Lifestyle Sharing the Struggle

Sharing the Struggle: 5 Vacation Money Savers

Summer is winding down, but reports show that summer vacation season is at its peak.  For some of us–ahem, me–the thought of a middle seat on a commercial airliner for several hours is the stuff of nightmares.  So, I wanted to share with my readers a list of things I do to stay sane while traveling.

Carry-On Only!

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When I travel, I would rather spend my hard-earned cash on a few margaritas than fork over $25 for checked baggage.  Plan ahead and pack fewer items that pair well together. Five days in a mild climate?  Three shirts, two dresses, one pair of jeans.  If you wouldn’t wear it at home, don’t take it on vacation.  Carry-on luggage has some benefits beyond saving some cash.  Keeping your belongings with you will give you peace of mind that they are being handled with care and no need to hang out at baggage claim once you land.

You Can’t See Everyone

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I live several states away from where I grew up and went to college.  I have a lot of family members and dear friends whom I would love to see when I go home, but the truth is, I can’t see everyone. Once I accepted that, I felt less guilty and I spent less dough on gas in the process.  I also started making my trip known ahead of time so my loved ones could plan ahead and come see me.  Driving all over hell and creation to see people takes time.  If they come to you, it allows you to see more people in a smaller amount of time.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to come to you either.  You flew there! They can drive an hour to have lunch with you.

Bring Your Own Snacks

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I absolutely refuse to spend a dime on food at an airport.  Once you are past security, it is gouge city.  The airport executives know you are at their will, so they run the prices up on even the simplest of items.  Instead, hit up your favorite grocery store the night before and pick up some portable snacks that keep well without refrigeration. Cookies, pretzels, jerky, and apples make great plane food.  And about that water, don’t you dare spend $3 on a bottle of Springtime water. Pack an empty bottle in your carry-on and fill it up at a water fountain.  Not a fan of water all the time?  Bring along a packet or two of Crystal Light.  Just add to water and you’ve got yourself a lemonade!

Bundle Your Services

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If you are flying somewhere other than your home state, you will most likely need a place to sleep.  And unless you are going to a city with excellent public transit (shout out to NYC and Chicago) you will also need to rent a car.  By using sites like Priceline and Expedia, you can purchase your flight, car, and hotel for one all-inclusive price.  By all means, do your homework. But, about 85 percent of the time, I find that I will get the best price on all three if I book them together.

Ask Friends to Help

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Before you take Fido to be boarded while you are away, consider asking your friends and neighbors.  If your animal is chill, they might not mind having them around for a few days.  My roommates (AKA lifesavers) always watch my cat when I’m away. Granted, my cat doesn’t require specialized attention, but knowing that there is someone who loves her watching after her makes me feel more relaxed while I’m away.  Kennels will charge you hundreds of dollars to board your animal for a week.  If you are lucky enough to snag a free caregiver, make sure to do something nice for them.  A gift card goes a long way to say thank you.

So, where are you going on vacation?  Share your pics with us!


June Spence

Have a question for June? Submit your questions or stories to or tweet us @SharingStruggle or @ShuffleOnline!

About June

June was born and raised in the south where “bless your heart” is an insult. Self professed serial dater and an expert in all matters of the heart. June also enjoys volunteering, dancing and sewing.


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