Saving Money: 6 Savvy Tips to Save Money on Vacation
Personal Finance

Saving Money: 6 Savvy Tips to Save Money on Vacation

Story Highlights
  • Travel expenses can quickly add-up, putting a damper on your time away.
  • There are a number of ways to cut down on costs, allowing you to enjoy your travels without overspending.

The desire to spread your wings and get away from it all has compelled would-be travelers to journey off on great adventures since the dawn of time. Most of us do not have extravagant ambitions, simply seeking to take some time away from the daily grind, see some sights, or perhaps visit with friends and family without breaking the bank. Of course, saving some money along the way is always desirable.

Depending on your destination, there are certain costs that are simply unavoidable. However, finding ways to trim down on your expenses is doable regardless of where you are headed. Read-on for some savvy tips that will help you to save money on your well-deserved vacation.

Create a Budget

Like anything in life, putting a plan in place by creating a budget will allow you to track costs and ensure that you are avoiding overspending. Understanding that you have a certain amount of money to devote to your excursion will help you plan accordingly, making informed decisions about where to splurge and when to cut back.

This exercise will also help you to prioritize which items on your to-do list are absolute musts, and which ones are less important. Life is a balancing act, and your time away is no exception. You cannot do everything, and being intentional about your choices and their inherent trade-offs will help you to make the most out of your time away.

Plan in Advance

Making plans in advance increases both your travel and lodging options. The longer lag time between your decision and your departure, the greater the odds you can score a bargain.

As your travel date approaches, your options will both become fewer and more expensive. Planning ahead will allow you to decrease your costs, potentially freeing up monies in your budget to devote to other memorable activities.

In addition, reserving tickets to attractions earlier on will ensure that you do not miss out on seeing certain sights. Some places limit their number of daily visitors, and booking your spot early on will save you from major disappointments down the road.

Be Flexible With Your Flights

Unless you are traveling for the holidays or a specific occasion, consider being flexible with your timing. Traveling during the off-season can be significantly cheaper, helping you save money both on flights and places to stay.

Even if your dates are not so flexible, be open-minded. For instance, if you are traveling towards or leaving from a city with multiple airports in the vicinity, look at all of your options to see if one of them is demonstrably cheaper. Even if you have to drive an hour or two, if you can shave a couple hundred dollars off your tickets it might be worth your while.

Red-eye flights have earned their name the hard way, though if you do not mind giving up on a good nights’ sleep you can save some considerable cash by flying overnight.

Look for Alternative Lodging

The sharing economy has opened-up new worlds of travel options, with numerous individuals offering up homes, apartments, or even rooms for short-term rentals.

If you are just looking for a place to rest your head for the night, hostels are good ways to save money by sharing rooms with others. While you give up on privacy, this has the added benefit of helping you to meet others who are on the road as well, perhaps making friends and companions who are looking to share travel experiences.

For the more adventurous, finding a campground to spend a night or two (or more) will also cut-down on costs. Just be sure to research your options to make sure that you are staying in a location where you will feel safe and secure. (It would also be a wise move to research the climate during your desired timeframe. Sleeping in the cold and getting sick is a surefire way to ruin your time away.)

Eating Like a Local

Gastronomic experiences can be a memorable part of your travel. However, this does not mean that you should feel the need to eat five-course meals at Michelin starred restaurants at every opportunity.

Finding cheaper eats by purchasing food from local vendors can open up your taste buds to new treats, and may even be a more authentic way of sampling local cultures and cuisines. If this does not appeal to you, purchasing food at supermarkets and making your own meals is also a great way to save money.

Being frugal with many of your meal choices will help you to truly appreciate those occasions when you do decide to spend lavishly on a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience.

Enjoy the Free Attractions

There are certain attractions that are worth the price of admission. It would feel like a missed opportunity to visit Paris without seeing the Louvre or New York without experiencing a Broadway show, for instance.

That being said, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of your destination without spending an exorbitant amount of money. Walking around the famous neighborhoods and landmarks can give you the look and feel of a special experience.

Spend some time researching where you are headed, either by looking on the internet, guidebooks, or consulting with friends for their recommendations on walks to take and places to meander. Some of the best travel experiences do not cost a thing.

Conclusion: Travel Smart, Travel for Less

Traveling opens up your horizons and exposes you to new and different points of view. There are unavoidable costs, of course, but there are also a myriad of smart ways that you can decrease your expenses without compromising on your enjoyment.

The world is a grand place. Go forth and experience it, without breaking your bank account.

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