tickets can vary, but usually looking on Tuesday is the cheapest whenever I take a gander. However, I have heard that Saturday or Sunday airfare shopping can save you a great deal of money as well.

Also, if you do not buy your airplane ticket that very same day that you look for one, you should clear your cookies before you search again. This is because travel websites usually store your information and they may jack up the price next time you look since they know you plan on buying a ticket soon.

4. Travel on less busy flight days.

I usually like to travel on a Tuesday or a Saturday, as I know that they are usually the cheapest days to fly. This is because less people travel on these days so airlines want to fill up their seats.

Traveling on less buy days also means the possibility for no one to be sitting next to you (more leg and arm room!), and also might mean shorter security lines.

5. Look for airfare sales.

Airplane companies occasionally offer sales throughout the year that can save you a decent amount of money. You might be able to find airplane tickets for half or even a third of the normal price, which can save you a great deal of money.

Do you plan on taking any trips this summer? How do you plan on saving money on the traveling cost of your trip?