As mentioned a couple of days ago, we went on vacation to Florida for a few days.
We had a great time but I'd be remiss if I didn't go over a few ways that we saved some coin during the trip!
- Split the cost – We had initially planned our 2010 trip as a week trip where we would rent a lakefront cottage here in Michigan. When our in-laws said that they were thinking of going to Florida and asked if we'd like to come, we said yes instantly. Not only did we love Florida, but this meant that we could split the cost with them and save some money all around. My in-laws are great, but for those of you who couldn't fathom that idea, think about working with a sibling, a friend, or someone else that could help defray the costs and make for good vacation companions!
- Eat some meals in – We had a condo with a kitchen as our rental, so we were able to stock our kitchen with some staples that allowed us to eat in for various meals. Often, we would eat breakfasts and lunches in. For us, not only did this save us money, but gave us more pool and ocean time!
- Take your coupons – My wife is awesome! She has definitely kept pace with me in trying to look for savings. When packing our stuff, she took our coupon organizer knowing that we'd be going to the grocery store and figuring why not save some money if we could? I would have never thought of it but she did and it made me break out into the biggest grin as she added it to our items to take.
- Enjoy free things – Most of our fun time didn't involve any extra costs. Why? Because we spent a majority of it down by the pool or around the ocean. While there were things like para sailing, riding wave runners, or even a short jaunt to Disney World that could have all been fun, we spent time relaxing by the pool, swimming or walking near the ocean, or sitting outside watching sunsets. We didn't feel deprived and we didn't spend any extra money doing any of these things!
- Weigh travel options – We looked at flying versus driving. For us, flying ended up working out to be a cheaper option (the $300 stupid tax that I paid for booking the wrong week notwithstanding), but for our in-laws driving was the better option. They were able to drive pretty much straight through the 18 hour car ride, whereas we would have had to make more frequent stops and most likely factor in a hotel room since we were traveling with an infant.
- Look for hidden cost benefits – The fact that our in-laws were driving meant that we could send our luggage down with them, therefore avoiding the ridiculously unfair baggage fees that airlines have imposed.
I'm sure that there were other saving opportunities, but these are a few ways where we were able to save some bucks during our vacation!