5 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Day Trips

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Day trips and summer go together like peanut butter and chocolate. However, day trips can get expensive if you don’t take the time to do a little prep work.

5 ways thrifty people save money on day trips

The prep work doesn’t have to take long, but it does require you to think ahead.

5 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Day Trips

1. See if you can grab a daily deal for the outing

When my family had a staycation several years back we did several day trips back to back. When we were planning out our staycation week we made sure to check daily deal sites for great deals on local attractions as well as those in larger centers near us.

Our family has picked up numerous daily deals for day trips from both Groupon and Living Social and never had a problem using them.

2. Pack A Picnic Lunch And Snacks

The most expensive part of day trips can be the meals involved in a full day outing. You can entirely eliminate the cost by bringing food from home.

Our family has used these Rubbermaid divided storage containers for our road trip eating for years. We love that you can fit a sandwich in one side and then either chips or cut up fruit or veggies on the other. They also fit on laps fairly well if you are eating as you travel.

We usually pack everything we need in an insulated bag as it takes up less room than a cooler. We pop a small freezer pack or two in it as well to make sure things say nice and cool.

It is, however, nice to splurge on a few extra treats to either take or grab on the way. We often pack a few foods we normally wouldn’t buy, and often eat one picnic meal and one meal out.

3. Check Websites Of Places You Want To Visit For Discount/Free  Days

Zoos and museums often have times where you can get admission at a reduced cost or even free. Yes, these times can be more crowded, but if it saves your family a significant amount of cash and you’re on a tight budget the extra crowds might be worth it.

Another thing to watch out for is that some sites offer cheaper rates when you pay for your tickets in advance online.

4. Search For Free Activities

My husband and I took a day trip up to a Tulip Festival this year. It was completely free and 100% worth the long drive there and back.

Most tourist information centers have festival guides that you can use to help you find websites and online reviews for the various free festivals within day trip distance of you.

5. Gas Buddy App

With day trips come a lot of driving and gas prices can really make or break the budget for day trips. Although you can do little to change the price of gas you can at least purchase it at the lowest priced gas station on your route by using the Gas buddy app.

What type of day trips does your family enjoy? And how do you save money on them?

point reward program sidebarWanting to take day trips with your family but short on cash? Point programs can help.


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  1. Groupons are amazing, we use them often for movies and passes to local attractions. In fact, we are going to see Inside Out this weekend for $5 a ticket 🙂 One tip I’ve heard, that I confess I haven’t tried yet, is to buy the City Pass. Even if you live locally, I’ve heard that they are great for summer daytrips. A friend of mine always does one for Dallas (she lives not far from Dallas so they go there often anyway).

  2. Great tips! I typically do all of them, but have never tried Gas Buddy. Next time for sure!

  3. Nice list! We definitely always pack a lunch and water bottles too. I also like keeping lists on my computer of what to bring with us, so that we don’t forget something important and have to buy it for a higher cost when we get there.

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