The most popular question Kelly and I get asked is, how do we afford to go on all the trips we take? Well for starters, we decided to move to Washington and see every bit of this wonderful state. But really, we are both very thrifty. We love finding good deals, planning (somewhat) ahead, and doing our research.
This is how our budget broke down our previous trip to the Olympic Peninsula.
On this trip, knew we would have to take a ferry. There really isn’t a good way to save money for a ferry ride, so $45 it was. Kelly and I both did several deliveries for Uber deliveries (explain another time) to pay for the Ferry. It took us about five trips to make enough for it.
So far $45.
We wanted to stay the night, to make the trip really worth it. Kelly and I searched for hours looking for the best places and deals. We gave up the idea of luxury and extreme comfort for a small cabin in the woods. The cabin, for one night, cost us $79 for a 3 bedroom, 1 bath and kitchen. Heck, it even had WIFI!
$124. Not bad, especially here in Washington.
Our First stop on all of our trips is visiting the town/cities visitors center. They always have the best list of activities to do and can always suggest the free stuff in the area. We pick up maps and any information on the adventures we want to take. This saves time and MONEY! Plus, you can get a little history and the scoop on the places you are checking out.
Our Park Adventures
We always do our research on the actives and outdoor places in every area that we visit. The best way to save money is spending it outdoors, it’s almost always free! We played for hours on La Push beach without spending a dime. We got fresh air, energy out, great photos, and Ollie loved it!
Kelly and I did buy our parks pass for the National Parks and the Washington State Parks. This has saved us hundreds of dollars this year alone. $80 for the National Parks pass and $30 for the State Parks pass. We’ve made our money back over five times and we supported our parks. This is a great way to save money in the long run! (Since we didn’t buy our passes on this trip, we will leave it out.)
Day 2 of Our Trip
Food! We packed meals ahead of time. This saves so much money. Ollie doesn’t care and it gives us time to do more activities rather than sitting and having a meal. Who doesn’t love to save time and money?!
Peanut butter and Jelly is perfect for traveling. Takes you back to your childhood, doesn’t it? We also packed snacks, water, fruit, granola, organic dried fruits, baked chips, turkey hot dogs, and simple foods that hold over well in a cooler. Everything we package our food in is reusable, we like to keep it environmentally friendly. A great way to save money on drinks is packing a Nalgene water bottle and filling it up with water along the way.
We did eat out one time at the restaurant Bella and her dad ate at in the book because, well, Twilight. Kelly and I always treat ourselves to a night or morning out to eat. You have to live a little! Roughly spent $30.
Brings our budget up to $154.
After our Twilight moment, we headed out to Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park. We used our Parks pass which saved us $25. Kelly and I also budget for one to two souvenirs for each park we go to. We generally pick out cheap souvenir (magnets and postcards are the cheapest things you can get!)
Make sure you pack the necessities with you, you don’t want to have to pay the price for these things later!
Now at $175 (Souveniers)
Last But Not Least:
You guessed it, gas! Yup, this is in our budget. I had to get gas twice but in total spent about $45 for the entire trip. 4 hours out to Forks and about 4-6 hours of driving and exploring and 4 hours back home. Not too bad! One way we majorly save on gas is using our local grocery store this way we can save our gas points and redeem the before a big trip. We saved up enough points before this trip and go .50 off every gallon. This brought us to $1.99 a gallon!
Reaching a GRAND total of $220 for our summer family vacation. It may have not been a resort in Cancun but it created just as good of memories for our family. Kelly and I don’t expect luxury and would rather get some kicks and giggles out of the places we have picked. (Free wildlife included in our cabin stay)
Getting outdoors to us doesn’t mean spending a whole lot of money. Most of the pictures you see us taking we haven’t spent any money but in gas. We always pack our lunch, except on special occasions, and do our research on cost.
Our family has learned to cut back on ruthless spending. We stay home during the week, clip coupons, cook at home and created a jar for change to go towards our adventures. Washington is particularly full of free things to do with the family. This is also an amazing way to penny-pinch.
Let’s be totally real for a second, it stresses us out to spend a lot of money. We can’t enjoy ourselves if we have to worry about how much we are spending or are we going to have enough for our trip. It’s something that follows us home after the trip has come and gone. This is why we have created budget-friendly adventures for our family. We are able to relax, have fun and be happy we aren’t spending a lot!
It’s all about getting outside, relaxing and seeing where your adventures will take you!
Two PNW Mommies
“All good things are wild and free.” – Henry David Thoreau
Check Out Our Future Blog to Come!
- How We Make the Extra Money
- Selling Things
- Refurbishing Items
- Savings Jar