Summer is almost over but we’re about to embark on a last minute trip to the New Jersey shore town of Wildwood Crest. Fortunately, it looks like the hotel where we’ll be staying made it through Hurricane Irene in one piece!
Family vacations can get expensive very quickly so I figured I’d share a few tips for getting the most bang for your buck.
Eat in. From past experience, I know that most of the restaurants in the area are pretty expensive. So we are staying in a room with a stove and oven so we can eat in at least a few nights. It’s easy enough to whip up some pasta and sauce and enjoy a cheap meal before heading to the boardwalk for games and rides. Plus, the hotel has a big grill near the pool so we can fire up some burgers and dogs one night too!
Go easy on the rides. My kids loooove going on rides, but if you’re not careful you can spend your whole vacation budget on the Himalaya and the Tilt-A-Whirl. And in Wildwood, you have to fork over tickets for each individual ride (unlike Hershey Park where you buy admission for the day and can go on as many rides as you want). Since tickets tend to go quickly you need to pace yourself and find other ways to distract the kids.
Find free or inexpensive diversions. The beach in Wildwood Crest is free so that’s a good chunk of the day taken care of right there. But there are other ways to kill some time without breaking your wallet. If we bring the kid’s bikes we can let the go for a ride while we stroll up and down the bike path. There’s also a nearby park with swings, slides, and monkey bars to keep the kids occupied. Another option is to take a short drive into neighboring Cape May and walk around the shops and cafes.
What other simple tips do you have for saving money on a family vacation?