Are you wanting to take your family on vacation but aren’t sure how you’ll come up with the funds? There no doubt about it, vacations come with big price tags a lot of the time. But the good news is, they don’t always have to cost a ton!
Family vacations are great for making memories and experiencing new things. So something like funding shouldn’t hold you back. Luckily, there are ways to save money when you’re on vacation.
So how, exactly, do you take a vacation but keep to a smaller budget? Keep reading and we’ll tell you how to save money on vacation with these 12 helpful tips.
1. Time Your Travel Right
Airfare is a huge part of your travel budget, but there are ways to save yourself some cash. If you’ll be flying, take less popular flights. Red-eye and midweek flights can get you lower fares.
Avoid traveling on weekends. Leaving and arriving on a weekday instead of a weekend day can save you hundreds of dollars per ticket.
To find the best deal, search the airline with a flexible travel date and go with what meets your time range and budget.
2. Plan Ahead
In order to save money on your trip, you’ll need to know the areas you’ll be visiting. Be aware of shopping and eating options as well as accommodations.
Getting food from a grocery store is a lot cheaper than eating out, so consider taking that route.
And if you plan to visit a theme park or resort, plan to bring food with you. It will be much more expensive in the park.
3. Choose a Hotel Out of the Way
Hotels near city centers and airports will cost you more than those that aren’t as close. Consider booking your stay at a hotel that’s a little out of the way.
Scout out transportation options. Many hotels have shuttles that will transport you to and from nearby airports.
4. Skip the Rental Car
Rental cars can take up a large chunk of your vacation money, so consider going without. If you’re within driving distance, consider driving instead of flying.
If you do need to fly, consider alternate transportation options. If you’ll be doing a lot in one area, walking may be just as good. You’ll just need to plan for more time between activities.
5. Visit During Off Season
Whether you’re visiting a theme part of historic site, there’s usually a peak season for visitors. Find out what the peak season is for your destination, then plan your trip for some other time.
Visiting a location during its down time has multiple advantages. It will save you money, and you’ll get to avoid crowds, too.
6. Look for Favorable Exchange Rates
If you want to travel to another country, do a bit of research into their money system. What is the exchange rate between their currency and the U.S. dollar?
Choosing locations where your money will go farther is the best option. If you’re flexible on foreign destinations, go with a place that will give you more bang for your buck.
7. Utilize Travel Loyalty Programs
Did you know you can gain free plane tickets just from doing what you do every day? You can!
Consider getting a credit card that has travel perks. Use the card for everything: groceries, medications, auto repairs, etc. Just make sure you reimburse yourself with funds you actually have.
This will provide you with flyer miles, free hotel stays, and whatever else your specific program offers. Plus, you’ll build your credit at the same time, as long as you manage the card well.
8. Buy Snacks Ahead of Time
It’s likely you and/or the kids will want some munchies during your trip. Whether you’re road tripping, on a plane, or stopping between activities, you’ll probably want some snacks during yoru trip.
Purchasing snacks ahead of time can save you a lot of cash, especially if you buy them at a dollar or discount store. Even if you don’t, grocery store prices will always be cheaper than those at gas stations and airports.
9. Make a Budget and Stick With It
You can leave on a vacation with good intentions but end up spending way more than you mean to. To avoid this, start by creating a budget. Include every aspect of your trip and be realistic.
If you’re going to want to spend $30 on a T-shirt somewhere, make sure that’s accounted for. If you think you might like to try room service one night, plan ahead.
While every single dollar doesn’t have to be set in stone, find out what you need, plan ahead, and give yourself a little wiggle room. Set a top budget number and stick with it!
Don’t forget to plan for some extra funds just in case your souvenirs make your suitcase heavy enough to cost more on the flight back home!
10. Have Cash for Emergencies
Though we don’t like to think about it, sometimes unplanned problems arise on trips. A trip to a doctor, cold medicine, and extra gas because you were stuck in traffic will all take money.
Have an emergency fund and keep those funds just for emergencies. If you don’t need it, great! But if you do, the money’s there and won’t cause yous strain.
11. Watch for Discounts
If you know where you’ll be going, watch airlines and tourist attractions for discounts.
Do you plan to go to an opera? How about an aquarium?
Whatever you plan to do, you may be able to get a discount if you keep your eyes and ears open before and during your trip.
12. Choose Free Breakfast
If you’re staying in a hotel, make sure you choose one that offers free breakfast! Many hotels provide this as part of your accommodation, so don’t miss out on this money saver.
Food is a significant part of your trip fund, so take advantage of the fact that some hotels offer you a free meal every single day.
How to Save Money on Vacation: It’s Possible
While trips in general cost a bit of money, they don’t have to break the bank. The more people you have going, the higher your cost will be, unless you’re splitting the cost. But even then, there are ways to save.
If you’re still wondering how to save money on vacation, look at your specific situation and find every way you can cut costs.
Plan ahead, look for deals, and take advantage of perks. Affordable family vacations are possible, so don’t hold yourself back. Grab the bull by the horns and get out there and have some fun!