Save Money the Old Fashion Way
Traveling is fun, but it can also be expensive when you just lost a job or when you are living on a tight budget. It also can be doable! You just have to use a few of our tips and tricks to do it! I am a queen of road tripping and saving money so let me tell you our ways!
Travel in your state
Living in new places makes this easier for us, but you can do it to.
Look up some parks close by or even better have a beach, mountain, river, lake or other outdoor activity. Travel to these places first.
We love to go to new trails. We use the app AllTrails to find new parks to go on hikes with the baby and the dogs.
Hey, my sister lives in the middle of nowhere. I am for real – a small town of 800 people! (My husband graduated with a class of 800!) They went to a new lake with 3 kids and it was FREE! The kids loved the day! The only thing that cost them was the gas to get there and packed some lunches!
Pack and buy food before you go
This was hard for my husband to adjust to and so when we first were married I became very lenient on this one too! We would stop everywhere to eat! It would end up costing us a lot more than I thought because we had a big budget for food! The freedom of being debt free right? Spending your money on whatever you wanted because you were debt free. Yes, this happened to me!
Now, since I am a stay at home mom and living off of one income we closed in the budget back to how I used to be before getting married. We pack food before we go.
The last trip we went up to see our parents. I went to Lidl and spent $15 for the food for there and back! Yes, I bought 5 powerades, ham, cheese, bread, chocolate trail mix, chips, and popcorn. I made 10 sandwiches for my husband and I. Yes, 10! I ate 2 and my husband ate 8. If I did not make that many, we would be stopping for a Taco Bell Break. Then of course we have our water bottles that we drink and can fill up too.
Fill up at a half a tank if it is cheaper where you are at
This is easy if you are planning your trip out. We know when we travel north from Virigina to fill up before we leave home. We fill up right before we leave the Virginia border and then again before we get up to Pennsylvania because man Pennsylvania has expensive gas and New York is even worse!
You can use apps like GasBuddy to track the gas prices before you leave and see where the smartest places will be to get gas.
Do not buy fast food or gas station items
This is a big one and goes a long with the pack and buy food before you go, but sometimes you are craving something you did not pack before you left. Repeat this over and over again. Do not buy fast food or gas station items! This is a huge money pit!
If you are going to go to a fast food place, you could only buy off the dollar menu but who wants that? Do not give yourself the temptation.
Visit free places
Search google for free places around where you live. We have traveled to many places close to us. We have the beach 2 hours to our east and mountains 2 hours to the west. We are pretty lucky on this and that’s why we live where we live. However, if you live someone like where I used to live, Nebraska, aka “middle of nowhere” You can still find places to go! Travel to a small town that you’ve never been to and visit their park. Drive around their town and look at the old houses. You can even walk around their town to get some fresh air. It is unique but that’s what we do in the city is walk around neighborhoods to check out the area.
Find unique places that are free to go to!
Enjoy the land
If you have been following us on Instagram, you know during quarantine we got out of our little tiny house every day and found a new trail to walk to enjoy the land. I do not like being inside for the entire day even before quarantine. Check out Quarantine with a baby in our Tiny Home. It allowed us to learn more about the land and the battlefields close by our house. I bet you have history around your house that you can adventure out to or even better you have unique rivers, forests, cornfields, etc.
If I were back at my moms’ house, I remember riding my bike every day in our neighborhood! We lived on gravel roads – I hated when the road grader would come through! Y’all probably don’t even know what I am talking about, but that’s okay.
If anyone does…please message me on Instagram and tell me or even e-mail me!
Camp or glamp
We glamp now. Well because we live tiny! I was just writing on Ember’s first year calendar “Embers first camping trip” and dad told me, “You camp every day.” Haha!
For real though, we used to go out on backpacking trips and camp in a tent. It was free! We would just bring our food, tent, sleeping bag, etc and go camping and it was so fun! You can do this too!
If you camp in a campsite most likely it will cost something, but not as much as a hotel. Even if you live in New York City, you can find camping if you get out of the city a little bit!
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Plan before you go to save
There is never a trip that I have not planned for before I have left. Whether it is food, gas, where I am sleeping, or who I am seeing. We always plan at least most of the trip and then leave a few days unplanned for relaxing or if we want to stay somewhere longer.
Planning before you go does save you money, so do it!
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Pack all essentials before leaving
What essentials am I talking about? I am talking about toiletries — pack these do not stop to buy anything if you forget it. Do not stop and buy clothes if you forgot something it will just cost you extra money you did not budget for. Which brings me to another topic, do not just go to another city to go to a shopping mall. Unless you do not have the store at the shopping mall, but most of the time you will just get into trouble shopping because you will say to yourself, “I am on vacation!” “I am getting this and that, and oh yes, this too!”
Do not forget anything by making a list a few days before you leave
This helped us this last trip to make a list before our trip. As I have mentioned before, we live tiny so usually we just pull in our slides and away we go. This time my husband and I wrote down a list of everything we needed so we did not forget anything! Well, we did forget the masks because that is a new thing for us right now while I am writing this.
Things to write down: what you want to clean before you leave, food to grab out of the fridge, chargers, beauty items that you used the day of, kids stuff, dogs stuff, etc.
Write it down!
I hope you enjoyed the traveling hacks and learned a thing or two to do when you travel on your next vacation. There are always new places to see and do close to you and I hope you realize that! If you use these 10 hacks, I am sure you will be traveling more and more and spending a little less when you travel.
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Happy Money Hacking!