This summer has been a whirlwind! After a week in New Mexico, my family and I headed out to Colorado, where we spent time in Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park. Now, I’m not going to say that our vacation was cheap – we did put out quite a bit of cash between plane tickets, hotels/home rentals and meals out – but I did come away with several pieces of money-saving wisdom that I wanted to pass on to you. Enjoy!
1. Look for coupons. One of the first things we did in Denver was visit the Downtown Aquarium. Since tickets were pricey, I did about 2 minutes of Googling and found coupons that saved us several dollars off each admission. The kids loved it!
2. Make money (if you can). Being self-employed, I was in the unique position of being able to take on an assignment while in Colorado that earned us a bit of cash and only took about an hour’s worth of effort. Of course, this option isn’t available to everyone, but it did help defray a small portion of the cost of our trip!
3. Drive a fuel-efficient car. We caught a plane to Denver, but once we got to the city, we needed wheels. Toyota was kind enough to provide us with a Toyota Avalon Hybrid for the duration of our trip. Not only was this car super-nice, it saved us a TON of money in gas. We only needed to fill up twice, and that was with us driving 100+ miles on some days.
4. Skip the gift shops. Like most other kids, mine asked for (overpriced) trinkets as soon as we emerged from various museums and parks. And once or twice, I did give in. But I found that it was much cheaper to instead drive to the nearest Target and pick up a couple of small toys – provided, of course, that the kids’ behavior had been good. (Is it worth noting that my kids now cannot recall any of the items they wanted in the gift shops.) The toys you see below in my kids’ hands cost less than $10 combined, and they are still playing with them at home.
5. Do free stuff. We visited Red Rocks Park, which does not have admission charges, and Rocky Mountain National Park, which was also free for us. (Note: We have a special deal that allows us into national parks for free. Most families will pay about $20 for a week’s admission. Still a deal!)
Many thanks to Toyota for allowing us to use their Avalon during our trip. We had a great time! Let’s go places!
Subscribe to FW on the Cheap by e-mail
and become a fan on Facebook.