This post is sponsored by Pilot Flying J, but all opinions are my own.
I am such a penny pincher. In fact, I can squeeze two pennies together so tightly that they cry new pennies. I’m just kidding, I’m not that bad, but I am pretty bad. I’m always looking for ways to cut costs. When you’re on a tight budget, that’s just the way it is. I’ve learned some pretty creative ways to save money, even when on vacation. By saving money on some things, you can use the money for the fun and exciting things.
My family is planning a trip this summer to go see a family member get married. The money saving planning has already begun. Let me share with you what I am working on.
The first thing you can save money on is how you’re getting there. If you have a large family, flying is not usually the most cost-effective option. Driving isn’t the fastest, or the most fun with little kids, but it’s a great way to cut the cost of transporting your family. Especially if you have a good economic car that gets great gas mileage.
Where you’re staying is probably the second biggest cost of a trip. If you’re heading somewhere near family, seeing if you can stay with them is a good option to help save money and reconnect with your family. If you are going with a group of people, look into renting a house or a place together to share the costs. Our family is renting a big house out for the whole 4 or 5 days we’re there. Each family is being assigned a room and given assignments. Which brings me to my next point, food.
Feeding a family is not ever cheap. Three meals a day plus snacks and drinks on a trip gets very costly very fast. Our family is sharing in the cost by getting a house with a fully functional kitchen. Last time we did this; each family was in charge of a meal. Buying in bulk for 1 meal was cheaper than buying food for every meal.
Packing in your own food is a great way to cut costs too. Fancy restaurants and happy meals add up very fast. If you try to get a hotel room with a mini-fridge and a microwave, you can do wonders. I always pack things like sandwiches, for lunch. I also like to grab portable things like Easy Mac and Cheese, Cup-o-Noodles, or microwavable soups. Each is inexpensive, portable, doesn’t need to be refrigerated and can easily be made with a microwave and water.
What do you do to save money while you’re on the road, though? When making a pit stop, stop at a place where you can get everything you need in one place. One stop shopping is the best and a huge time saver on trips. It’s a waste of money to drive around a town stopping at several places to find everything your family needs.
When you need gas, the kids are hungry, and everyone needs a potty break, stopping in at the nearest Pilot Flying J is an easy way to stock up and take care of all the family’s necessities.
Has the family been driving too long and needs a break? Stop in and stretch your legs while letting the kids play some games for a while in the game room. Is snack food no longer working? You can stop in at a Pilot Flying J and feed the whole family a home cooked meal.
Did your baby have a diaper blow-out? Pilot Flying J has that covered too with their recently updated shower facilities. Are the kids tired of the movies you brought? Download new ones for the rest of the trip at a Digiboo kiosk.
With many great amenities, from Wi-Fi, Showers, Gas, home cooked meals, laundry, games, movies or snacks, you can find whatever you need to make your family’s travel experience a good one.
I can’t wait for our family vacation this summer. If you’re traveling this summer too, be sure to check out one of the 650 Pilot Flying J retail locations along the way. You can find a location near you here.