when our son was young and still our "dependent " , often we'd bring his friend ben or sarah with us when we traveled to aruba and other destinations (we only have one child .)
of course, being not wealthy , we had to follow a strict budget.
we'd fly to aruba sometimes using the charters that tnt or gwv offered.
that always helped with the bottom line.
we'd prepare breakfast and lunch IN our timeshare. (usually easy things like cereal, fruit, sandwiches and salads..stuff that was easy to pack up and bring to the pool or beach.)
we'd limit the bar purchases..boy those can add up. so we'd bring our own beverages.
dinner, we tried not to skimp on aruba dining experiences and sometimes we'd order 6 or 7 appetizers for dinner and share between the 4 of us, or give the kids the option of take out pizza and burgers and then paul and i would go to a restaurant "alone". this was fine when the kids were teens and could be left alone.
activities.......dear son kevin was big into scuba diving,wind surfing and horseback riding. so loads of $ was spent on that. often due to the costs of those activities we would have to sacrifice a few restaurant dinners and that was fine! after all, we do make sacrifices for our kids.
it all worked out, no one suffered.
the not so funny thing.......about 15 yrs ago i made a posting on one of the other forums of this same topic. a nasty reply was given by one of the members and she is still posting to this very day on that site, and other bulletin boards........the reply was and i paraphrase "if you have to count your pennies and scrimp you have no business going to aruba or any place nice." her reply was one of the reasons i love this forum so much. if she dared make a snotty snarky statement like that here, her sorry butt would be deleted.
We are budget travellers not because we have to but because we choose to be so we can do more throughout the year. Don't get me wrong, we aren't wealthy, but I saw a recent comment on another site similar to the one made to Andrea.
I rely in the Internet for planning. We have a budget per day that I try to stick to so I will look at menus and prices before we go to get an idea of what we will do. If we are having a really nice dinner, we will cut back somewhere else that day. If we spend too much at a bar one day, it comes out of the next day's casino money. Little t u ings like that keep us on track.
When we travel and the hotel does not offer free breakfast.. I will get cereal, donuts or what ever for the kids
Bring my own coffee.
For lunch we will buy some cold cuts, chips and snacks ... dinner since I am a petite person I will take part of my husband's dinner
Do like the app. idea.
We really like "low" season... Everything is less crowded and the villa rentals are almost half the price. We barbecue A LOT on nights we aren't going out. I'll bet we spend half the money in low season compared to Jan/Feb.
We bring our own booze and food for snacks by the pool and cheap drinks from the room. Our number one savings was waiting until the kids were adults so they could pay for themselves. Also for every nice dinner at a place like Barefoot, we will have a small meal in the room, usually leftovers from a previous meal.