Going on vacation often means spending a lot of time planning and stressing over costs as you try to save enough money. According to a Nerdwallet Summer Spending Report in 2018, Americans planned to charge an average of $1,019 on their credit cards for family travel. This is one of the reasons why most people wonder about how to save money on vacation and how they can prevent those credit card charges. However, this doesn’t have to be the case as you can try out several means highlighted below. These tricks and tips have been proven to be very effective
Prioritization and budgeting
Each person has different priorities when going on vacation. Some people want comfortable accommodations more than anything else, while others want convenience when traveling. Others also prefer vacation activities over everything else. Whatever you prioritize will determine whether you have a great experience or not and, therefore, be given a more substantial portion of the budget.
Coming up with a general budget for the vacation can also limit your spending habits and help you save. Without a budget, you’ll likely become reckless and overspend. Come up with an estimate for the trip and remember to include emergency funds if you encounter an unforeseen occurrence.
Find out the average prices for essential services you’ll need like transportation and food, then figure out what you’re likely to spend in a day. Multiply that amount by the number of days you intend to stay then stick to that budget.
Different areas have different peak seasons that you should know. For instance, the Caribbean tends to peak during winter when most people are looking for a warmer place, and Europe tends to peak during summer.
When everybody else is doing the same, going to these places will cost you much more money. Apart from this, overcrowding can also make it harder for you to have a pleasant experience. You are much more likely to score a good deal on your accommodations and travel if you are traveling during the off-season of the destination you are going to.
Research your destination
You must also be cautious to factor in climatic conditions and weather changes when planning the trip. For instance, if your preferred destination experiences hurricanes and storms during low tourist seasons, you will not be very safe. Ensure the weather is pleasant, prices are low, and there is no crowding because all these can affect how you spend money.
Other factors to consider when doing your research include local transportation expenses, cost of food, and accommodations. Find out if there are any package deals and discounts that can reduce your total costs and take advantage of them.
Choosing locations based on currency
Besides having pleasant weather, the currency rates at your preferred destination can also affect your vacation experience and, more importantly, how much you spend. Pick destinations that have a high currency value, and you’ll end up spending more.
Consider the location of where you will be staying
Also, try to choose an accommodation location that is closer to where most of your activities are. This will allow you to walk to most of the places, thereby saving you cab fare.
You should also research daily occurrences and find out what places are likely to get crowded on what days of the week. Then, you can schedule your activities accordingly and go where there are fewer tourists. For example, if you are visiting Disney World, you will want to follow these must-know tips to ensure the best vacation experience.
You can also discover places mostly frequented by locals and enhance your cultural experiences. Fewer tourists mean you will not be overcharged, and you spend less.
Book early when possible
Last-minute bookings tend to be more expensive than adequately planned ones. Most service providers like cruises offer amazing discounts to entice customers before the scheduled period, and those offers usually last for a short time. Start looking into possible offers and discounts at least one year before your intended vacation to get the best. Whether you want the cheapest flights or the most affordable hotels, booking early will save you money.
Avoiding too many eat-outs
Instead of choosing hotels, you can select apartments for accommodations and have a chance to make your own meals. This can be very helpful if you’re traveling as a family or in a group. Apartments come with kitchens that you can use to make your meals and save more money.
You can often find condos that have a full kitchen also that you can rent. It is nice for your family to have the extra space, but you will be able to cook at least breakfast and lunch so you will be able to save a significant amount of money. You can then plan on eating only dinner out at a restaurant each day of your vacation.
Buying seasonal produce can also help reduce costs further. Look for what the locals have in bulk then get creative with it to make a sumptuous meal. If you must eat take out, look for the cheapest restaurants, especially those frequented by locals.
You can save a lot of money by reducing your meal costs while on vacation.
Download a vacation packing checklist below to make sure you don’t forget anything:
Another great way to save money on vacation is by hiring travel agents or advisors. It may seem like you’re spending more, but their profession allows them to get you the best deals and offers. Travel agents know the best places to visit and any vital information you should know about the location you visit.
They also have reputations to protect and, therefore, do everything possible to ensure their clients have the best experience. Chances of being duped by one are minimal, but you still have to be cautious to look for the ones with the best reviews. Choose an agent that does not charge additional fees that you must pay for their services. Choose one that works on commission from the hotels and airlines and destinations that they book for you.