How to Get the Most Out of a Summer Vacation


This is a sponsored post on behalf of Shell, for which I was compensated. All opinions are my own.

My husband and I are like ying and yang. And I don’t just mean the black/white thing. I mean we are so different in many ways. One of the biggest differences is the fact that I love seeking new adventures and traveling and he’s 100% fine staying put.

We have had our moments of compromise though. Before kids we went on a Bahamian cruise and had the time of our lives. I’m trying to talk him into another one just the two of us but so far no luck.

Every year we visit Utah and we go back and forth about flying versus driving there. Thankfully, so far, every time I’ve won that debate. But I still have dreams to whisk the family away to family, or take a trip to visit relatives in Dubai, my husband thinks I’m certifiably nuts.

“Why don’t we drive to the beach?” He’ll say.

But I’m trying to settle down a little bit. Our family has been working on our summer bucket list and this summer we’ve decided we’re going to do more exploring close to home. We do live in the largest state in the continental US after all. There is a lot we haven’t seen. We’ve done Disney vacations (and don’t get me wrong, we’re not done). But I want to make more meaningful memories as a family that don’t break the bank.

Here are some ways I’m planning to save money while having fun this summer:

Researching discount/free days

There are so many fun places to go in our town and in other cities nearby. I plan to do some research for coupons and deal days to see what activities we can do for less and save some cash. My husband often has weekdays off because of his shift work, so we’ll try to take advantage of those off-day prices.

Pack snacks

We are usually pretty good about this but when we’re not, man it adds up fast. For shorter trips I’ll make sure to pack a few snacks to keep the kids from getting too hangry and save from having to stock up at every other convenient store.


My husband will be happy, my son who all of a sudden has terrible earaches on planes will be happy, and our wallets will be happy. While I do have a couple of work trips planned this summer, our personal trips will be fueled by well… car fuel. If you need help choosing a new car hopefully these four tips can get you going.

Fuel Rewards savings

I’m teaming up with Shell and the *Fuel Rewards® program through the end of the year. I just signed up for a Fuel Rewards® card and got “Instant Gold Status” which basically means I can save at least $.05/gallon at the pump (up to 20 gallons / visit) and earn points other places when I used the card. It’s not a credit card and doesn’t cost anything to sign up.

Shell fuel rewards

Packing well

Know how many times we’ve gone on trips and forgotten things like beach toys, or sunglasses, pieces of bathing suits and more. Then we have to find a gift shop and pay the premiums for those items. I’m going to make a packing list this time and hopefully avoid that trouble.

South Padre Family vacation and fun exploring the Texas coast. List of some things to do and where to stay.

Hopefully if we do all these things we’ll be able to pack in one or two more trips than we normally do. Of course we’ll be blogging (and probably vlogging) along the way. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m teaming up with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® program through the end of the year. As a part of this partnership we’ll be documenting our road travels. But first we’ve gotta nail down exactly where to go and what to do. So far a few on my list are: South Padre Island, Camping (maybe… unless it’s too hot), New Orleans, Dallas, Houston or San Antonio.

Do you have any suggestions? What are your summer plans?

I love partnering with brands that help us make meaningful memories together as a family. That is why I have teamed up with Shell for this post. Of course all opinions are my own.

*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit or call (888) 603-0473.



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  1. These are great tips. One of the keys to a great trip is packing well. There’s a fine line between being prepared and packing 12 weeks’ worth of stuff for a one week trip. LOL

  2. I love looking for discount days and coupons when I decide on a vacation. It’s amazing how much money you can save with a little bit of research. Fuel rewards sounds like another great way to save some more money!

  3. Love all these tips! I’m always looking for ways to save money for our summer vacations. We love taking road trips, I’m going to look into the fuel rewards!

  4. We are planning a few road trips for the rest of summer vacation… So these are some great tips for us, we will have to remember to get the fuel rewards!

  5. Our August is in sane so many different road trips and small staycations. I can’t wait, even though it will be crazy. Love these tips, gas rewards make a huge difference when you are traveling!

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