Well it's summertime and that means a visit to the beach! Here's how we stay cheap and green when going on vacation.
1) Take the car that gets the best gas mileage. We have always taken the minivan because of all the stuff...and my son's stuff has always taken a lot of room. Since he's been getting older, the things he wants to take are different. A few years ago it was Thomas trains and track, now it's a Nintendo DS. Much easier to pack! So this year, we're taking our small car.
2) Find out your recycling options. If you're like my family, you use more individually packaged drinks (cans, bottles, etc) on vacation. The house we rent does not have recycling pick up. In previous years (with the minivan) we just bagged the cans and bottles and recycled them at home. This year, no minivan means to transporting the cans. I looked online and found a recycling drop off 2.4 miles from where we are staying.
3) Find another family to vacation with. It's considerably cheaper to share the cost of renting a vacation house when the cost is split. We've been doing this with my cousin and his family for a few years now. Not only can we get a nicer and bigger house since we share the cost, but we have a great time with them and their kids.
4) Eat in. It's very tempting to eat out every day when you're on vacation. And very expensive. The house we rent has a kitchen, so we've always planned meals out ahead of time. We usually eat out once for dinner and maybe once for lunch, but the rest of the meals for the week are made at the house. Some of the dinners we pre-make and freeze and bring down.
5) Keep the kids on a budget. My son has his own money that he takes to the beach. If he wants to buy some little trinket, it's his money. When he has to buy souvenirs himself, it makes him think twice about it.
6) Keep the packing as light as you can. If you are lucky enough to stay somewhere that you are able to wash your clothes, you can probably pack half the amount and just wash mid-week. The lighter you pack, the better mileage you will get.
Do you have any other tips for cheap and green vacations?
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