How to Save Money While on Vacation
After working all year or a few stressful weeks on the job, it’s good to be able to take some time to relax. From soaking up the sun on a tropical beach somewhere to hitting the slopes on the fresh powder, going on a vacation can help you recharge, refuel, and get ready for a new work year or quarter. However, planning and budgeting for a dream vacation can bring on even more stress. If you’re struggling to make your dream vacay fit into your budget, take a look at how you can save money on a vacation.
Purchase Airline Tickets in Advance
Even though sometimes a trip may be spur of the moment, for the most part, they can take months or even a year to plan. If you already have your dates and location finalized, make purchasing your airline tickets the first thing you do. Not only will you get better rates for purchasing in advance, but it allows you more time to be eligible for upgrades, seat changes, and luggage check-in. Waiting until the last few weeks or few days before a trip to purchase your airline tickets can cost you thousands more than you would be paying for advance buying. If you have reward miles or are using a coupon code, see if the airline will honor it ahead of schedule, or ask about promotions going on to help you save even more.
Create a Spending Budget
The biggest expenses after the hotel, flights, and ground transportation are food and drinks. For a large family, three meals a day for a week-long vacation can end up costing almost the equivalent to a plane ticket. Don’t be blindsided with a $100 dinner bill and have to rearrange the big plans you have the next day. Create a spending budget months before you leave. Take a look online for the average costs for dining in the area you’re traveling to, and plan accordingly. Not only will you get a feel for what restaurants your locale has to offer, but you can set aside a little every week to help cover the costs. Once you arrive on vacation, use your spending plan to stay on track and avoid any messy and unexpected charges.
Utilize a Rewards Credit Card
If you’re struggling to find it in your budget to visit all the places and sights on you vacation list, a rewards credit card can be a great option. Not only do reward cards offer a way to help pay for any costly expenses like flights, hotels, and other activities, but they also help to eliminate some of the costs. Check on the requirements for most reward cards. With many offering bonus points or miles for purchases, you may be able to cancel out some of the major purchases on your vacation after using the card during the year. With reward points or cash back on travel, you can reduce the cost of your flights. Work with your credit card company to see what special rewards are available for travel. If you are using a card just for vacation, use the budget you have in place to pay it off quickly while still racking up rewards.
Make It a Road Trip If Possible
Even though flying may be easier, it is not always the most cost efficient. If you have a large family or many pieces of luggage to transport, plane tickets can set you back double the cost of your actual vacation. If you are traveling to somewhere close by or within a day’s drive, opt for making it a road trip. Not only will you have more room for luggage, but even with stops along the way and gas fill ups, you’ll be saving thousands on your vacation budget. This leaves you more money for tickets to shows, amusement parks, or to spend on souvenirs!
Plan Your Recreation Ahead of Time
Going on vacation should be spontaneous and fun, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things you can plan ahead. If you know which shoes or recreational activities you plan on going to, purchase tickets before you leave. Not only will this guarantee you can get a tickets for your entire family, but it also lets you search for the best coupon deals and promo codes. Look for bundle packages to reduce your ticket costs and allow you to visit more than one show or museum. Skip the lines and the hassle by printing your tickets out and having them packed along with your travel documents.