Reduce the Cost of Food on a Family Vacation

Is your family getting ready for your annual summer vacation?  If you are like most Americans, the economy has impacted your wallet.  For that reason, you may be vacationing on a budget.  Luckily, there are many ways to cut expenses and save money.  One of the easiest is with food.  How can you reduce the cost of food when on a budgeted family vacation?

Avoid snacks at the airport.  It is no secret that food, drinks, and snacks cost more in airports.  Save your money.  Your hands are tied with drinks, but bring snacks from home.  Raid your cupboards.  If you can’t find tasty dry snacks, head to your local grocery store the day before.  You will save $1 or more just on a small bag of chips!  As for buying drinks at the airport, opt for sealable containers because they reduce waste.  If possible, share drinks.

If you are driving, pack snacks and drinks for the road.  You are at an advantage because you can easily fill a cooler with ice.  Pack cold sandwich meat and condiments.  Your family will not even need to stop for meals.  Many rest stops have barbeque pits, meaning you could even enjoy a nice tasty meal, as opposed to a quick sandwich.  The key is to keep your cooler filled with ice and stock up on foods before your trip, as you get the better deals.

Try to avoid kids meals, especially at sit-down restaurants.  Kids meals are nice at fast food establishments because your kids get a toy.  This isn’t always the case with sit-down restaurants.  You just get smaller portions and a neat cup, but the costs aren’t much lower.  It may be best to let your two children decide on a meal together or alternate at different restaurants.  A small child can rarely finish an adult sized meal, especially when you figure in the main dishes and side portions.  Ask for another plate and let them share.  Essentially, you feed two kids for the price of one!

Avoid expensive restaurants.  For family vacations, the best places to eat are casual dining restaurants and fast food establishments.  Fast food is nice, but you may want to have a nice sit-down meal with your family.  If on a budget, choose a restaurant known for their semi-affordable prices.  Consider the tip above and share meals.  Moreover, keep these stops few and far in between.  Look at a nice sit-down restaurant as a special treat, not a daily occurrence and you will save a lot of money.

Buy snacks from grocery stores.  All communities have grocery stores, even resort towns.  After spending a day of sightseeing, your family may want to retreat back to the hotel, have a snack, and get ready for bed.  It is expensive to buy those snacks from a gas station or hotel lobby.  On the way back to the hotel, stop at a grocery store.  Opt for an express lane and you will be out quickly, easily saving $5 or more on your family’s snacks.

Take advantage of discounts for hotel guests.  It is common for hotels to offer free cold breakfasts to guests.  For a warm breakfast, you may just get a discounted rate.  Either way, you save money.  The same goes for lunch and dinner.  Keep taps on the discounts offered to hotel guests at the onsite restaurant.  This is a good and convenient opportunity to save money.

 

34 thoughts on “Reduce the Cost of Food on a Family Vacation

  • April 26, 2019 at 4:05 pm
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    These are great tips!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 3:07 am
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    Great advice and will really help for this summer’s vacation.

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  • May 2, 2019 at 7:39 am
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    We always take advantage of the hotel breakfast to save money!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 9:27 am
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    We definitely take advantage of hotel freebies!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 10:00 am
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    Great money saving tips.

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  • May 2, 2019 at 11:10 am
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    These are great tips! Food expenses can really add up while vacationing. I didn’t know that food and drinks at airports cost more!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 11:42 am
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    These are great tips. We plan on renting a cabin with a kitchen this summer and I plan to pick up some groceries before we leave. It does seem that groceries cost more in vacation areas.

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  • May 2, 2019 at 12:24 pm
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    we r always looking for ways to reduce costs – we even bring a cooler of food with us and put it in the fridge!!!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 12:46 pm
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    Rest stops are the best for saving money on food while traveling – plan a picnic lunch and let everyone stretch their legs!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 3:54 pm
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    Great tips. We use a lot of these when our family travels!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 5:02 pm
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    Some really great ideas. We always bring along snacks and drinks to help us save money.

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  • May 2, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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    Great advice! I love saving money! Plus, I work in a restaurant and see all the food that people (especially kids) waste. If I’m not very hungry, I’ll just order an appetizer or a couple sides. Good way to save money.

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  • May 2, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    Thanks for the fantastic tips!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm
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    Thank you for the tips! Most of them are new to me. I’ll definitely be implementing them on our family vacation this summer!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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    We don’t take family vacations, but these tips will be very helpful when we do.

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  • May 2, 2019 at 10:43 pm
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    Thank you, I am always looking to slash the cost of food on vacation

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  • May 3, 2019 at 11:16 am
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    Great info! We love packing picnic lunches and lots of snacks for our road trips!

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  • May 3, 2019 at 11:41 am
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    Great Info. Traveling can be so expensive. Especially when it comes to food.

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  • May 3, 2019 at 12:04 pm
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    great info and tips

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  • May 3, 2019 at 12:34 pm
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    These are great tips, but we travel economically as much as we can. We pack sandwiches and maybe stop for one sit down dinner. We bring all kinds of snacks and drinks.

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  • May 3, 2019 at 1:01 pm
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    Beautiful flowers!

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  • May 3, 2019 at 2:23 pm
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    Love all the flowers !! And great tips !

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  • May 3, 2019 at 5:44 pm
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    I love hot hotel breakfasts when we are on vacation

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  • May 3, 2019 at 11:25 pm
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    Always try to save money by going on vacation. Pack a lunch/snacks and drinks and then you’ll only have to pay for dinner.

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  • May 4, 2019 at 1:00 am
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    I never really thought about letting the kids share an adult meal…great idea!
    And I always bring my own snacks when I fly. The cost of food at airports is ridiculous!

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  • May 4, 2019 at 6:01 am
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    love your great tips

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  • May 4, 2019 at 11:43 am
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    Lots of great tips that we have used and really helps

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  • May 4, 2019 at 7:41 pm
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    These will come in handy

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  • May 4, 2019 at 8:57 pm
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    Nice! setting a spending budget is really important on a trip. I take advantage of any complimentary and discounted food wherever I can. It really helps. 🙂

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  • May 24, 2019 at 3:12 pm
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    We plan on going on vacation towards end of the year and these are great tips. I never thought about splitting meals with our daughter, we could get two meals and then she could choose which one she wants or both.

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