Summer is here and vacation is the perfect excuse to take a break from the stress of everyday life and relax—unless your plans come to a screeching halt because your yearly budget says otherwise. Instead of skipping the vacation altogether, or spending the entire trip worrying about what your bank account will look like when you get back, use these helpful tips to save money before and during your much-needed getaway.
5 Ways To Save While Relaxing On Your Vacation
1. Book Budget-Friendly Vacation Rentals
The first order of business when booking your annual getaway is to find a comfortable place to stay. If you’re traveling to a large city or tropical island, hotels and resorts can be costly—not to mention crowded; nothing derails your restful vacation like college students on spring break or a late-night crying baby.
With Tripping, you can book a single room in someone’s home or even rent out the entire home, apartment or condo for the weekend, which helps you avoid overpaying for overcrowded hotels. Tripping can accommodate every price point, whether you’re traveling alone, with a significant other or your family. With 150,000 locations to choose from worldwide, the sky’s the limit for your next vacation.
2. Pick Your Time of Travel Wisely
Summer is often the busiest time of year for vacation and fun in the sun with Memorial Weekend and the 4th of July being two of the most popular weekends.
Although it may seem like the perfect time to get away with paid holidays already on the calendar, trips during this time always come with a bigger price tag: During the summer and holiday weekends, gas prices along with the cost of accommodations drastically increase.
Avoid the higher prices by traveling off-season; choose a few destinations and research to find their off-season with a website like BestTimeToGo.com. This will save you money on hotels, flights and gas—not to mention you’ll avoid crowds and long lines.
3. Plan Meals Ahead of Time
Extravagant seafood dinners can get costly, especially if you have a large family to feed. Having a plan before you arrive will curb impulse decisions and make your days a little more stress-free.
- Designate which days you would like to go out for dinner and which you will stay in and cook.
- Choose just one or two fancy dinners and find more affordable places for the other days—some of the cheaper restaurants are more fun anyway!
- If you’re packing up the car and driving to your destination, buy in bulk at your neighborhood store before leaving. Grocery store prices in tourist destinations are typically higher. Recent research reveals Aldi’s saves shoppers the most money per visit compare to other grocery stores.
Finally, find out which stores will be available to you ahead of time and look for coupons on their websites before you go. If you need to replenish the fridge while traveling, you’ll know exactly where to go.
4. Pre-Plan Excursions
Vacation is a time of adventure. Unfortunately, excursions booked through a travel agency or cruise lines can be overpriced. While this is the more traditional method of booking, it’s not the only option.
Use the resources available to you online to get better prices for the same great excursions. When looking, check for:
- Best days of the week for inexpensive adventures, like middle of the week.
- Less popular options that could be just as much fun—and less crowded.
- Out of the box ideas like guided hikes, surf lessons or cooking classes.
Don’t forget to check with local businesses as well, which often have deals or group discounts.
5. Take Advantage of Public Transportation
In high-traffic tourist destinations, public transportation is widely available and usually priced at a family-friendly rate. Often times, tourist destinations will offer trolleys or trains across town or from the suburban areas into the city.
When traveling to a tropical island, check for local taxi services and buses outside of airports and cruise ports. Sometimes these rides make for the most memorable times on your vacation—in a good way!
If all else fails, use Uber, an app for that helps you find a driver nearby. It’s cheaper than the average taxi service and is available in 480 cities worldwide.
Don’t skip out on your much-needed week of relaxation. With just a little bit of planning ahead and thinking outside the box, you can take an exciting and refreshing vacation at a bargain price.
This article was written by Jessica Thiefels.