My sisters and I love a long weekend at the beach. We load up the car, map the GPS to ‘GET ME THERE NOW’ and set the cruise control to ‘WHATEVER WE CAN GET AWAY WITH’, letting the rubber hit the road while the sun and sand pull on our hearts to come play.
We do this every year, we budget, plan and get ourselves there, to relax, unwind and let nature carry our worries and our weight away. No kidding!
We are healthier and weigh less coming back from our beach getaways, feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.
1. FIND A GOOD, FAMILY FRIENDLY VACATION RESORT ON THE BEACH – My friends and I stay at the Holiday Inn Sunspree in Panama City Beach. It’s high on security and has everything on site so we don’t have to leave for anything unplanned. When picking out a resort make sure that the room includes:
- A FULL SIZE REFRIGERATOR,
- A COFFEE MAKER, IF YOU’RE A COFFEE LOVER AND
- A MICROWAVE OVEN.
There are three of us that vacation together and for five days and four nights we each pay $422.50 for a room with these three appliances because they save us lots and lots of money!
2. AGREE TO SPLIT THE COST OF EVERYTHING – With the exception of personal items, split the cost of everything, including car rental (if you decide to rent a vehicle), gas for the trip, umbrella\beach chair rental and any other resort activities that are agreed on and planned.
My sisters and I have never rented a vehicle for our beach trip but we always split the gas. One of us fills up when we leave town, the other fills up when we hit empty and the other fills up when we hit empty again keeping the trip cost-effective and fair for each of us. If a fourth tank of gas is needed we make it up in other ways.
3. PACK SNACKS FOR THE DRIVE AND SPLIT THE COST OF THESE ALSO. We pack fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. No dips or sauces, just plain organic fruits and vegetables that we chop and prepare for the drive. This includes mixed fruits of grapes, cantaloupe and strawberries and chopped vegetables of carrots, cucumbers and red bell peppers. We also take mixed nuts along for the trip.
4. BRING YOUR OWN ALCOHOL. If you’re a drinker than you know that buying drinks at a resort or in a restaurant can be pricey so pack your own or buy them at the a store when you get there, it will save you a fortune. We drank a glass of red wine every night after dinner as we walked the beach or just relax at the outdoor hotspot.
5. GO GROCERY SHOPPING – This is the best way to save money all the way around!! Let’s face it, eating out is expensive, not to mention UNHEALTHY. You truly do not know what you are eating when you eat out and you pay a nice price for whatever it is that you order.
There is a grocery store a few blocks from our resort so we stop and load up right after check in. Some things we brought from home but this is what we bought from the grocery store on this trip:
- Two family sized (already cooked) rotisserie chickens
- 6 cans of tuna
- 6 cans of chicken
- Salad mix
- Baked Chips
- Assorted cut up fruits (Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Grapes, etc.)
- Salad Dressing (Oil & Vinegar)
- Sweet Potatoes
- 3 Frozen Steamable Vegetable packs
- Coffee (because we love our Dunkin Donuts!)
- Coffee Filters
- Paper Plates
- Quart Size Zip Lock bags (for cooking sweet potatoes in microwave)
- Plastic Spoons, Forks and Knives
- Snacks for the trip home
For breakfast we had eggs and oats with Cinnamon or some yogurt with our coffee and for lunch and dinner we mixed it up with chicken salads or rotisserie chicken with baked sweet potatoes and steamed vegetables, snacking on assorted fruits, nuts and chips at the beach keeping it healthy and affordable. Split three ways, the grocery bill cost us $33 each.
We not only saved money and ate healthy; we also came back a few pounds lighter and feeling great because of it.
A FEW MORE TIPS:
#1 – IF YOU PLAN A TRIP WITH YOUR FRIENDS EVERY YEAR OR EVEN A FAMILY VACATION WITH YOUR KIDS, KEEP A VACATION BOX IN YOUR GARAGE OR SOMEWHERE AROUND YOUR HOUSE. If you plan a trip with your friends every year or even a family vacation with your kids, keep a vacation box in your garage or somewhere around your house – Make a list and load your box up with everything that you already have around your house. Plastic spoons, forks, knives, big tumbler cups (for drinking coffee or other drinks), wine bottle opener, beach blanket, beach towels paper plates, sun tan lotions, sun screens, big plastic cups, a cutting knife, coffee, creamer, salt, pepper, etc. This way each year you already have a head start when it comes to packing and saving money. You also won’t have a large out-of-pocket cost purchasing all of your pantry essentials before you leave.
#2 – SAVE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE YEAR FOR YOUR BEACH VACATION. Make it apart of your budget, paying yourself first. Life is too short not to have fun and make memories with those you love.
#3 – ROLL YOUR CLOTHES INSTEAD OF FOLDING THEM WHEN PACKING FOR A TRIP – You will be able to pack so much more if you roll your clothes verses folding them plus, believe it or not, rolling them will cause less wrinkles, saving you from having to re-iron your clothes during your stay.
I hope you’ve found this helpful. Please tell me how you save money, have fun and lose weight during your vacations. I’d love to hear! And please share any travel trips that you may have.