How to be frugal on vacation – and still have fun


With the internet at our fingertips, there are endless ways to find out how to be frugal on vacation.  I thought I would share with you some the the ways our family saves money when we vacation.

One of our favorite vacations is to go to the beach.  So, I make sure to research the best rentals from individual owners at least a couple of months prior to when we want to go.  If you book in advance, you will normally get a better deal.

You also want to make sure that you do not go during their peak season, because you would definitely be paying more if you did.  If you are in a position where you can, it is better to take several days off, because you will get a discount for say a 7 day stay versus a 3 day stay.

Another thing I like to do is to go ahead and plan out our meals for while we will be there, and we buy groceries here and pack coolers to take the food down with us.  We cook most of our meals, and plan one or two nights where we will splurge and go out to eat.  Most of the rentals have full kitchens and grills, etc.  You will just need to make sure the one you are booking does if you chose to go this route.


We also go to the public beaches while we are there, because they are free!  😀  If we do any other activities, we just try to keep those limited.  But, we are really there for is to enjoy the sand and surf any way.

I hope these tips help you to save money on your next vacation!


12 thoughts on “How to be frugal on vacation – and still have fun

  1. I agree that booking a weekly stay is much cheaper than a few nights. Another way to save some money is when you do go out to eat, go out at lunch time, the food is generally a lot cheaper and you can usually find some coupon books for the local restaurants at the gift shops.

    You can also save some money by staying at the hotels across the street from the beach. They cost a little less for the inconvenience and you can leave your car at the hotel parking lot as opposed to parking near the beach and paying for parking.

  2. These are all great ideas. I always check for local coupons or groupons before I go on vacation. It is so nice to not stress about how much you overspent on vacation.

    • Jennifer says:

      OMG, yes I agree!

      You also want to make sure to pay cash, and not use credit cards. Vacation is to relax. Not to worry about the debt you will be coming back to afterwards. Thanks!

  3. I couldn’t resist not leaving a comment here! I like to think of myself as the queen of frugalness, hahaha. Currently in a long distance relationship so whenever the other half comes to visit we try and meet halfway for a vacation. To avoid going broke, frugalness is a definite necessity.
    I find that the biggest costs are accomodation, eating out and paid activities. For accomodation we often pitch a tent in a caravan site for 1/3 or less the cost of a hotel, plus it makes the trip interesting and gives us something to do. Shop-a-dockets and coupons are great for saving on groceries, and planning DIY meals will save a fortune too. I always google for free things to do in the area I’m visiting too. Great tips, keep up the good work!

  4. This works! We had a wonderful vacation in Florida early this year with my adult kids and the grandkids. We rented a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with furniture and washer and dryer and a nice yard for the kids (wanted a pool too but couldn’t find one for my price). Then bought groceries for most of our meals and then headed to Disney with the savings! Great way to go! The kids loved it!

    • Jennifer says:

      That sounds similar to what we did with my in-laws over the summer in Florida as well, but we didn’t do Disney. We were just visiting the beaches. It was a wonderful trip!

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