Vacation like a rockstar on a budget. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s achievable. Proper planning, focus, and awareness of what’s out there make it doable.
It’s about vacationing smart and spending right.
Everyone deserves to vacation like it’s going out of style. Therefore, we’ll get you to accomplish just that.
The following article contains affiliate links. We may make a small commission from any purchases made from the links on this page.
15 easy ways you can save on your next vacation:
1. Avoid Paying for Lodging
Consider renting your home for the week to a family looking to visit your area, covering the cost of your accommodations elsewhere. Better yet, swap homes with a family in the area you’re traveling to. It’s a bit unconventional to do; however, it can make the difference between getting away or staying home. Let’s face it, travel always trumps staying put.
2. Plan Ahead
Plan your trip at least five weeks ahead of time. If you plan on traveling during a busy season, even booking as far as a year in advance is a good idea. For starters, the earlier you book your flight, the better-priced it’ll be. There’s also the added perk of having your preferred flight options (such as airline, flight time, and seats) available to you.
3. Walk the Walk
If possible, avoid renting a car. Most locations have excellent public transportation. Additionally, if you can walk to your destination, do so. You can’t compare experiencing a new place by walking the streets vs. navigating it through a car window. When walking or public transportation isn’t an option, there’s always Uber to help you get around.
4. Air BnB Over Hotels
Before booking your hotel, always check the local Air BnB or Vrbo rental options. More often than not, it comes out cheaper than staying at a hotel. The added savings can go towards other aspects of your vacation or right back in your pocket – and overall make your vacation affordable.
5. Free Is Fun
Many museums or attractions have free days or end-of-day free entrance on certain days. Some places will offer reduced entrance fees after certain hours. This is why planning your trip is essential, and ask before booking if there are free days, hours, or reduced entry fees on set days or times. There’s no better feeling than scoring a free outing. Why does getting a freebie feel so good?
6. When in Rome
Shmooze with the locals at your vacation destinations. They usually know the best places to eat and shop. They’re not spending like a tourist! You’ll get to know the locals’ secrets and save money, too.
7. Set A Daily Spending Budget
Set a daily spending budget before going away and stick to it. When you plan each day well, it’s easier to set aside the cost per day. Take the time to plan and budget your vacation. Put a limit on your daily spending, incidentals included, and stick to it. It’s not a vacation when you’re trying to play catchup after the fact.
8. Eat Your Own Meals
Cook and prepare as much of your own food as possible instead of buying all your meals and eating out every night. As fun as that is, the price of ready-made meals can be astronomical. The one meal you eat out (if you do) will feel extra special, and it’ll be a real treat. When booking your stay, look for lodging with a kitchenette to make things easier. Be sure to bring some portable cooking appliances like a Betty Crocker, indoor grill, or crockpot. A Betty Crocker is great for pancakes, eggs, quesadillas, grilled veggies, and more. There are lots of options for making meals in a rice cooker or panini press, too. The possibilities are endless; it’ll make vacationing permanently tempting.
For some amazing meals you can make on the road, read our latest article here.
9. BYOB (Bottles!)
When you’re out all day, money disappears. It’s true. Leaving the house in the morning for the day costs $50 before you turn around. It’s always best to take food and snacks from home for your daily expeditions. Schlepping all that can get tiresome, so have each child carry their backpack of food and snacks, and everyone wins. Another way to bring that cost down is by using reusable water bottles. Refilling those bottles is way cheaper than buying bottled drinks on the go. Buying drinks are a minimum of $3 a bottle multiplied by the number of people in your party plus the number of bottles you need per person, and I think we solved the $50 problem.
10. Groupon Is Great
Always check Groupon before going anywhere. You’d be surprised to see how many places have Groupon specials going on. Sometimes your search introduces you to sites you’ve never heard of before, and that’s always a pleasant surprise.
11. Keep It Close
Keep your destinations close to home or where you’re staying. When planning your trip, find a hotel or rental close to the places you’d like to visit. Even if you rent a car, the cost of gas and tolls adds up quickly, and one way to save is not having to drive too far to reach your destination. You’ll also probably hear less of, “How much longer till we get there?” or “He’s bothering me again…” or fill in your family’s version here: “_________!”
12. Book with Caution
Before booking your flight, check the surrounding cities. Flying out of a nearby town can save lots of money on tickets and doesn’t necessarily increase your travel time. It sounds simple enough but makes a tremendous difference in budgeting a vacation.
13. More Is Less
Typically, less is more. However, using booking sites and choosing bundle options like flights, hotels, and rentals can come out cheaper than booking it all separately. In this scenario, more is less.
14. The Road Less Traveled
Travel off-season when possible. It’s always wise to schedule your getaway during off-peak travel season, when you can. Everything is cheaper then. The individual savings may seem small, but when added together, the sum is surprisingly high.
For destination ideas read our newest article here.
15. The Better Time To Book
Weekend flights are always more expensive. Therefore, the earlier you book the flight in the week, the bigger chance you’ll have of it being cheaper. Fly at the beginning of the week vs. the weekend.
Now that you know vacation is possible on a budget, it’s time to start packing! Have a blast unwinding from the craziness of life.
As always, we want to encourage you to consult and observe the CDC’s COVID guidelines and regulations before making any travel plans. It’s essential to be vigilant about Covid regulations wherever you travel and to respect the guidelines.
Happy travels and have a safe trip!
As the founder of Slay Copy Inc, Goldy Buxbaum helps business service providers reach more clients by combining business strategy with web writing. Check her out on Linkedin to see how you can grow your business.