Traveling on $40 per Day

Have you ever seen $40-a-Day? It’s one of my favorite shows to watch, but unfortunately there are no new episodes (I’m glad that I’m able to DVR all the reruns on the Travel Channel). $40-a-day is a show hosted by Rachael Ray, and all of the episodes were taped before she was super famous. The show follows Rachael as she travels to different destinations around the world; the catch is that she only has $40 to spend on food and drinks per day. She has filmed this challenge all over the world: from Paris, to Hawaii, to Puerto Rico and everywhere in between.

The show gave me the idea to use this same concept on our vacations. Food can be one of the biggest expenses on vacation; appetizers, entrées, dessert, and all of those Mai tais every night add up. When I first saw this show I thought it was such a great idea to help minimize cost on our vacations, so I jumped at the challenge.

Lava Flows

Every trip that we have been on in the last five years has included the $40 per day challenge (the one rule is that we never skimp on tips). If we eat breakfast in the condo, we are able to spend a little more that evening, or if we have a big breakfast at an amazing restaurant, we will have an inexpensive picnic on the beach that afternoon for lunch. We have learned that this amount is a good starting point and, as always, we are flexible; sometimes the husband and I aren’t super hungry and we will share an entrée, or once in a while we feel like going all out (because, after all, we are on vacation).

Breakfast on the lanai on a cloudy Maui morning

So, what are some of your favorite money-saving ideas while on vacation?

Leave a comment

  1. March 11, 2012 / 5:19 PM

    I love that show! What we try and do is split meals that saves a lot of money…also we will pack our own granola bars to have for breakfast, the Atkins bars really keep you full!

    • March 13, 2012 / 11:05 AM

      Splitting meals does save a lot of money. I’ve found that when we are on vacation I’m usually not extremely hungry so it works perfect for us! I’ve never tried the Atkins bars, I will have to try them.

  2. Cody
    March 12, 2012 / 6:16 PM

    This is one of your best ideas and you would think it would be limiting (and who wants to be limited on a vacation?), but it is actually really fun and we have even laughed before at some of our choices (like when I spent 20 on breakfast alone. I’m a sucker for breakfast). It is one of those rare times that a budget is fun and rewarding and you even make it fun to see how much we can save and even have some leftover for souvenirs or another fun activity. Great post babe . You are my little trip genious and I’m lucky to get to spend my vacations with you by my side.

  3. March 12, 2012 / 7:32 PM

    My favourite tip? Buy stuff from the supermarket so you don’t have to stop to eat at cafes all the time. Then when you do, it can be a treat.

    • March 13, 2012 / 11:06 AM

      That’s a great one! We always go to the supermarket as well. Even if it’s just for drinks and snacks, it saves you a lot of money in the long run. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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