Your budget shouldn’t stop you from vacationing. It is important to get out and rewind, but overspending on your vacation can ruin your financial health if you put everything on credit. This can lower your credit score and limit your opportunities in the future. If you plan out your vacation carefully, you can enjoy some much-deserved time off and keep your financial health in check. Below are some great ways to save on your next vacation.
- Plan your trips in advance. Flights and hotel rates are less expensive if you are booking at least a month in advance. The rates will be highest for last minute travel. Planning your trip in advance also gives you time to comparison shop and find the best deals.
- Set a budget for your trip. You are less likely to make impulse purchases if you have a strict budget and spending limits for your trip. You may want to categorize your vacation expenditures into travel, lodging, entertainment, and food. Set a budget for each category. Once you have reached your spending limit, you know that you can’t spend any more.
- Travel on off-peak days. People tend to want to travel on Fridays and Mondays, so those dates are the most expensive for flights. If you are more flexible with your travel dates and fly during the week, you can score much better prices. Summer months and holidays are tourist heavy and demand is higher, so prices are as well. An added bonus for traveling during off-peak season is that the tourist attractions will be less crowded.
- Save with Groupon and LivingSocial. For entertainment during your vacation, plan cheap summer activities. Visit Groupon or LivingSocial for great deals on entertainment. They often have offers up to 70% off on entertainment. You may even discover deals on travel and full resort packages.
- Check out alternative places to stay. Search AirBnB for deals instead of staying at a hotel. Hotels are convenient and often offer breakfasts and pools, but that comes with a cost. If you are traveling with a lot of people or have an extended stay, you may want to check out renting someone’s house. Hostels in the area may be an option for your vacation if the stay is short. You may want to check out couchsurfing.org to stay with some local residents if you are open to meeting new people.
- Use your discounts. If you are a member of AAA, make sure you check to see if they offer discounts before you go. Look for restaurants and other establishments that offer senior or student discounts if you are still in school or over 65. These discounts can add up and allow you a little more wiggle room in your budget.
- Split the costs with a friend. Many times you will get discounts for two. Traveling with a friend means that you can split the cost of gas and take advantage of deals that require the purchase of two tickets or meals. Not only will you split the costs, you’ll be able to spend time with your friends.
- Try your hand at negotiating. If you are visiting flea markets or yard sales, you can score great deals for your souvenirs. Don’t hesitate to negotiate if you feel that the item is overpriced. Ask the shopkeeper if you can get it at a slightly lower price. Many shopkeepers will be willing to negotiate with you. Buying souvenirs from a flea market can help you cut costs and have extra money for other discretionary purposes.
- Explore the area. The popular tourist attractions will be the most expensive and crowded. They are often overpriced. Use Google to search for other attractions in the area. When you are in the location, search “entertainment near me” and Google will pull up a variety of different things to do. This works with Groupon as you enter in the zip code to discover deals in the area as well.
- Pack your own food. Eating out every meal on vacation adds up quickly. Pack some healthy travel snacks that will tide you over until your next meal. Carrot sticks, celery sticks and fruit tend to travel well. Boiled eggs can provide you with a protein and is an easy breakfast or snack on the road. Sandwiches make a great lunch for road trips or at the airport. Remember the hotel minibar will charge extra for the snacks, but often the breakfast is included. You may be able to grab an extra banana or boiled egg from the breakfast bar to take on the road with you.
You definitely don’t have to spend a fortune on your vacation. Strategic planning will help you find a way to get out of town and have fun with your family without blowing your budget. If you are still in need of money despite great budgeting, apply for a loan from Jora Credit today.