The Secret to Saving Over $150 for Your Vacation? Shopping At The Dollar Store before Departing

Learn how this couple saved over $150 just by taking a quick trip to the Dollar Store before their weekend trip to Hawaii.

One of my favorite topics to follow on Pinterest is Dollar Store Hacks not only because it shows you how to stretch a dollar, but it also shows you ways to be more creative with items you’d never think to put together. I may not be much of a crafter right now, but I am crafty when it comes to saving money on “need to have” items so that I can have more “want to have” items on my vacations. This post breaks down 10 different ways you can leverage the dollar store items to fulfill your traveling needs.

There’s nothing worse than finishing a ten-hour workday, booking it to the airport, and then not having enough time to stop for snacks! What’s even worse? Perusing around the shops in the airport to waste time before your flight. According to Business Insider, in 2017 the average American spent an average of $11-$140 per airport trip. Save time and avoid those impulse buys at the airport terminal shops. You can buy similar items and even healthy snacks at the Dollar Store and put them in your carryon bag or purse. What’s even better is that they have packs of items like cheese crackers or bags of nuts or granola bars. (Total savings:

Coffee mugs were one of our best purchases for our most recent trip. They had a grip on the base and a sealable lid on top to keep our rental car extra tidy and our coffee nice and hot to sip on while we enjoyed the Hawaii views. People were so shocked that we brought our own mugs and were so thankful for considering our part in keeping their home state clean. What I loved about these mugs was that it kept our trash minimal. When we wanted soda or coffee, we’d use the mugs. They were easy to wash out and more sturdy than the paper cups given out at coffee carts. (Total Savings: Target average price: $20)

Over the counter medications is something I honestly don’t have a ton of knowledge on, but recently learned that it is illegal to carry medications without their proper prescription or information label. What this means is that if you had a bag of medicine in a zip log baggie or a pill case without the label indicating they are your medicines or what those medicines even are, you are not compliant. To avoid this, I bought all new medications that I regularly use, such as GasX’s generic brand. There is nothing worse than being on an airplane with an upset, gassy stomach. (Total Savings: Priceless)

Earplugs and a night mask were our saviors the first night in Hawaii. If you’ve never visited a farm at 3 am, or worse, sleeping on a farm at 3 am, imagine the sound of sometimes 3 roosters at once howling outside your jeep after working ten hours and then catching a six-hour flight. Earplugs…were my savior. (Total Savings: Target: $3.99 for earplugs)

Nighttime sleep-aid was the number one product that made it possible to show up to work the next day as if I had not left the Portland area whatsoever for the weekend. I took one packet on the plane and was able to sleep about 4 hours, enough to carry me through the day. (Total Savings: Target Price: $4.99 for 100 pack, but who needs a 100 pack for a weekend?)

Melatonin was another great way to adjust to the time zone, without having to take something that would clonk me out. It was an easy way to transition in and out of time zones and a great option for Jeff to sleep on the plane, who doesn’t like to take medicine.

Tote bags are a cheap item to get at the dollar store and a quick way to easily save you the $50 bag fee, per person, to avoid checking your carry-ons. As long as you can fit everything into a tote bag, it’s considered a purse, murse, or, technically speaking, a “personal item” to accompany your one allowed carry on bag. (Total savings $100)

I love a good pair of sunglasses, but sometimes while traveling, you switch purses, murses, carryons, and tote bags. You mix the snacks with the sleeping bags and your sunglasses end up somewhere in the trunk with the toiletries. It happens! Sometimes the sun is so blinding in tropical areas and there can sometimes literally be no place to pull over for miles, which is why it’s important to always have a few pairs, scattered amongst different areas of the car or your luggage just in case. At the Dollar Store, you can try different looks and grab a few pairs for almost no investment. (Total savings: $30-60)

Non-AerosolSunblock is actually an item that most Dollar Stores have and many times, it’s “the good kind”. The best part about Dollar store products sometimes are their small sample or travel size. We used a Neutrogena face sunblock cream and while we purchased it in Hawaii, it was an item that I found almost the same version of in the dollar store when we returned home. Now I’ll know to stock up!

Flashlights (without batteries) are a great tool to have for camping and quick to pick up if you can’t run to your local REI or Amazon.

Packing tape is something I’ve learned to always pack now because the one time I packed it, it didn’t fail me. A small thing of tape goes a long way sometimes and does not take up much room. You can tape your sneaker or flip flop, or tape the casing of your flashlight, like I did, which came in handy one night when we had to set up camp in the dark! We would have been SOL!

Non-aerosol Shaving Cream is something I don’t think I’d ever used before trying it out in Hawaii. Let’s be real, when you’re planning a trip to Hawaii in just 3 days while working full time, it’s just not possible to get in for waxing. Luckily, I found shaving cream that did the trick for the trip. While I purchased one with a pump thinking it’d be easier, I’ll buy one that has a normal squirt bottle. I dropped it once and the pump broke. Still a good buy, but worth a different package next time.

Toothpicks are something I don’t quite understand the importance of until I find my boyfriend grabbing 1, 2, 6 of while leaving a restaurant. Then it becomes important to me to shoo him out of the restaurant before someone notices. The man loves his toothpicks, which was an easy fix at the Dollar Store. A pack of 200 is $1.09 with tax and the guy is happy driving for hours. (Savings: Priceless)

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