Lost luggage, changes in temperature and misplaced items can all create unexpected travel expenses in the form of replacement costs. Creative shopping strategies and a bit of research can help alleviate the burden. Here are my top tips for handling incidental vacation expenses affordably.
Activities: Forgotten beach towels and misplaced shower shoes are replaced for a song at places like Dollar Tree, or even Goodwill. These are also great locations to restock those sand toys that Susie left at Grandmaís two days ago. Coupons printed from the hotel business center provide savings on everything from extra sunscreen to pizza delivery.
Weather: Packing light means you have to make your best guess as to what the temperature will be at your vacation destination. Stop at the nearest thrift store for sweaters and gloves if it looks like that drive into the mountains will be unexpectedly crisp, or grab some light-weight items if the weather at your beach cottage becomes unseasonably warm. Thereís no need to pay full price for items youíll only be using temporarily.
Storage: Lost luggage or an unexpected windfall of family gifts can create storage stress. Why dish out retail dollars when a $6 replacement piece from the Salvation Army will work just fine for the drive home? Drawstring mesh bags and zippered pencil pouches from the dollar store are extremely affordable ways to organize damp beach laundry and other vacation incidentals like snorkeling gear.† Inexpensive carry-on totes provide overflow storage for extra items accumulated on the trip.
Delays: If unforeseen circumstances force you to extend your trip by a few days, there are ways to keep the costs from spiraling completely out of control. Vacation dining expenses can be culled by purchasing dime store utensils and other items to prepare simple meals in the room, and entertainment activities can be handled with a laptop computer, area parks and the hotel pool. Use the downtime to research the best gas prices available for the drive home, and to stock a cooler with meal items that can be consumed easily at highway picnic areas.
Photo Credit: iStock