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 Restaurant.com 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

5 Ways To Save On Holiday Travel in 2014

8488342188_9570c4683f_zThe holidays are closely coming upon us, and if you have not booked anything yet then you may be in trouble. Do not worry though, there are plenty of ways to still save money and travel affordably.

Don’t throw your travel plans out the window just yet because we may be able to find an affordable way for you to travel this holiday season still.

This way you do not have to spend all of your money on traveling and can instead spend more of your money on the actual fun part of your holiday trip.

Below are several different ways to save money on holiday travel in 2014:

Travel ON the holidays.

Usually traveling on the holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will be relatively affordable and not as packed. This is because most people will travel to their destination a few days before or after the actual holiday.

Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle.

If you are traveling by car to your destination, then you may want to use your most fuel-efficient vehicle. For us, we have one car that gets 15 miles to the gallon and another that gets 36 miles to the gallon, so it’s a fairly obvious choice when it comes to which one we will choose for a long car ride.

We are currently on a trip right now and we will be saving around $500 by taking our fuel-efficient car on our trip. That’s a crazy amount of money in savings!

Don’t forget about buses.

Buses are extremely affordable in the United States. There are many bus companies that frequently offer $1 or $2 fares if you catch them at the right time, so always have your eyes peeled.

Use membership gas cards.

Many gas stations, such as Shell, offer gas rewards cards. This way you can save somewhere around $0.03 to $0.25 per gallon each time you fill up. While it is not a ton of money, it is a decent amount that can add up over time.

All you usually have to do is swipe the membership card so it is not like it’s hard at all!

Pack food for your trip.

Instead of eating super unhealthy or being forced to buy expensive roadside snacks, you may instead want to look into packing your food for your trip. You can pack food for a road trip, bus ride, and even a plane ride (which many people do not know about).

Do you plan on traveling this winter? Where are you going?

Image via Flickr by m01229

Taum Sauk Mountain – Everything You Need To Know

Tom Sauk Mountain - Everything You Need To KnowA few months ago, I was finally able to visit Taum Sauk Mountain State Park in the state of Missouri. I seem to travel and explore everywhere except for the state that I actually live in. Sad, right? Natural beauty can be so close to you yet you never visit because you take it for granted.

Well, I decided to change that.

There are tons of places within a few hours drive from where I live that I will be making it my mission to visit. First for me was Taum Sauk Mountain State Park because I have heard some amazing things about this place.

Here are some things you should know about Taum Sauk Mountain in order to make your trip there as enjoyable as possible:

What’s at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park?

Before you read any further, you are probably wondering why I’m even talking about Taum Sauk Mountain. I mean, it is in Missouri after all. Well, don’t let that stop you from visiting this amazing place!

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park has the highest point in Missouri. The state park contains nearly 7,500 acres and it’s located in the beautiful St. Francois Mountains. It is a great place to hike right here in Missouri with there being a few trails for us hikers. There is also a campground and an area to have a picnic, which makes it a great weekend trip.

You can go camping, go for a hike, ride your bike, and more. There is also the beautiful Mina Sauk Falls which is a must see after a heavy rain. The waterfall is beautiful!

When can I visit Taum Sauk Mountain State Park?

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park is open from sunrise to sunset, all year long. There is no fee to visit Taum Sauk State Park.

However, there is a fee for camping so make sure you bring some cash with you in order to camp in the campground.

Information about the Taum Sauk section of the Ozark Trail.

This is what most people end up doing when visiting Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. The Taum Sauk section of the Ozark trail is a fun section that I have done before. It is 14.5 miles long and runs from Taum Sauk Mountain State park to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. It can be a somewhat tough hike, so make sure you are prepared for this.

In order to do this hike, you will park in the main parking area. You will then need to follow the Ozark Trail markers which are green and white.

This hike will take around 15 hours to complete.

What else is around Taum Sauk Mountain State Park?

If you are wanting to get more out of your trip, there are several other things you can do in the area as well. My favorite is visiting Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park, which I will go over it another post hopefully in the near future.

There is also the Bell Mountain Wilderness Area, the Ozark Trail, and more.

Have you ever been to Taum Sauk Mountain?