Today is the last day of the three day Memorial Day weekend for most of us in the United States. Many people are headed home from their three day weekend trips. Vacations and quick weekends away can get expensive fast and I thought it would be a great time to share a tip that can help you to save on your next weekend away from home or full blown vacation!
My tip on how to save money on travel is to avoid eating out while traveling. I know that a lot of people love to eat out when they reach their destination and it is part of the vacation feel. That isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about eating out when you get in the car and drive or get on a flight and fly to your destination. The best part about this tip is the bigger the family the more you save!
If you are driving to your destination stop by the grocery store before you leave for you trip. Instead of spending money on the typical restaurant experience, buy some items you can pack for lunches, dinners and some snacks for in between. Most people just stop somewhere quick in the rush to get to wherever they are going. Your fast food options normally include McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King at most interstate exits and can be quick if appropriately staffed. That isn’t always the case and they aren’t very healthy either. Gas stations are another option but they have very inflated prices and typically only carry snacks and lighter meal items. Packing your food is even faster than fast food or a gas station because you don’t have to stop at all! I always liked to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with Pringles but you can pack deli meat sandwiches in a cooler if you want. For drinks I pick up a 24 pack of water bottles (the only time I buy bottled water) and a 12 pack of soda as well. Again, the larger the family the more you stand to save.
Things can be a bit more complicated in the airport but bringing along food and drink is still manageable. Airport food is very expensive and, unless you like overpriced food, is rarely worth it. You can easily pack some food in your carry on bag but drinks are a bit harder because of those pesky security guards. There is a way to get around it and what I do is buy a 1.25 liter bottle of Coke Zero (my soft drink of choice) a week or so in advance. When I am done drinking it I keep the bottle. You can take empty bottles through security and the fill it up with the water fountain on the other side. Drinks at the airport cost at least double what they are anywhere else so I always bring an empty bottle.
Like I said before, once you reach your destination you’re free to eat out if it is part of the vacation plan. I like eating at beachfront restaurants when I’m going to beach. I try to stay away from the major chains because I can go to them at home and it is the same exact experience. Vacations should be about experiences and memories. The car or plane ride is rarely one of them so next time you head out save some money by stopping by the grocery store before you go!
Do you have a travel tip you’d like to share? What do you think about this idea? Let me know if you plan on trying it out!