Tips to Save Money on Your Summer Vacation
Perhaps you’re planning a trip to the beach or some time hiking in the mountains this summer. While you still may be a few weeks, or months, away from your summer vacation, now is the time to start thinking about it. Of course, you want to have fun, but you probably would like to save some money, also. This summer you can do just that!
Create a Budget
When it comes to saving money, creating a budget is a critical step. You need to plan how much you have to spend on your vacation and then work from there. Decide how much you’ll spend on all of the components and see if it fits your budget. You don’t want to overspend and come back from vacation in debt.
Go With Family or Friends
Do you have family or friends that you would love to spend your vacation with this summer? Then ask them to go! You may be able to save money by traveling with friends or family. You could share on accommodations by renting a home. You can share the cost of groceries. And, you’ll have a lot of fun!
Stay Within Driving Distance
If you plan your vacation to somewhere within driving distance, you may save some money this summer. Airline tickets are expensive, especially if you’re buying them for a family. While gas prices may rise in the summer, you might still find it cost-effective to drive to your destination. Driving also means you won’t need to rent a car, as you might if you fly somewhere.
Use Your Points
Do you have a credit card that earns you points? Do you have hotel points? Do you have points from being a loyal user of various travel sites (i.e., Expedia)? Then use them to save money! You might be able to book airline tickets, a few nights at a hotel, car rentals, etc. when you take advantage of the points you have accumulated.
Search for Deals
Spend some time searching the internet for deals. There are tons of travel sites that offer a wide array of discounts and packages that may work well for you. Yes, it will cost you some time on the front end, but well worth it to save some money on your vacation.
Choose Accommodations with Care
Your accommodations take up a considerable chunk of your budget. Deciding whether you will stay in a hotel or rent a home is a decision you will need to look at with care. If you rent a home, you may be able to share the cost with family or friends and cook some meals at home, saving you money from dining out. On the other hand, a hotel may work, especially if breakfast is included or there is a kitchenette available.
Save on Meals
Cooking at home on vacation will definitely save you money. But, if you want to go out for meals, look for places that offer free kids meals or even “early bird” dinners. Check local guide books for coupons and be sure to check out where the locals eat.
Local guide books often have coupons available, but definitely check out those online “coupon” deal sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Yipit, etc. You can easily switch the location to your vacation destination and see what deals they are offering. You may see deals for dining or entertainment which can save you money.
Seek Free Entertainment
Last, but not least, look for free things to do where you’re going. The great outdoors offers lots to do, but you may find free concerts, festivals, kids activities and much more when you start searching.
Summer vacation doesn’t mean you have to come home with excess credit card debt. Start planning now so you can have some fun and not break the bank!