How to save money while on vacation

Published on April 24, 2013 By Lauren

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  • Family vacations are a great way for a family to bond and enjoy some down time together. And in order to enjoy your vacation and feel the peace you deserve, you shouldn’t be worried about the money you are spending! If you’ve been wanting to save money while on a vacation, and enjoy the family vacation of your dreams, you have come to the right place. Planning a family vacation need not be tricky or expensive. Below, you will find exactly what you need to know about how to save money on a family vacation.

    So gather the kiddos, pack your bags, and read on about how you too can save money on your next family getaway!

    Seven Budget Savvy Tips on How to Save Money while on Vacation:

    1. Do your homework.

    If you have a particular destination in mind, do your homework and research it online. Ask friends who have traveled there about their experiences. If the destination has the option to, sign up for email newsletters and perhaps you will even receive coupons! By knowing this information before you go, you can make wiser financial decisions while on your trip and be prepared for any savings you might have available to you.

    2. Be flexible.

    You will notice that with restaurants, hotels, and other destinations and attractions that they offer more deals during the week when less people are out and about. If you are flexible, travel during the week as opposed to a weekend. Prices will be lower and you won’t be fighting crowds either which allows you to make the most of your time. It is a win/win!

    3. Eat smart.

    Here is the deal: snacks add up! You might find that you get a little hungry between meals, but buying snacks and drinks when you’re out and about quickly adds up. A $3.00 soda and $2.00 energy bar here and there can add up big. Always keep filling snacks on hand like granola bars, or dried fruit, since these items won’t make a mess or go bad. Carry a large purse to allow you to easily transport snacks or pick up inexpensive food for later while you’re sightseeing. In addition, a reusable water bottle can save you a ton of money on drinks. Also, combine food with entertainment if possible. While vacationing you can take a cooking class, or visit a farmer’s market or local winery. A food tour is another perfect example of being entertained while eating. This way you are not only seeing the sites on your trip, you are also getting a meal out of it as well.

    4. Take advantage of hotel freebies.

    Many hotels these days offer a free breakfast, free gyms, free movies, toiletries, and other freebies. This should always be taken advantage of. Don’t be shy, as that is why those services are there, for you to use them! If you are not sure of what freebies your hotel offers, just ask. Especially if free meals are involved, you should take advantage of these freebies as they will allow you to use your budget elsewhere.

    5. Ask the locals.

    While visiting any destination, it is best to visit as the locals do. Simply ask locals where the best place is to grab an affordable bite or see a cool attraction. They will know where the good deals are, and will be able to tell you what to avoid. Chances are, the less touristy places will have prices that are much cheaper.

    6. Know your discount eligibility.

    There are so many memberships cards accepted hotels and restaurants. Students, senior citizens, military members, and certain professions, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters, may be given a discount. It never hurts to ask as you can typically save at least 15% when you do. Know your discount eligibility when planning any vacation and ask if you are entitled to any additional cost breaks.

    7. Join a Rewards Program.

    Another way to get more bang for your vacation buck is to sign up for a rewards program such as Upromise that pays you when you eat out, rent a car, or book a hotel. If you have student loans, or are saving for college for yourself or your children, you can register your debit, credit, and dining cards for free. When you make certain purchases, including at restaurants and grocery stores, a percentage is applied to your loans or savings account. This way, you are literally earning cash off of your traveling purchases.

    As you can see, by following a few simple tips you can plan a family vacation that is not only fun but super frugal! You don’t need to spare any fun, good food, or great adventures in order to afford a family vacation. You just need to plan smart!

    Now that you know how to save on a family vacation, start your planning and pack your bags! You are well on your way to enjoying a fun family vacation without breaking the bank!

    For more traveling tips – check out more ways on how to save on travel.


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