Vacation Planning Tips for the Best Savings
Taking a vacation can be very costly. However, there are some steps you can take to save money without having to sacrifice the fun. It is best to plan for your trip before you leave, so that you can just relax and not stress about money during your trip. Here are a few helpful tips to consider before taking a trip!
Put aside money during the year
Try to put aside a designated amount of money each month. For example, you can give up some of your entertainment budget to save for the trip. Give up a few movies, restaurant meals, coffee out, bowling, etc. for a few months leading up your trip. Doing so will prevent you from resorting to using credit cards to book your trip. I suggest opening a separate savings account to save for the trip.
Make an itinerary
Making plans of your daily activities and restaurants before you leave will help you to stick to a budget and not overspend during the trip. This will also help you to figure out total expenses and save up a designated amount of money to cover those expenses.
Search for deals
Sign up to receive Groupon deals in the city you will be visiting. You may be able to find deals on local restaurants and activities in the area. Also check Living Social and Yipit. Also check retailmenot for hotel promotions. In addition, check the hotel website for special package deals.
Find free activities
Research free activities in the area you will be vacationing to before you leave. Having free and low cost activities planned in advance will prevent you from overspending on pricey attractions when you arrive. You are most likely spending a lot of money on transportation and hotels, so why not try to cut some of the activities/entertainment costs?
Find someone to travel with
Ask if friends or family members want to travel with you and split the costs. You both get a vacation and get to reap the benefits of shared expenses. Splitting the cost of gas and hotel lodging can easily save you hundreds of dollars.
Research your desired destination
Find out the cheapest times to travel, the best area attractions, and most importantly if it is somewhere you want to spend your hard earned money visiting.
Plan your trip during the off season
For example, one of the least crowded times of the year at Walt Disney World is September. A vacation during this time period is going to be cheaper in terms of both lodging and airfare. Also, you will get the added perk of dealing with less crowds!
Consider driving as opposed to flying
Driving is cheaper, plus you can fit more luggage in the car (for free!).
Look into hotel package deals
Oftentimes hotels offer special promotions such as free nights, a discount off multiple stays, etc. Be sure to check the website for these special deals.
Plan trips around free/low cost activities
Vacations near free natural recreation like state and national parks are going to be cheaper and more fun than pricey tourist destinations. A few great examples include the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains (free year-round). All 3 of these parks offer a multitude of recreational activities like hiking, biking, and sightseeing, which you can enjoy after paying a small entrance fee.