Saving Money on Your Summer Vacation


School is almost out and many families will be hitting the road for a little summer vacation in the next couple of weeks.  While these trips are lifetime memory-makers, they can also be bank breakers and cost a lot of money.  But there are tons of tips out there to help save you money and make it the best vacation ever.

The best money saving tip I have for vacations is to plan, plan and plan!  I know those of you who enjoy spontaneous excursions cringe when I say you need to plan but you can plan and still have some unplanned fun that won’t cost you a ton of money.  When we go on vacation, I plan way ahead on where we are staying and research any coupons or discounts for our accommodations.  Then I plan the food, which for our family is the where we can spend literally hundreds of dollars if we aren’t careful.

Summer Vacation


During the summer we do mostly camping trips, so this allows for home-cooked meals vs. going out to eat.  I plan each day of the vacation based on breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks.  If I plan a few weeks ahead of our trip, then I can pre-make a lot of meals and snacks which ultimately avoids buying those items at the store.  So, make a plan for accommodations and food and you will see lots of savings.

The next best tip I have for you is to set a budget for your trip!  Don’t go into a vacation without having an idea of how much you can spend.  Otherwise you will be “enjoying” that vacation every month when the credit card bill arrives.  Look at your savings and decide what you are able to spend and THEN plan your trip.  Years ago, we set up a vacation savings account.  Any extra money we have at the end of each month from our budget  goes into the trip savings.  This way we aren’t even pulling money out of our normal savings for vacation but we are using money which has been ear-marked specifically for family trips.  Giving kids a budget for their spending on the trip is highly suggested too.  If the kids know in advance how much money they have to spend, then they won’t be apt to buy every little trinket at every stop.

Here are a few other tips I found around the internet to help you save money on your family vacation:

Summer Travel Savings for Parents

Travel Hacks for Moms

A Packing Checklist–I LOVE this!

Gas Buddy App–Find the least expensive gas wherever you are!

Saving money on Vacation Food–Great meal ideas!

I look forward to our family summer vacation every year.  We all have such great memories of every trip.  I love those moments when the kids start reminiscing about past trips and you can tell as they talk that those trips were special times for them too.  I’m so grateful that we made the effort to take those trips.  But I’m also grateful that we planned, researched and prepared for our expenses thus saving us money.  You still have time to do some preparation and save lots of money for your legendary summer vacation!



Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.  Read more of Erin’s blogs about homesteading, farming, homemaking and other fun things at

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