When going on vacation, a cooler can help you save money as well as eat healthier. I grew up in a family that always bought treats at the gas stations and we went to sit down places so my dad could have a break from driving. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a family that would never buy anything at the gas station and would always take a cooler with them on trips. When we were married, I wasn't too open to the idea of a cooler. But, as the years have gone by, I have realized that it can really save money. Plus, you can make things you like and are healthier.
I can't say that I have changed completely, but now when we go on vacation we are more careful when going out. When we do, we split meals or eat less so it costs less. I plan our trips ahead of time and estimate costs for food, etc. We try to pay cash for vacations just like we do for Christmas. When I have a budget, I know just how much we can spend. You can still go out to eat if you would like to rather than take a cooler, but just stay in your budget when you do and don't put things on credit that you can't pay for right away with no interest.