10 Easy Ways to Save on Vacations

by David Bakke

vacations

The following is a guest post by Fred Schebesta, who writes about saving money at Savings Account Finder.  He also helps people compare savings accounts to get more interest.

10 Easy Ways to Save on Vacations

 

There is nothing like a vacation to recharge your batteries and give you a chance to escape your problems and really relax and enjoy time with your family. However, a lot of people are probably thinking that they can’t afford a vacation right now, but that is just not true because there are hundreds of ways to save on your next vacation and here are a few ideas to get you started – better start packing too!

 

1. Book your accommodations well in advance

 Booking your accommodations at the last minute, no matter how far you are travelling will eat substantially into your vacation budget. Whether you are planning a weekend at a hotel in town, or are jetting overseas, book your accommodations as far in advance as possible to make the best savings.

 

2. Travel at off-peak times

 Your accommodation costs can also skyrocket if you travel during peak periods like Christmas, Easter, the school holidays or during local events.  For example, here in Austrtalia, flights, accommodations and rental cars are all going to be much more expensive in Melbourne during our local events like Grand Final time or in Adelaide during the Fringe Festival. So, unless you are booking your vacation well in advance, reschedule your trip to save money on all of your travel costs – the difference of just a few days could save you hundreds of dollars.

 

3. Pack snacks

 Food is another big expense when you are travelling because you are often staying in a hotel with modest meal preparation facilities so it is often easier to just eat out. However, with some simple planning you can save money on your vacation by packing snacks and drinks before you leave for a day of sightseeing. Making sandwiches for lunch instead of eating at a local cafe is easy and affordable, so too is filling up water bottles before you leave compared to buying drinks while you are out sightseeing – even if you make a trip to the supermarket for drinks the night before a tour you can save a lot of money by avoiding the inflated prices of tourist attraction kiosks.

 

4. Consider your accommodations

 Do you really need to spend all seven nights of your vacation in a five star hotel? Sure, it would be nice, but why not stay in a smaller, less extravagent hotel for the majority of your vacation and just stay for the last one or two nights in a nicer hotel. This allows you to save money on accommodations that you’re not spending a lot of time in anyways, while still being able to enjoy the luxury of room service, hotel sheets and marble bathrooms.

 

5. Calculate your travel costs

 Don’t make assumptions when planning your vacation, instead take the time to do the calculations on your travel costs and you could easily save money. For example, work out whether it is cheaper to fly or drive to your destination – if you’re travelling during peak times the inflated costs of the plane tickets may actually be more than you would spend in fuel. Don’t forget to take into account additional costs, for example, if you’re saving money on flying, will you cancel out those savings when you need to rent a car to get around?

 

6. Stay with family or friends

 You may have to return the favour when they visit but it is a small price to pay for free accommodations. If you have friends or family who live in or near your holiday destination, take the chance to save money on your vacation, and spend some true quality time with them.

 

7. Book online

 You probably already know you can buy just about anything you see in a store cheaper online. Well, the same goes for your holiday expenses. You can save money booking everything from your accommodations, your rental car, your plane tickets and your tours online as some companies and travel agents will offer you discounts for booking online because they can save administration costs, and sometimes there are special deals which are only offered to online customers.

 

8. Book packages

 If you do come across one of these online packages then book it because if you work it out, the costs to buy each item in the package individually will usually be much more than if you take advantage of a package deal. You can find holiday packages for hotels and airfares, rental cars and guided tours, or theme park entrances and accommodation.

 

9. ATMs can be cheaper than travellers’ cheques

 Before you leave for an international vacation, check with your bank about the fees for using foreign ATMs. If you have this function included in your transaction account, or it can be activated for a small fee, withdrawing your money from an ATM while on holiday can be a lot cheaper – not to mention a lot simpler – than using travellers’ cheques. Just make sure you know enough about the culture and the language to be able to use the country’s ATMs correctly because you don’t want to be charged fees on your account because you can’t match the foreign keypad to your PIN.

 

10. Know the currency conversion rates

 One thing you will be doing a lot of on an international vacation is converting costs. You’ll need to do this to calculate the prices of the products and services you are buying to allow you to gauge whether they are reasonable. Therefore, before you leave, create a currency conversion table which you can carry in your bag or pocket to allow you to make quick and accurate conversions.

 

 

{ 2 comments }

1 Lana - DreamFollowers Blog December 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm

wow, great tips, thanks!
.-= Lana – DreamFollowers Blog´s last blog ..You are NOT responsible for anything and how it can help you reach any of your goals. =-.

2 David December 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

Thanks for stoppin’ by Lana.

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