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I make no apologies for traveling as much as I do…it’s my hobby.  Yes, traveling is a hobby.  I always say I work, so I can travel.  A lot of times it’s for work and many other times it’s for pleasure.  I will NEVER turn down an invitation to travel, whether it be with friends, family or my hubby.  I’ve been fortunate enough to visit amazing places…and along the way I’ve learned a few tricks.  I can’t say I’m a completely frugal traveler. I think part of the fun is to ENJOY the experience…and sometimes that means biting the bullet and splurging.  Afterall, you only live once!  However, when I CAN save money, practically speaking, I do.  It does make me feel a little better about the trip’s budget.  Here are some ways that I saved money on my most recent vacation to Hawaii!


Because I stayed at a place that was offering vouchers if you would listen to their “pitch” for 1 hour, they would offer you a $100 voucher to use at the resort.  It could be on drinks, food, massages, kids activities…whatever.  So I looked at the weather forecast and scheduled a timeshare meeting for a rainy morning.  In no time (after saying NO to timeshare sales people) I walked away with a $100 resort voucher and a gorgeous new towel from Westin!


The flight to Hawaii is 9 hours from Minnesota.  You better believe I was going to pass the time with a drink (or two) and a movie!  I’ve discovered that you can pack 3 small travel size bottles in your carry on as long as you keep them in a baggie and remove them from your bag prior to the scanner.  I ask the flight attendant for a can of Bloody Mary mix, or cranberry juice, etc. with a glass of ice and then I mix my own.  I’m going to be honest…I usually do this without the flight attendant watching.  I’m not sure this is “legal.”  I’m willing to risk it as their drinks are typically $9-$12 each.  So there ya go!  3 drinks were free on my flight because I’m a sneaky broad. Oh, and I don’t throw those little bottles away!  I just rinse them out and fill them with my big bottle from home next time I fly. This is making me look really cheap, isn’t it!?  LOL


Okay, hang with me here.  This one is a little complicated to explain.  I’ve noticed that if I’m on a flight search and I enter number of travelers as “4” sometimes the price is XYZ.  However, if I enter the number of travelers as “2”, the price goes down to XYZ.  I did this on an inter island flight in Hawaii.  Originally, when I entered 4 people, it came up with the price of $223 per person.  However, when I split my husband and son up from my daughter and I and entered quantity 2, the price went down to $173 per person.  Yes, I had to make 2 separate transactions, but I saved $200.  It doesn’t work every time but it’s worth playing around with if you’re savvy enough!


This one is super easy!  If you’ve ever used Groupon before, you know that they can offer some great coupon offers…this even included horse back riding in Maui for my daughter and I.  I looked up on the Stable’s regular website and the price was $150 per person.  On groupon, I found a “coupon” for the $99 per person for the ride.  You bet!  I booked it!  Ask us sometime how the ride went! Yeeehawww!


I saved $50 by bringing our own empty drink containers and fill them at airport fountains. Plus, who needs to buy more water in plastic bottles.  A bottled water at the airport costs $6.00 each.  We have a family of 4 traveling so that’s 4 waters each way.  I’m helping the environment a tinch too!  We also use these containers on the beach or pool too and fill them with….see next point….


Most rooms/condos/villas these days have mini fridges so one of our first stops on vacation is to stop at a grocery or liquor store and buy our own mixes, beer and alcohol.  We make our drinks in our own containers and take to beach, pool, etc.  The average drink in Maui when we were just there was $12.  So, if we would have only bought poolside drinks every day…ooofta….that would have really added up!  My husband and I would normally have at least 2 drinks per day.  You do the math.


A lot of times we rent a villa, a condo or the ever-popular VRBO homes.  I’ve learned to research a little ahead of time and see what grocery stores are near where I’m staying.  This time it was a Safeway so I did the work of registering for a “club” card (so I wouldn’t have the hassle of it in the actual store on vacation) and brought the number with me when I shopped.  It’s a no brainer…you save 20% on your entire bill every time.  I’m pretty sure I saved MORE than $22 on this one but you get the idea!

Well, there you have it.  I hope my little tidbits will help you save a few bucks on your next adventure!  Set sail peeps!

XOXO Emily (Laney Lu’s mom)

PS…here are some of my FAVORITE new vacation looks!



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