week 2 www.familytravelonashoestring.com

Wow, that first week sure did go by fast. Only seven weeks until your vacation!  I’m excited, how about you?  How did week one go for you? If you missed last week’s post, go check it out and get on board, it’s not too late. You don’t have to wait until next year to hit the road with your crew! I’m here to help. I’ve worked out an eight week plan. You’ll soon be enjoying the summer vacation you didn’t think you could afford.

Week Two

This week is a big week, this is the week you nail down where you are going and start making reservations.  We always like to have our reservations made six weeks before our trip.  We do a lot of “shopping” around first to make sure we find affordable accommodations.  Sometimes staying in the town we are visiting is too expensive so we find cheaper accommodations in another town near our destination.   For our family of six, cabins or vacation rentals are usually cheaper and come with a full kitchen.  We find hotels to be better for road trips if your not going to be spending more than two nights in one town.  We saved a lot of money by camping instead of staying in a hotel on our trip to San Antonio, TX.  Make sure and check out all your options.

When you make your reservations make sure you can cancel up to 24 hours before.  You never know when a family emergency or the flu will strike.  A couple of years ago we had a trip planned to the Smoky Mountains.  We almost made our reservations at a discount price but the catch was that it would be non-refundable.  My grandfather ended up getting sick and passing away the week we were supposed to be on our trip.  Since we didn’t go with the cheaper deal we were able to reschedule our trip for a few weeks later.  It was good to be able to take that trip to lift my spirits after watching my grandfather suffer and then grieving after he passed.

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains, TN.

Smoky Mountains, TN.

The Money Saving Task

In addition to keeping up with last week’s task of not going out to eat, this week you are going to examine your budget closely and see what you can do without until you get back from your trip. You can cancel Hulu or Netflix and watch some of those movies you have stashed away in your entertainment center. Do you have any other monthly subscriptions you can cancel for a while? Look at your budget and say to yourself, “Every dollar saved is a dollar in our vacation fund.” Get creative with it, follow me on Pinterest for tips on doing your nails at home or how to cut your son’s hair.  Check out these frugal meal ideas. One of the things I love about frugal living is the challenge. Think of it as game and your goal is to live well while spending less.

Take inventory on all your food and household supplies.  Go through your pantry and freezer.  Plan your meals around food that you have already bought.  Use up anything that is about to go out of date.  Make notes if you need to remind yourself later of what you need to use quickly.  Go through your bathroom and see if you have any toothpaste samples or half used bottles of lotion.  Finish using up everything you have already paid for before you buy anything new.  Use that bottle of shampoo that isn’t really your favorite.  If all else fails, use it as a body wash instead.


Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. -Boyd K. Packer


It’s all about baby steps. It may seem like these steps are small but it’s the small things in our budget that really add up quick.  A fancy cup of coffee everyday for the next seven weeks is a whopping $245.  That’s a pretty penny to stash away into your vacation fund!  What are some ways you can cut a mere $5 out of your spending everyday?  I can’t wait to hear about the trips you took with your families that you thought you couldn’t afford.  I’ll see you next week for week three’s challenge!