Vacations can become very expensive especially when it comes to travel costs – like plane tickets or luggage fees – and hotel accommodations and food. However, there are plenty of ways to cut down on the cost of your vacation and stay within a reasonable budget without having to sacrifice the fun and relaxation you want. Here are a few tips on how to save money on your next vacation.
Map Out Your Budget
Before you book anything, determine how much you’ll be able to spend. Research every anticipated expense from the hotel room, to meals, and any activities or sight-seeing you want to do. This will give you a baseline of how much you’ll need. And it’ll help you begin to identify the areas where you’re willing to cut costs. For example, your budget might persuade you to opt for Airbnb[i] accommodations rather than that 5-star hotel you’ve been eyeing. Ultimately, the goal is to map out your vacation budget and stick to it so you can avoid overspending.
The second step to saving on your vacation is finding a good deal on your travel expenses – be they plane tickets or gas money – as well as your accommodations. There are plenty of discount websites and mobile apps that can help you compare prices for everything from car rentals, to hotels, restaurants or sight-seeing activities. Tip: Keeping your dates flexible – like booking your flight on a Tuesday rather than Saturday – can also help you score far better prices. However, while you should do thorough research, don’t devote too much time here. Once you find a good deal don’t wait too long to take it, as you can miss out on the opportunity.
Avoid Eating Out Everyday
When on vacation it can be tempting to splurge and spend every meal at a restaurant, but this can be very costly and quickly diminish your budget. While eating out for a few meals may not break your wallet, avoid blowing into your budget by simply going grocery shopping. Planning even a few on-the-go lunches or snacks from the local grocery store will save you money throughout your vacation.
It seems like there are fees for everything today, especially from airlines! The not-so-popular checked baggage fees come to mind because they can be especially difficult to avoid if vacationing abroad. Our advice for cutting the cost of baggage fees is to try and pack as lightly as possible. Check online for the weather forecast so you know what kind of attire to pack; it’ll help you avoid bringing the just-in-case items! Also, opt for travel-size personal items to save valuable space in your luggage, like lotions and toothpaste. Remember: only pack what you need and leave everything else at home. Packing only the bare necessities can help you downsize to carry-on luggage, thereby avoiding the check-in fees altogether. At the very least, you’ll be able to stay within the common one luggage maximum and avoid those pesky additional baggage fees!
Looking for more ideas on budgeting best practices? Check out our infographic on our top 7 budgeting tips.
[i] Lendgreen is not affiliated, associated, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Airbnb. Reference to Airbnb is strictly for editorial and descriptive purposes only.