1. Parenting

Readers Respond: What Are Your Best Budget Vacation Ideas?

Responses: 5


As you think back over all the budget vacations and trips--both long and short--that you've taken since becoming a single parent, what were the best ones? Share your budget vacation ideas with other single parents by completing the form below.

Save Money on Motels

We travel during the week and I pick up the Interstate Highway books available at truck stops, IHOP, and McDonalds. Be careful to note what dates apply to the discounts (which are usually for weekdays and not holidays). Check ahead for conventions or other large groups tying up all the motels. We carry our drinks and sandwich stuff with us, too!

How to Save Money on Vacation

We decide 6 months before going on vacation as to where we are going. I then get online and request travel brochures for that area. From those brochures there are coupons for amusement parks, water parks, museums, and restaurants. If not, then I Google these attractions on the internet to look for coupons. We also make sure and book a motel that has a continental breakfast and pool. We found that the longer you stay at one motel, the less expensive it is. For instance, if we stayed at a motel for 5 days it was going to be $296, but if we stayed 7 days, it was going to be $200. We did this in a centrally located area to visit multiple attractions. I went to gas buddy to let me know where gas was the lowest price, as well. Between the coupons, gas prices, and motel, we saved over $300 on our budget and we were able to stay 2 more days!
—Guest mammahop

Pack a Lunch

We just returned from a 1300+ mile trip. We ate lunch at the rest area. For 6 people, I only spent $17 - including drinks for later.
—Guest FLgrammy

Saving Money on Vacation

Whenever possible I book a room that has a kitchenette, or at least a mini fridge and microwave. This way we can eat at minimum our breakfast "in." We often eat our lunches in as well. We can pack sandwiches and snacks for when we're out and about. If we have a kitchenette, I plan for at least 1 dinner in - or more - depending on the length of our stay. Food (especially vacation food on the boardwalk, etc) is an enormous vacation expense.
—Guest MammaBean


I recently tried Priceline when my mom came to town. I ended up with a suite for her that was 50% off. We named the price and the site went through a list of hotels to see if there were any takers. The downside is that, if you need a specific type of room (such as suite), there doesn't seem to be an option for that when you're trying to name your own price. When we travel with my son, we always stay in a suite or he'll refuse to go to bed. It was just luck that my mom ended up with a suite. If you don't mind having a standard room at a hotel, then it really does make sense to name the price you can afford for your family's vacation. If no hotels accept your offer, you're not out any money.
—Guest Apryl

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