It can feel fun to spend freely on a family vacation, but the feeling you'll experience is anything but pleasant when you return home and see that your checking account balance is close to zero. While vacations can definitely be costly, there are a variety of tactics that you can use to keep your spending in check — and make sure that there's enough in your checking account for your post-vacation bills. Here are some methods that you can successfully use on your next trip.
Pick Up Coupons At Information Centers
Along your route, keep an eye open for tourist information centers. These are common in most large cities, but you'll also often find them off the highway as soon as you cross into a different state. Such centers are ideal because they're loaded with brochures and coupons that can help you dip into your checking account on your trip. You'll typically encounter a wide range of restaurant coupons, as well as coupons for various tourist attractions. Many of the coupons will be along the lines of offering free or half-priced admission with one paid admission, which can save you a significant amount of money with each destination you visit.
Grab Food From Supermarkets
Unless you have discount coupons, dining in restaurants can be pricey if you're paying for your entire family. A checking account-friendly alternative to consider at mealtime is visiting a local supermarket and buying some food, and then enjoying an impromptu picnic at a rest area along the side of the road. While you can buy pre-made sandwiches and salads from the supermarket's deli area, you'll save even more money by doing the work yourself—for example, buy a loaf of bread, some luncheon meat, cheese, and lettuce, and then make your own sandwiches. Take the same approach with salad by buying pre-washed lettuce and some pre-washed vegetables, and then mixing them together with a couple packets of salad dressing from the deli area.
Use Public Transit
If you're visiting a large city in which downtown parking is expensive, consider leaving your vehicle on the outskirts and hopping on public transit. Whether you take the bus, subway or train, you'll often find that passes for your entire family can be less money than parking your vehicle in multiple locations around the city as you visit different tourist areas throughout the day. Many public transit services have "all day" passes, which means that you pay one fee and you can ride as many times as you'd like until the end of the day, keeping more money in your bank account in the process.
Remember to budget appropriately. For assistance, talk to a professional like FCN Bank.