Do you pack snacks when you travel? I always do! One of the easiest ways to save, I have found is to bring your own snacks. Whether at Disney or just taking a road trip snacks run at least $1.50 each or more at gas stations and tourist spots. Everyone in my family eats at least 2 snacks a day. With 6 people that comes out to $18.00 minimum per day of vacation. At Disney that is more like $5.00 a snack or $60.00 per day.
About 6 months before my planned trip, I start adding snacks that I found cheaply or free to a tote labeled “Vacation”. That is where all things for our upcoming vacation go. By having the tote easily accessible, mine is usually stored in my closet, I am able to save money and time by collecting small things that would be perfect for my upcoming trip year round and keep them out of my way until I’m ready to pack.
You would be really surprised by how fast your vacation snack food supply builds up without you even trying. I only get things that are $1.25 or less, until the last month. During the last month I go through and take an inventory. I make a list of any items, I feel like I need to purchase, usually its cereal. Most days we eat cereal for breakfast in the hotel room to save money.
I kept track of all my purchases related to my trip on a spreadsheet. In total on snacks and food that I brought from home I spent $25.23. By planning ahead while at Disney we where able to buy only one snack a day per person to share. At $30.00 per day savings, in one day of packing snacks the savings more then paid for themselves!
Click here to see, how else I saved on food while at Walt Disney World.
To save space and protect the crunchy foods from getting mashed, I take everything out of the original boxes and add them to plastic storage bins. When traveling in my car the snacks are usually stored in a plastic sweater box with a lid on top of all of our luggage. When flying I use smaller plastic shoe storage boxes with lids. They fit better in a suitcase.
I stack all the granola bars, packs of cookies, and any other individual packs I have nicely in a row. On the sides I add gummy snacks or other individual packs that are small and flexible. The cereal bag is laid flat. You can add more individual packs of flexible snacks around the cereal for added padding. Big packs of food that aren’t individual size, I put in the suitcase along the top.
If flying, I put a small blanket folded in half on the bottom for extra padding. The plastic bins are heavier and will go to the bottom during travel. I put those on the bottom. The bigger bags go on top of the plastic bins. I fill in any space with a beach towel or small blanket. I put a beach towel over the top. The beach towel serves 2 purposes it provides extra padding and if something does break that is a wet item it will soak up the liquid. I use an American Tourist 25″ spinner suitcase, everything fits perfectly with very little space. That is the goal. The less space the less movement and risk of damaged food.
Everyday we took a Jansport big student backpack with snacks, and water bottles as well as any thing else we needed for the day. The straps had lots of cushion which didn’t really bother our shoulders. We had a huge amount of space inside that bag it was perfect for a day at Disney.
I have never had any food packages bust or be damaged while flying using this method. I haven’t been brave enough to try this with drinks. I do have a friend who says as long as everything is packed tight and you pad it with beach towels you will be fine. She packs drinks in her luggage when she flies.