Dec 6, 2011

Saving Money On Holiday Traveling


Is holiday traveling something you avoid like the plague? Something you enjoy? Something you tolerate?

Whatever feelings you have towards traveling, one thing is for sure… it can be EXPENSIVE!

So here are a few ways that you can travel during the holidays and not go broke! 🙂

1. Drinks

Can you believe how much a bottle of water costs at the gas station? Most of the time it’s more than $1.00… for just ONE bottle of water! Instead, buy a 24-pack of bottled water before you leave at $3.50 or less with coupons!

If you want to be really frugal, you can get a couple of gallons of water (or fill empty gallons up at home) and bring plastic cups for everyone (and sippy cups for the kids) to drink from during the trip!

2. Food

Packing your own cereal, fruit, lunch meat, cheese, peanut butter, and bread can save you TONS of money when traveling! It’s definitely worth it to keep refilling the ice in the ice chest to keep the food cold. Instead of buying bowls, we buy a bag of paper cups that we use for drinking as well as for cereal in the mornings when we travel.

Another idea for food on the road is to make beef jerky at home before you leave! Buy rump roast and have the butcher slice it thin, then add your favorite seasonings and put it in a food dehydrator to dry. A food dehydrator is a little bit of an investment, but something that is very worth it! You can make all kinds of great dried snacks with a food dehydrator (apples, pineapple, blueberries, veggies, beef jerky, etc…)

If you don’t have a food dehydrator, you can make jerky in the oven!

3. Hotels

If you’ll be staying in a hotel, sites like Priceline help you to find the best hotel deals, and typically their prices are MUCH better than going through the hotel website. Priceline allows you to pick a star rating, pick the amenities you want, and then name your price. They assign you to a hotel (you don’t get to choose), but we have used the “name your price” method and it’s worked out great for us! My recommendation is to always go a star above what you think you might want.

Be sure to check out my post on how to get the best deals with Priceline (there are a few tricks!) 🙂

4. Pack An “Extras” Bag

It drives me NUTS when we go on a trip and end up having to buy something that I have a cabinet FULL of at home. Like toothbrushes. Or toothpaste. Or a razor. UGH!!

So my recommendation for all of us (me included) is to have a small duffle bag that stays in the trunk of the car/van with extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shampoo, etc. so that you never have to go pay full price somewhere when you’re on a trip!

Which brings us to…

5. Make A Packing List

Yes, yes, all of my turmoil could’ve been avoided if I would’ve just made a list to pack from. I know. I get it. I’ll remember to make a list one of these days.

6. Bring Your Medicine Cabinet

Another extra expense that you don’t have to have while traveling is medicine. Just make sure you bring your most important items with you when traveling so you don’t have to run out and buy them AGAIN.

What do I bring with me? Oh, what most people would bring… Activated Charcoal, Colloidal Silver (we make our own), and OF COURSE Wild Oregano Oil!! 😉

7. Keep An Expense Log

It works with eating too. Whenever I write down exactly what I eat, I’m MUCH less likely to eat things that I shouldn’t.

Writing down EVERYTHING that you spend a cent on while traveling really does help to keep expenses to a minimum.

8. Daily Deal Sites

If you know where you’re going to be traveling to ahead of time, then be sure to check out the daily deal sites for that area. You can find discounts on hotels, restaurants, and entertainment (most of the time for more than half off!)


9. The Entertainment Book

I love the Entertainment Book and you can get one for pretty much any major city. If you are going to be staying any length of time in a particular city then I would definitely consider purchasing an Entertainment Book to save while you’re there!

Be sure to check out all of the awesome Holiday Traveling Tips over at Mom’s Travel Tales too!  I’ve been learning a ton reading her traveling series!

What’s your #1 tip for saving money while traveling?

Check out all of the other AWESOME blogs that are participating in the 12 Days Of Christmas series:


Christmas Homeschool Fun: 1+1+1=1

Christmas Decorations: Songbird

Tips for a Healthy Holiday: The Thrifty Mama

Travel Tips: Mom’s Travel Tales

Christmas Recipes: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Christmas Family Fun: Life as Mom

Homemade Christmas Gifts: The Happy Housewife

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  1. Couch Surfing!

  2. Carpooling with another family member, that way you can all chip in & save on the minor travel expenses, and then you even get someone to conversate with as well!

  3. Buying our gas before the holiday hits, and driving our Hybrid car!!

  4. Pack the kids’ backpacks full of snacks! This goes for traveling by plane or car. The more Airline food you purchase or fuel station snack stops you make the more money you waste. Both those options are Black Holes for your hard earned cash!

  5. Bring along snacks, drink and lunch to save on eating out.

  6. Bring food and only eat out one meal a day.

  7. packing food for the car and hitting the grocery when we get to our destination and only eat out a couple of times.

  8. we do the same thing, we always pack the car with carrots, veggie’s and fresh fruit. more filling and keeps us from stopping along the way.

  9. JulieTeresa says:

    Drinking water and eating our own snacks. We also make some of our travels into an “Einstein” vacation. You know, where everything is RELATIVE. LOL Staying one night (or two) with relatives along the way can be a great way to minimize expenses and maximize family memories. We are always careful, though, to be a blessing to whomever is kind enough to put us up for the night and we often travel with our own air mattress and linens. That way no one is put out of their own bed.

  10. JulieTeresa says:

    BTW, we never invite ourselves into someone’s home – we let them know we will be in town and they most often invite us to stay with them.

  11. Plan ahead

  12. camping & cookng rather than hotels & restaurants

  13. camping & cookng rather than hotels & restaurants

  14. Staying home! ( packing snacks)

  15. Staying home! ( packing snacks)

  16. pack a cooler and have picnics along the way for car travel

  17. packing our lunch and bring snacks

  18. We pack food and drinks for the road trip (which I buy when the children aren’t with me) and treat for each child, only stop to fuel up and potty breaks, then stay with family (no hotel costs!), and pitch in for groceries…

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  1. […] the Stores offered tons of great money-saving tips and her ideas for saving money during holiday travel were right […]