How to Save Money on Vacation
If you have plans to go on a vacation, but your budget is limited, knowing how to save money on vacation can sure to benefit you. Sure, you may have scored the cheapest airline ticket and found the best deals on accommodation, but how do you save money as soon as you get there?
If you want a good experience in your vacation even with limited budget, then you should learn some money saving tricks as well as tips on how to avoid tourist traps. As you know, tourist traps are the number one reason why you often end up spending more than your travel budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways on how you can save on your vacation, whether it is on food, activities and entertainment.
Leave your Toiletries at Home
It just does not make sense to pack a shampoo, lotion, conditioner, toothpaste and soap for your vacation. These items are actually readily available at most hotels that you will be staying at and they are for free. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of hotel freebies that are worth taking home with you.
There are two benefits of not bringing toiletries. Aside from saving on groceries, you also get to lessen some weight off your bags. With the increasing cost of baggage fees these days, each and every bit of luggage weight counts.
Download Free Apps to Find the Cheapest Hot Spots
There are lots of apps these days that you can download on your mobile phone and can help you to locate one off discounts for your travel. These apps help you to locate establishments that offer the best deals on vacation packages, including restaurants, bars and cafes.
One of the most popular is the Happy Hour Finder, an app that lists down all the happy hours in a certain area and what deals they are offering, as well as the day of the week that you can avail of these deals. This is a great way to locate discounts on booze and avail occasional free meals without the need to travel far away.
Purchase Daily Deals Ahead
The moment you start planning for your trip, begin monitoring daily deals from Groupon and other coupon sites on that place you will be traveling to. This is a great idea and will surely benefit you in a lot of ways.
First of all, it will give you a greater sense of what to do in that area you are traveling to, and secondly, it also allows you to save money because these deals will give you discounts on tickets to some of the most famous attractions in the city. For instance, you might be able to score a deal on a lesser-known park, which you may not have known if such park existed if not for these coupon sites.
Research the Public Transportation
Several days before your trip, you should start researching about the place you are visiting, most especially the public transportation. Find out how you can get to your hotel from the airport through a public transportation, which is often the cheapest mode of transportation available.
If you are trying to spend less when traveling, then you should avoid taking cabs as much as possible because you might just end up paying more especially since in some countries, cab drivers are notorious at scamming tourists.
In New York City for instance, you can take the bus or train to get to the city proper coming from the airport. Even on smaller cities, there are light rail systems that will connect the airport to various areas all over the downtown as well as the suburbs. If the public transportation that you take will not drop you at the doorstep of your hotel, at least it will get you closer and save you from taking expensive cabs.
Carry a GPS
If you need to drive on your trip, then make sure that you carry with you a GPS navigation device. This will keep you from getting lost especially if you are not quite familiar with the place you are heading to. In fact, bringing your own GPS can also save money on car rental fees because there are some car rental companies that will try to up-sell you into a GPS rental, which is quite expensive. You might as well spend your money somewhere else.
Visit the Cultural Website of your Destination
The best way to know what’s free or discounted for tourists is to check the cultural website of your chosen destination. A lot of parks, zoos and museums that charge admission fees might sometimes offer a free day or discounted rates to visiting tourists. If you cannot find this information on the website, then you better give them a call.
Stock Up on Gift Certificates from Restaurant.com
Websites like Restaurant.com have gift certificates that will allow you to take advantage of restaurant deals up to 90% off. This is a great way to spend less money on restaurants and also allows you to try new places away from home.
All you need to do is to key in the zip code of the area you are visiting and choose the ones that you like. After that, simply make a payment of the discounted fee and then print the gift certificates, which you can simply present when you dine. Having these certificates is also a great way to cut down the time wasted on having to decide where you should eat.
Shop at Groceries
Eating out in every meal is very costly. As a matter of fact, it could eat up more than half of your travel money if you are not careful. Thus, if you want to be able to save money on your vacation, stock up on groceries. If your accommodation has a fridge, then buy those easy to eat groceries such as cereals, fruits and sandwiches that you can keep on the fridge and eat when you feel like craving in the middle of the night or before you head out for the day. This is definitely cheaper than having to eat out every time you are hungry.
Skip the Souvenirs
Souvenirs are actually tourist traps and if you are not careful, you could end up spending a good amount of your vacation money for things that do not even serve a genuine purpose. Things like key chains, magnets, shirts, decorative spoons and others are just a waste of money. You do not really need these things to remind you of the great time you had while on vacation. Take lots of photos instead. This is cheaper and will last a lot longer than those souvenirs.
Even if you feel like you have enough money for your vacation, it is still important that you know these tips so you will not go home broke and deal with so many debts. Sometimes, we tend to get overwhelmed with our vacation that we splurge like there’s no tomorrow. If you are trying to build a savings account for a new house or for anything that you plan on buying in the future, then you should learn to be frugal even in the midst of a vacation.