Plan a Vacation – Top Tips

Do you plan a vacation every year? It is summer and time to plan your vacation! We are a pretty frugal family so I’m always thinking about how we can have a ton of fun (and save money too).


Last year we took our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to Disney World. Since we had lived there for 3 years, we knew exactly how expensive it could be to spend a week in Disney, do everything that we really wanted to do, and pay cash for the entire vacation!

This year, we are taking a road trip to the mid-west US. It has been 30 years since my husband and I took a road trip. And, yes, this is our Anniversary gift to each other.



I love to be spontaneous. However, there are advantages to planning your vacation:

1.You can save lots of money by planning and talking to your friends. We stayed just 10 miles from Disney World, in a 3 bedroom house (with a screened-in pool) for just $700 by going through AAA Travel Services. We weren’t a member of AAA but found it well worth the $45 fee to save us hundreds of dollars for our accommodations.

2. There are a lot of places you can visit and things you can do for FREE! Just last week, I spoke to a friend who is originally from St. Louis and she told me about 2 places to visit there that are FREE! So, we will be visiting the St. Louis Zoo and Grant’s Farm!

3. It builds excitement about the entire trip. I’m having trouble containing myself enough to write this blog!


I am a list-maker. Having a written list of what we need to take makes it so much easier to make sure that I don’t forget anything important. Our list is 2 pages long and seemed a bit overwhelming but remembering such things as sunscreen, sunglasses for the kids, wipes to clean up messes will, again, save money. Anything that you have to buy at a convenience store is going to expensive so being prepared is a must.

I started preparing for this year’s vacation 2 weeks in advance. I designated the bed in our guest bedroom (since it isn’t being used and won’t interrupt with our daily schedule) as the place to start organizing everything.


1. Give each child their own bag with toys, books and activities that you know will keep them entertained and hold them responsible for their bag (especially if you are driving). When they know that they have a place for everything and everything has a place, it allows them to take responsibility and remove the pressure of you having to be in charge of it all.

2. Take an extra suitcase, backpack or laundry bag to hold all of the dirty laundry. Since we will be gone for 17 days on this vacation we will need to “do” laundry and I will be able to quickly do a few loads without spending much time at all sorting and organizing it all!

3. Keep things simple. Don’t take what you don’t need. Remember, you will have to unpack it all too!

A vacation is about making family memories and having fun…without stressing out!

Linda Clevenger, Organization Direct