Vacations on the Cheap, Part 1 (The budget)

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A shot of us at D-land in September of 2013!

I was cleaning out some files yesterday and I came across some notes from when we planned our family vacation to Disneyland 2 years ago. I know with Summer vacation coming up, a lot of you will be planning trips to The House of Mouse and other locales. Here are a few tips to help you save on your summer fun!

The first part of planning a trip is budget. Where you’ll go, how long you’ll stay, what you’ll do while you’re there, those things are all (sadly) dictated by budget.

When we plan a trip, in order to keep our costs down, I’ve formulate a budget that takes into consideration a few things:

  1. We’re getting a m/hotel room with a kitchenette. That way we can eat some meals in room and save money. The average price per person per meal in most tourist areas is $10.00 plus tax and tip, so just by eating in our room three times we’re saving $90.00 plus tax and tip. The difference in price between a m/hotel room without a kitchen is about $10/day. For us, it’s worth it.
  2. I’ll be using high value and free item coupons for some of the menu items we’ll be eating. I trade coupons online on site like HotCouponWorld, and of course, my local coupon club. (For more info on coupon clubs and online forums, check out this post)
  3. I use as many deals and savings programs to earn gift cards and cash to defray costs. I’m save Swagbucks for a Paypal payout, I save Mypoints points for a gift certificate or a Paypal payout,  And if we happen to eat out, we’ll try to eat at Mogl restaurants to earn a little green back!
  4. I save various gift cards as well to be used on the trip (like the $20 pre-paid Visa Gift Cards I earn from SBKC)

So with our budget in mind, I set to finding a m/hotel that fits our budget and has the amenities we are looking for: swimming pool, complimentary continental breakfast, and free parking.

 

 

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