Saving Money on Summer Vacations

May 1, 2012

-This is a guest post, brought to you by Skye, from A mom of 6 who knows how to save money!

The kids are almost out of school and that means it is time to start planning our summer trips. I have a few places on my list that I really hope to be able to visit this summer but I want to get them all planned out and set money aside to pay for them before I tell the kids we are for sure going there!

Taking eight people on vacation is not cheap.  So I need to do my research and make sure I get the best deals on the places we go and use any coupons that are available. The more I save, the more things we can do this summer!

Our Plans

Ocean City- The kids have not been to the ocean in years so I really want to take them to Ocean City. We can walk on the boardwalks and eat yummy beach food all day long. Our cost for this will be gas, food and our biggest cost is the hotel.

*Tip* One major way of saving money on trips is to check out the deals online before you go.  Often times several hotels and tourist areas have major discounts online.  I found a 50% a 4 night stay at so that will save a lot!

Dutch Wonderland- This kids amusement park is five miles from our house. The only cost for going there is food and our tickets. We do this every year and the kids really enjoy it! Unless I can find someone wanting to sell their tickets there is really no way to save on ticket prices.

Amusement parks often come with a hefty price tag, mostly due to the expenditures while you’re there.  The price for food and drink is often more per person than the admission!

*Tip* One way we save money when we visit amusement parks is by packing a lunch.  Keeping your favorite snacks, plus sodas and plenty of water in your backpack will keep you away from the food stands!

Camping- The kids have never been camping! We already own several items of camping gear.

*Tip* Rather than going out to purchase all the extra items we might need – we look to friends and family to borrow items that we don’t have.

Our main cost with camping is food.  I always plan out our meals in advance, and include snacks for between meals.  Searching the ads for double coupon deals and stocking up several weeks in advance is very helpful.

With the remainder of the food that I cannot get with coupons – keeping to my list is VITAL.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Summer Travel and Fun?

This post was brought to you by couponcodesusa.


  1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sarah L says:

    Look to your local neighborhood newspaper for free events. The tip for bringing a backpack with food & water is very good.

  3. Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) says:

    Looks like fun, I use to when I was working) I would have $20 each payday put into a savings account and would use that money on my beach trip.

  4. When my children were little we had to learn to camp cheap and go to amusement parks cheap or we didn’t get to go. Through their younger years they knew we tent camped in a huge field with a forest and stream near by. For the amusement rides they knew it would be the county fair. We ate and drank what we brought until dinner then ate at the 4H food tent for dinner. It was shady and they had picnic tables. The price was as cheap as cooking at home. Just before we left they could all play one game or buy a fave food or buy a novelty. Now that I am disabled I am so grateful that I learned to live without (a lot.) Funny thing is sometimes I felt guilty but my daughter is almost as frugal because she chooses to be. I imagine the others will be too.
    Gladys P

  5. Karen Joyce says:

    Use the internet! My family is taking a trip to Myrtle Beach this summer and I’m printing coupons for all of us ahead of time. From discounted admissions to free souvenirs to % off food there are LOTS of coupons out there if you let your fingers do the walking ahead of time. I’ve found things like coupon books that are FREE if you show AAA or active military ID to special percentage off cards at shopping centers just by registering for them online.

  6. Sandy VanHoey says:

    I have only been couponing for about a year and I cannot believe how much you can save. We too, just went on vacation to Tennessee and I did the same thing, used my coupons and purchased lots of food for the grandchildren for while we were there. Looks like you do pretty awesome using yours! That is a big family…my son has 6 children and still doesn’t coupon. Can you believe that? CRAZY!

  7. Tammy S says:

    I always check the local tourist agency. Most cities have a bunch of deals for tourist on their website.I have been able to get great discounts for hotels and amusement parks from their websites.

  8. Jennifer Hedden says:

    These are awesome tips! I need to start saving money throughout the year for trips and budget. I like the idea of packing lunches, snacks and drinks at amusement parks to save money. Thank you for the great post!

  9. Sarah L says:

    If you can’t afford a go-away vacation, find free, fun things to do in your town. Most zoos, museums, gardens, etc. have free days and lots of things for kids to do.

  10. We all need ways to save money with kids while on vacation! I like to go to the amusement park near out town and eat lunch before going! The food is too expensive but if we eat before going it saves a lot of money! We take snacks with us for the rest of the day!

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