Southern Mom Loves: You CAN Take That Vacation! Part 3: Stretching Your Money

You CAN Take That Vacation! Part 3: Stretching Your Money

Saturday, June 24, 2017

In article one, we ran the numbers and found out a vacation is doable. In article two, we looked at ways to save. Now, we're looking at how you can enjoy a more luxurious vacation with what you’ve got. Whether it's booking an all-inclusive vacation or saving money on eating out, you can stretch your money to enjoy an awesome vacation. Consider saving on the things that don’t matter much to you and putting it towards things that you’ll really love like an upgraded room, massages on the beach, or foodie excursions.

Consider an All-Inclusive Vacation

Not only does Disney offer all-inclusive vacations that include park tickets, a hotel room, and food, but there are a number of resorts like Sandals and Beaches that do this as well. This is one of the best ways to make your vacation dollars stretch. The reason is because you know exactly what everything is going to cost ahead of time. There's no guessing about how much you'll need for food, airport transfers,  or gratuities and no unpleasant surprises if you overspend. Best of all, you'll usually end up paying less when you bundle things together.

Get a Hotel Room with a Kitchen

Another great tip that works with many vacation locations is to get a hotel room or condo rental that has a kitchen. This allows you to cook your own meals and save a ton of money. You can even bring some of your groceries with you so that you don't have to pay the higher prices found in tourist towns. Of course, you also want to plan to eat out at least a few times so that you can enjoy what the location has to offer.

Travel with Friends

Did you consider that you might be able to save a bit of money by traveling with friends? You could plan with another couple and save on the cost of gas and accommodations if you’re renting a larger home or condo.

Shop for Discount Tickets

Did you know that you can often find discount tickets for attractions? You can also bundle attraction tickets to save money. For example, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee you can bundle Ripley's attractions together and save quite a bit of money. The more attractions you want to visit, the more you'll save.

Check your hotel lobby for a rack of attraction brochures. Many times they’ll contain coupons for discounts. Also check with the front desk or concierge. They may have the scoop on the destinations worth visiting, deals that only local hotels are privy to, or even discounted or complimentary attraction tickets for guests.

Take Snacks with You

Convenience stores can be really expensive. Consider that a bottle of soda may cost $.50 if bought in a 6-pack whereas buying it individually at a convenience store might cost you $1.30. Multiply that by the number of people traveling and the number of times you’ll stop and it could add up to quite a lot.

Packing a cooler with drinks and ice and packing a tote bag with snacks will save you so much money. If you're traveling a long way, stop at grocery stores or places like Walmart to restock instead of stopping at convenience stores.

Buy Discount Souvenirs

Last, but not least, don't overspend on souvenirs at hotel or other overpriced gift shops. There are so many ways to save. If you want to shop for a specialty souvenir from a certain attraction that you can only get there, go ahead and buy something small, but you can usually find bigger stores like Walmart that sell the run-of-the-mill touristy t-shirts for much, much less. You can also find discount souvenirs in drugstores like Walgreens. These souvenirs will be MUCH cheaper than those sold at attractions or in gift shops.


You've planned and saved the money to go on a vacation, so make it count. Look for ways to save on the little stuff so that you can spend the extra money where it really matters to you, whether it’s upgraded accommodations, fine dining, spa treatments, or extra activities. It’s your vacation. Live it up!

What are the things you would be able to save on? What would you use the extra money to splurge on? I love to read your comments!

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