Vacations are fun, but they can cost a pretty packet. Don’t blow your budget on a vacation. Read our tips for enjoying a relaxing holiday for less.
Many people tend to find that their budgets go haywire when they go on vacation. Vacations can be expensive, but savvy holidaymakers know how to enjoy a relaxing holiday for less.
1. Have a staycation.
This is the newest trend in vacationing – instead of going someplace new, you stay at home and use the money you’ve saved on tickets to explore attractions in your own area. You might even consider renting a hotel downtown to enhance the “touristy” feeling!
2. Budget for your vacation.
During the year, make sure you have a “vacation” category in your budget. Save for your holiday, so that you don’t need to take out a loan or max your credit card to enjoy your vacation.
3. Don’t eat out for every meal.
Eating out is expensive. So much of eating out during a vacation arises not because it’s the finest restaurant in town, but because it’s a fast food chain which is convenient. Try to limit your “convenience” eating out when you’re on holiday – pack lunches before you go out, carry high-protein snacks in your bag, and limit eating out to those occasions which you’ve actually planned for. The only exception, of course, is if you’re on the west coast and you go to In-N-Out Burger.
4. Buy sunblock, digital camera cases and memory at home.
Accessories like these can be marked up significantly at resorts and tourist destinations.
5. Use coupons for the attractions you want to see.
Most attractions offer coupons, so print them out to enjoy some discounts.
6. Browse discount travel sites like Expedia
You should never have to pay full price. Browse through a few discount booking sites, and call the airline or hotel to see if they will match or beat the price listed. Whichever method you use to complete your bookings, you will have received the best prices.
7. T ell the hotel about your special occasion
If you are celebrating an occasion, tell the hotel – often they will throw in free champagne or some other celebratory perk.
8. Bring reading material
Expect delays when you’re travelling – always bring reading material with you, and toys to keep any young ones busy.
9. Exchange your money before leaving
Airport money exchangers can be notoriously expensive. Shop around for the best exchange rates at your local banks instead.
10. Pack efficiently
Airlines charge for extra luggage, so try to cut back on the number of items you feel obligated to travel with.
11. Take snacks in your purse when going to an amusement park
Amusement park food can be greatly overpriced. Carry snacks and water in your bag to save some money.
12. Travel in the off season
Prices on everything are lower in the off-season whether it’s hotels, airlines or tourist destinations.
13. Borrow a friend’s timeshare
Many people rent more of a timeshare than they need; your friends and family members will often be happy to let you borrow their timeshare.
14. Browse budget travelling websites
City specific websites can offer tips on enjoying the city for less.
15. Speak to locals
Try to ask a few locals what you can do for free or less at their city – they will often give you helpful tips.
16. Research your destination for festivals
Festivals can be a fun, free way to enjoy a city, so research beforehand if there are any festivals you would like to see.
17. Don’t overspend on your hotel
Most of the time, a hotel will just be somewhere to sleep so you don’t need to splurge on a five-star place. Consider three star hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and even youth hostels if they have a good rating.
18. Pack an empty water bottle for your carry-on
Fill it with water after you get past security. This way you will have something to drink before getting on the plane, without needing to visit an airport cafe.
19. Air up car tires before leaving
Tires that are not aired significantly can consume more fuel, so air up your tires before a road trip.
20. Drink lots of water
Stop spending on sodas – carry a water bottle in your purse and drink plenty of water. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll gain less “holiday fat” as well!
As you can see, a vacation doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Happy travels!
This is a guest post written by Timothy a personal finance writer for Credit Card Finder and a network of personal finance websites which specialise in comparing credit cards to help consolidate credit card debt.