Thursday, July 1, 2010

How to SAVE even when on vacation

As you know we love to cash in on any sale and get stoked when something we purchase flashes a red clearance tag, but we aren't extremists. We don't live in a shack without running water or sit in the dark to save electricity. We like to take vacations, go out every Friday, and purchase items just for enjoyment. It's all in moderation people.

However, it is still possible to save even while splurging. Take for example, our most recent vacation at the Beach. After we punched some numbers into the calculator we chest-bumped and high-fived, (ok not really) but we were proud to see we significantly spent less money than we did last year. It took a little more planning and a lot more walking but saved us some moolah in the end.

Saving on vacation 101:

1. Be selective with where you stay
Last summer when we were checking out hotels at the beach we realized a hotel would likely cost us $300-400 dollars a night. Not something we could afford or wanted to spend. So my google searching continued to motels and eventually led us to a bed and breakfast. The motels were much cheaper but gross and dingy. We still wanted to enjoy our home away from home and the motels didn't quite cut it.

So onto the bed and breakfast. Much nicer, though still a bit pricey. Last year we (the hubby and I) compromised on two different bed and breakfasts. We stayed half the time at one and half the time at another. One was 1 mile from the beach with a so-so breakfast (yogurt, bagel, cereal) and the other was 1 block from the beach with a hot breakfast, fresh fruit, and homemade goodies every morning. The closer of the two was double the price. So this year we passed on the more expensive option, with a good breakfast, oh yeah and complimentary beer and wine that was just a short block from the beach. Instead, we stayed at the one that was further from the beach which was very nice, had bikes, and breakfast that wasn't great but satisfied our morning hunger. AND it was a lot cheaper. After 2 long day days of trekking with all our beach gear, we somehow manged to bike with all our stuff instead.
2. Keep your eyes peeled for food specials
Now since we have been coming here for awhile, we knew of a couple dinner deals ahead of time. But even if you're going somewhere for the first time, research the restaurants before you go. One of our favorite places at Rehoboth is called Arenas. They are known for their sandwiches and endless beer choices. On Wednesdays they offer half price sandwiches. Every night they offer a different deal. Thursday is Mexican night with dollar specials. So we always make our way to Arenas on Wed. night.
Check it out. 2 hefty sandwiches for 4.50 each. Can't beat that.
Another deal we spotted this year was the Thrasher $1 soda refills. Once you buy a soda from Thrashers, a random boardwalk joint we found, you can keep your cup all summer long and get refills for $1. We mostly drank water but couldn't resist a cold cup of soda while roasting on the sweltering beach.
3. Pack your lunch
Last year we left the beach went out for lunch. This year we brought bread, deli meat, mayo, chips, fruit, etc. and enjoyed our packed lunch on the sand. We made our sandwiches before we left in the room, so we wouldn't be consuming turkey sandwiches filled with sand. So the most we spent on lunch was $1 for our soda.

So there are 3 ways we cut back this year. Nothing major but small choices that added up to big savings.

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