By Kelsey Pagel on July 17, 2018

Save Money on Vacation without Sacrificing

family vacation

Summer on the farm is busy and stressful. A 12-hour day feels like a short day, and with the sun staying up later, farming is never busier. Cows rotate through the grazing paddocks, hay is put up, we drill fall grazing crops into the hay fields and make sure our corn and soybeans are doing well.

Managing so many irons in the fire means short tempers. Lack of sleep, work that must be done in a timely manner and working in the summer sun can be tiresome.

One thing that keeps me going through the long days of summer is looking forward to vacation. This is one area of our marriage I do not compromise on. My husband Matt works hard all year long and rarely does things simply for the enjoyment of it, other than farming.

Vacation means we get to relax, sleep in and do whatever we want to do without thinking about what must get taken care of. This time makes the insanity of our lives bearable. Here are a few tips we use to have an amazing vacation, but not spend months of income getting it.

  1. Location. If you can locate places within driving distance, you can save a lot of money on airfare. Matt and I enjoy the ocean, but we don’t have to go to Hawaii or a tropical island to enjoy some sand time. You can get beautiful beaches within a half day’s drive from Kansas. A lot of times they are less crowded, too.  
  2. Where to stay. There are many options out there and lodging doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re going to stay in a hotel, don’t forget to use discounts. Many of the organizations we belong to (like Farm Bureau) offer amazing hotel discounts. Sometimes you can stack multiple offers to save even more. Often the hotel won’t volunteer these discounts but will honor them if you mention them. Choose a hotel that offers breakfast in the morning. This takes one more thing off the list and is included in your stay. If you go with another option like Airbnb, many have first time user discounts. Use them. They save you money with very little effort.
  3. Food. Whether you have a large family or a small one, eating out for every meal can get expensive. When you get to your destination, hit up the grocery store. Sandwiches are easy to put together and can save you from putting a big dent in your vacation budget. When you do go out to eat, split meals. Meal portions are so large at restaurants, we don’t need to consume a whole meal. Matt and I do this on our date nights and on vacation. We leave the meal feeling satisfied, but not overly full. It saves us a ton of money.
  4. Activities. When you check into your destination, hit up the brochure stand or ask your host about discounts. Many of the brochures have coupons included in them to encourage you to visit their venue. We have saved a fair amount of money just by using coupons that are right in front of us.

These are simple tips but can add up and save you a lot of money. I think it’s necessary for us to destress and get away from our daily lives. We come back refreshed and rejuvenated.

However, I don’t feel like we have to spend a lot of our hard-earned money in order to have an amazing time. Soak up every moment. Before long the snow will be flying, and we’ll be planning our New Year’s resolutions.

  • Kelsey Pagel

    Kelsey Pagel

    Kelsey and her husband, Matt, farm and ranch in northeast Kansas. They sell the food they grow on the farm (including beef and eggs) through area farmers markets and on their website They share their lives through social media on Facebook... Read more