Save Money On Vacation With These Easy Tips

by Hank Coleman

How to save money on your vacationIt is not always easy to put into practice how to save money on vacation. It always seems like you have to jump through a lot of hoops, plan significantly ahead, and often alter your true plans to really benefit from saving money on your vacation.

But, it does not have to be that way. There are several easy and fairly painless ways on how to save money on your vacation. With the summer fast approaching, now is the time to learn how to save money on vacation before you head out the door with your towel and suntan lotion in hand.

How To Save Money On Vacation Easily

Don’t Spend A Lot On Alcohol

Don’t tell my mom, but I’m sure she already knows, but I love to drink while on vacation as much as the next guy. The problem is that it is a budget buster. This is especially true if you are drinking at bars, clubs, and restaurants where the drinks are marked up.

If you take it easy on the booze, this one simple tip can help you keep your budget in line and save money on vacation. There are so many other things that you probably want to spend your hard earned money on while on vacation instead of alcohol. Doing without this one thing can help you enjoy many others while on vacation.

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Eat From Street Vendors Instead Of Restaurants

Like my wife, you may balk at this idea of eating from street vendors instead of restaurants. But, do not dismiss them simply under the notion that their food is not up to snuff. There is a reason that many of the food networks have dedicated entire episodes of their popular TV shows to street food.

These vendors are coming on strong with great food and flavors. And, not only are they offering great food, but they have great prices too. This is an excellent way on how to save money on vacation.

Consider Second Tiered Spots To Really Save Money

One of the biggest expenses for your vacation is the location. The prime locales have prime prices too. Do you absolutely have to go to the Bahamas? Have you looked at one of the other lessor islands around the Caribbean?

Many are often priced considerably less than the tourist Meccas that we are so used to seeing in the news and in advertisements. You may find that the beaches of these second tiered locations are just as a great as the prime locations and at a considerable discount in price. It is worth the consideration and research in the prices.

Don’t Bring Home Souvenirs

This is a hard one for me personally because I’m a sucker for souvenirs and trinkets from my trips. But, in the end, it is typically junk that you either put on a shelf or pack away in a box. You often do not think about it after you lug it home.

Your money is often better spent on the trip itself, excursions, and the like. Save your money and don’t buy souvenirs. Take pictures instead and make memories.

Be Flexible In Your Travels If Possible

I think that everyone knows and understands this way on how to save money on vacation. It is as old as time. The more flexible you can be on your flight dates for example, both coming and going, can score you a discount on airfare.

Another great way to be flexible on your flights is in where you connect your flights to your final destination. You may be able to save on your vacation by looking for cheaper flight legs than what is offered to you by airline and travel websites like Expedia.com. Book early and save! Find special deals in hot destinations only at Expedia.com!

Stalk Travel Deals On Websites

Okay, I fibbed a little. I said that I wouldn’t mention planning ahead. But, this is a little different. Do you know months in advance about a trip that you are taking. How much is the airfare to get there? Start checking the airline and travel websites now, and then continue to track the price of that ticket you are after every day until you purchase it.

Airline ticket prices are set by our old friends supply and demand, and the price fluctuates daily or weekly. It can definitely pay off for you to be patient and stalk the tickets that you want. Book with confidence thanks to the Best Price Guarantee from Expedia.com

Splurge On What Matters Most To You, Skimp On The Rest

What matters most to you when you are on vacation? What are the things that you want to do or check off your bucket list that are non-negociable? These are the things that you should splurge on and spend your money. Everything else is second fiddle to these things and they should be treated that way in your vacation budget.

Be vigilant and ruthless in skimping on the other crap that you can while on vacation that does not truly matter to you. Is that second drink or tacky souvenir what you truly want to send your hard earned money on? Or, would you really want to make a truly memorable vacation memory with trip up the side of a volcano, snorkeling side trip, or another once in a lifetime excursion?

Learning how to save money on vacation doesn’t have to be rocket science. You do not have to learn to live without anything important. You do not have to sleep in hostels or on your friends’ couch. There are other ways to save money on vacation. It does take a little prior planning to get the most out of your savings, but you can have a wonderful vacation and splurge on the things that matter to you without breaking the bank.

What about you? What are your favorite travel and vacation tips that have helped you learn how to save money on vacation? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 597 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

John S @ Frugal Rules

Good tips Hank! We try and look to go during the week as we can usually save a good bit of money. We also look for ways we can cut down the meals we buy. That may entail getting a hotel that offers free breakfast or bringing snacks with us.

Reply

Hank Coleman

That’s a great tip about going during the middle of the week. Monday through Thursday is of course some of the best and cheapest times to get hotel rooms, etc.

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Christian L.

Hank,
I still like to travel with friends so that we can split costs. We have no problem divvying up the price of local travel costs (e.g. cabs) and housing (e.g. same hotel room).

At the same time, we all know enough people that when we travel, we get a couch to crash on for free.

-Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

Reply

Hank Coleman

That’s a good reminder, Christian. Unfortunately, I travel with my family of four and don’t get to split costs too much anymore with other friends.

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Manette @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance

When I go on a travel, I cannot help bringing home souvenirs. Aside from the photos I took during our trip, I also buy ref magnets printed with the name of the place to remind me of my vacation. Travel deals and discounts from airline companies are a must. If we have a friend or relative on the place we are going, I ask if we can stay with them. An overnight stay and a small reunion with friends and relatives will definitely make the vacation complete!

Reply

Hank Coleman

Magnets are an okay souvenir and small. It is just the larger ones that I think get us in trouble more than anything else.

Another good tip is to sign up for an airline’s email newsletter and follow them on FB and Twitter for the early leads on the best deals.

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KC @ genxfinance

Nice tips. We had such a long winter that I intend to have a vacation this summer. Enjoy but not to spend a lot of money.

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Hank Coleman

Any place special you have your eye on going, KC?

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John @ RLD Investments

One of the best things to do is save small amounts of money regularly. When you get in the habit of deducting it directly from your check and saving it, the money really adds up. What’s more important than that is how easy it is because you never see it in the first place.

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Connor Harley

These are wonderful tips. I like the idea of eating on street foods and taste local delicacies rather than eat on restaurants. You can have a better taste of local foods if you buy it from street vendors.

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Rose

If we fly to our destination a cab ride to the local grocery store is a must. We also sign up for the store’s card to get price reductions.
We bought a pass to pay tolls in the Chicago area. It saves us 50% by not having to use the cash line when we travel by car. When travelling by car we bring an electric roaster with us, it’s just like an oven. The 4-cup coffee maker fits right in it as well as paper plates/utensils. Last year we averaged $115/day for a 40+day vacation.

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David @ Quizzle

I’m just hoping to take one! I figure if I know I can, I will put aside a little dough to take a nice trip. Thanks for the advice on saving a bit of money, could come in handy!

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Fernando R

Given the time of year when most universities are ending their spring semester’s and a lot of people feel like a deserved vacation should take place this post is great. It will change people’s perception and have them focus on what’s really important.

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Manette @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance

When my family goes out of town, we stay with friends and relatives. They wouldn’t mind an evening of stay with them while reminiscing the past and rekindling our relationships.

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Bryan@Fatwallet

Depending on where you are traveling, using credit cards with no currency exchange fees. It doesn’t sound like much, but those fees can add up to a lot!

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