Family life

8 easy ways to quickly save for a family vacation

Forgot to save for your vacation? Use these simple money-saving techniques to stash cash quickly.

Make large batches of affordable recipes and use all leftovers. Try, which breaks down cost per serving.

Brew your own coffee
Walk right past Starbucks. Don’t even look.

No indulgences
Not only are you on a spending diet; you’re on a (temporary) fun diet. Most vices cost money—no online shopping and no pedicures.

Save on transit
Walk or ride your bike. If you have to drive, set up carpools with your co-workers or friends and split the gas.

No takeout
All family breakfasts, lunches and dinners should be packed or cooked at home. I repeat: No takeout.

Consider a housing swap
Instead of forking out fistfuls of cash for a hotel, plan your vacation via, a site that connects families in various travel destinations. Airbnb is a great money-saving alternative to hotels, too.

Barter to save money
Swapping professional services and hidden talents is a great way to get what you need without spending a dime.

Save your change
Raid the penny jar and go to the bank to cash them in. Many have free change-sorting machines.

A version of this article appeared in our January 2014 issue with the headline “Saving on turbo speed,” p. 59.

Read more:
The debate: Should kids miss school for a family vacation?
How to do Disney (without losing your mind!)
15 ways to save money on just about everything

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