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Travel is back, and this summer is going to be a huge season for vacations. In fact, a TripAdvisor study reports that nearly two-thirds of Americans will travel this summer. But with the surge in demand, airline ticket prices are on the rise. If you’re looking to save in other ways to offset that increased cost, I’ve got a travel hack for you. Skip the checked bag, and order in your necessities instead.
I travel a lot for work, and until recently, I thought I had my packing down to a science. Carry-on only, great shoulder bag that attaches to the handle, travel-sized everything, no extra TSA screenings, no problems. But then, recently, I was at the store stocking up on those little bottles for my upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, and I did the math: I was spending more on small versions of my toiletries than I was on the larger versions. I emptied my cart, and instead, filled up my virtual Walmart+ shopping cart.
What I like about the Walmart+ delivery service is that it’s the most comprehensive selection of deliverable goods. Rather than placing several orders across platforms — like groceries from Whole Foods, toiletries from Amazon Prime and wine from Drizly — I can order once from Walmart and get everything I need, delivered right to my hotel. Even better: the service is free for your first 30 days. After that, you can continue for either $13 per month or $98 per year.
Here’s what I ordered for my Disney vacation to save money, save time and make sure I had everything I needed to have the most stress-free trip possible.
One of the biggest money wasters during a resort vacation is breakfast. I swear, every time I go downstairs to the hotel cafe in the morning, I spend $15 on coffee and a muffin that’s too sugary and will leave me hungry in 10 minutes. Instead, I’ve started making coffee in the room, and fueling up for the day with a protein-rich breakfast shake that’s easy to drink on the go. I especially love the Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus Chocolate shake, and the Bolthouse Farms Strawberry Parfait Breakfast Smoothie.
Another huge money drain on vacation: bottled water. Especially in hot climates like Orlando (especially on days when you’re going to walk 10 miles or more through theme parks), it’s so important to hydrate. I keep a bottle of water with me at all times, and I really love the electrolyte-rich Smartwater in the large 1 liter size. Somehow it’s just easier to drink for me than the small bottles. Plus, the six-pack from Walmart is about the same cost as two bottles of Smartwater at hotel cafes or in the parks.
Here’s another pro tip from an avid traveler: Even if your hotel room doesn’t come with a refrigerator, you can often arrange to have one brought to you. Then, you can stash snacks like veggies, hummus and cheese in your room and not be at the mercy of whatever food is available from the vending machine when you’re starving at the end of a long day and all the restaurants are closed.
I generally like to put my own toiletries into refillable bottles, but mousse doesn’t work that way — and it’s hard to find in travel size. Unfortunately, I can’t live without it. We’re talking actual life and death here, insofar as I want to kill my frizz and enliven my curls. Luckily, my go-to brand is available for delivery, and costs less than the travel sizes of other mousse brands.
Another thing that you can’t pack in a carry-on: spray sunscreen, which doesn’t really come in travel size but is a total necessity for me to reach my back and shoulders, especially when I’m traveling solo. Any spray is fine by the pool when you’re in a bathing suit, but I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer brand for the rest of the time, too, because it’s easy to wear and doesn’t rub off on your clothes.
I love a poolside cocktail at a resort, but there are only so many piña coladas you can drink before you’ve run up a way-too-high bill and you’ve got, let’s face it, a little bit of a tummy ache. I love these pool-ready cans of sparkling rose. No corkscrew or wineglass needed. Just pop the top, sit back, and soak in the sunshine while you sip. The best part is that the four pack is the price of a single glass of wine at the hotel.
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