Don’t we all love water on a hot vacation? We enjoy water every day while we are in Charleston. We stay at Folly Beach and we’re blessed to be a a few miles away from a gorgeous, family-friendly James Isalnd county park with a free spray fountain. And my kiddos love it. I actually cooled off with my two-year-old a time or two. There’s a wonderful playground right beside this cooling fountain and awesome picnic areas. My hubby took the kiddos on his kayak in the non-alligator waters. Yes, there are small ponds where you can see them. You can bring your own bikes or rent one. There’s also a campground and cottages, climbing wall and trails to hike. You could spend all day in this amazing park. Entry fee is only $1 per person above age 2. You can’t beat this deal. There’s also an inexpensive water park, Splash Zone, which we’ve done many times. It’ BOGOF on Tuesdays and half-price after 3 p.m.
All this fun play makes us very hungry and thankfully I plan ahead with wraps, such as Southwest or Italian. I didn’t grill these at the park, though they have plenty of grills to do so. I packed a dozen of these freezer wraps for my special needs brother-in-law who tags along with us every year. He eats on his own and I leave assorted wraps in the fridge for him while we’re away. Day two they were all gone and I had to make more!
As I conclude this final post as part of a series part 1 and part 2, I want to share my tips for planning and packing for a frugal vacation. Prior planning makes all the difference. A menu will save you money galore. It keeps you from spontaneous spending every time you hit the grocery store wondering what’s for dinner. Here are a few of my suggestions:
- Plan and write down a menu your family enjoys (ask members what’s their favorite)
- Prep as many meats as you can and freeze it (Marinate in freezer bags before you arrive)
- Place frozen bags of meat in a cooler with plenty of ice.
- Pack lighter frozen items such as wraps, muffins or chex mix near the top.
- Freeze a half-gallon or gallon of milk as an ice-pack and eat cereal on the first morning.
- Don’t forget your thawing box (plastic shoe box) to thaw your frozen items. Thaw in cold water if you’ve forgotten and get in a pinch. Avoid thawing in microwave for best results.
- Don’t have a kitchen? Or staying in a room with an efficiency? Plan a much lighter fare and change your ice frequently. Use your refrigerator, hot pot, crock pot, toaster oven or microwave to the max.
- Re-heat items in the toaster oven or microwave for quick eats.
- Pack plenty of healthy snacks and drinks for the road to avoid gas station/rest stop indulges. Trail mix, apples, oranges, frozen grapes and yogurt tubes, cheese sticks, crackers, peanut butter or homemade granola bars are great choices.
Will you share a vacation tip with us?
When you leave your vacation you will feel good knowing you have saved money, fed your family mostly healthy;) and enjoyed your time to the fullest since you weren’t in the kitchen every day.
Freezer cooking with prior planning makes a huge impact on our vacations. It can make an impact on your too. Consider it for your vacation this year and let us know how it turned out! Start small and just take a few items and venture into more on future mini-trips throughout the year. You’ll start enjoying all the free time and money you’re saving.
Blessings and thanks for tagging along with us on our vacation series.