How to Save Money on Vacation with These Easy Tips

How to save money on your vacation

It 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. Check out ways to save with Expedia coupons and offers!How to save money on vacation

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 drink 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.

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 lesser 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 advertisements. You may find that the beaches of these second-tiered locations are just as great as the prime locations and at a considerable discount in price. It is worth the consideration and research on the prices.

Don’t Bring Home Souvenirs

This is hard for me 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, such as coming and going, can score you a discount on airfare. Search, Compare & Book a Flight today with Airfarewatchdog and Save Big!

Another great way to be flexible on your flights is by connecting 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 CheapOairCheapOair. Check Out Our Roundtrip Fares UNDER $199 at CheapOair

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Look to Spend Your Reward Points

You should find a rewards point program that works for you. Do you fly a lot with a certain airline and their rewards program like Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards? Do you favor one hotel chain? It can pay dividends to be a member of that company’s loyalty rewards program, even if the cost is slightly higher than a competitors’ offering.

It pays to focus your efforts on a smaller number of programs. If you have a certain goal, it is important to concentrate on one rewards program as much as possible and pay attention to their promotions to maximize their reward points.

Loyalty programs are big business. “It’s a symbiotic relationship that isn’t ignored,” says Blake from The Dividend Pig. “Companies know that loyalty members are only loyal until they cannot justify paying the premium any longer. Once members determine a loyalty program is no longer of value, they will switch their loyalty to the next company…It’s a very competitive market.”

Stalk Travel Deals on Websites

Okay, I fibbed a little. I said that I wouldn’t mention planning. 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

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-negotiable? 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. Check out this Memorial Day travel and spending information.

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

Stockpile Before You Travel

If you have a few months before you are due to travel, it’s a great idea to start stockpiling items for your vacation.  Clothes, toiletries, shoes, sun cream, and other items can work out to be expensive when bought at the same time, so why not be a smart shopper and spread the cost of these items before you travel?

Sun cream especially is a great item to buy well in advance, and there are usually lots of offers to be found on even the big brands. Try to hit the sales to buy your clothes and add vacation toiletries to your weekly grocery bill, and put them away until you need them.

Shop Around for the Best Currency Deal

So, you’re going to get your travel money from the bank?  Are you sure you will get the best rate? Many people don’t realize that banks can actually be quite expensive when it comes to currency exchange. It is usually much cheaper to use a foreign exchange specialist instead.

These companies have access to rates that are very close to the Interbank rate. This is the rate that the banks use to sell money to each other, so it’s very competitive.

Suppose you have lots of money to exchange by comparing the market online and using a non-bank foreign exchange specialist. The same rules apply when sending money abroad. Don’t settle for the first deal you stumble across.

Book Excursions Before You Travel

This is a great idea on how to save money on vacation because the most popular excursions and trips may be sold out before you go, or you might have to resort to booking when you get there, which could cost more. Try to book directly with any excursion company as tour companies can charge their own rates on top.

Most companies will email you confirmation of your booking so that you can bring it along with you on the day you are booked.  Whether you fancy swimming with Dolphins, booking some snowboard lessons, or trying your hand at paragliding, you can often save a great deal by booking ahead of time.

Share Accommodation with Friends

If the idea of hotel living doesn’t appeal to you and you’d rather hire a villa or house for your stay, why not share the cost between you and some friends? This is a great idea on how to save money on vacation.

This can work out to be very affordable, and if you choose large accommodation, you should have no difficulty getting some privacy when you need it.  Even better, you get to spend your holiday with some of your closest friends or members of your family.

Compare Everything You Book Online

The first rule of online shopping is never to accept the first offer you see unless you know it can’t be found cheaper online. And even if you do know it’s the cheapest, your conscience will probably get the best of you, and you’ll end up checking anyway.

By comparing the cost of your travel, accommodation, currency exchange, and excursions, you could end up saving yourself hundreds for what could take a few minutes online. Check out more ways to save with CheapOair coupons and offers!How to save money on vacation

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’ couches.

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 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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16 thoughts on “How to Save Money on Vacation with These Easy Tips”

  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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

    • 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.

  3. 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!

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. A vacation to escape the stress and pressure of daily life may be just what you need to relax and get rejuvenated. When you get an all-inclusive vacation package, you can effectively budget for your vacation. You can find just about every type of vacation when you search online and comparison shop on travel discount sites offering great deals on all-inclusive vacation packages. As well, when you search for your vacation package, it important to read the fine print to make sure you know exactly what is included in the package to ensure you get the services you want. You will save money and get the vacation of your dreams.


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