I love to travel and it’s important to me to spend my hard earned money on experience and memories that will last a life time, rather than materialistic goods. Every paycheck we save money specifically for vacations and at least two to three times a year we take a trip. We build vacation funds into our budget therefore there is nothing extra coming out of our savings account or typical spending money each check. Over the past ten years I have learned some great money saving tips while on vacation I think could benefit others. Below are some of my favorite tips I have collected during my travels.
When planning for a vacation, spending money is very important to budget out prior to your adventure. Don’t just start swiping the credit card for fancy cocktails and over the top souvenirs just because you’re on vacation. I learned that I should plan about 70% of my trip actives and meals ideas prior to the vacation, thus I will have a good idea of how much I will be spending. For example, if you are going on a cruise, research all the off shore excursion prior to leaving home. You can for them on the ship or before leave, but at least you know how much you will be spending. Always look for travel deals like two tours for the price of one, and the bucket of beer promotions rather than the cup refill discounts.
If you prefer a more of a low key vacation with the family and are planning to drive, budget out gas and hotels stops/stays if necessary. For a long road tip see if it is actually worth it to drive over fly and remember speeding tickets can cost you hundreds of dollars too! Don’t make the same mistake I did driving from Michigan to Florida and getting a $375 speeding ticket in Georgia, because obviously flying would have been much cheaper. When packing for your road tip put together a cooler with water and soda, make sandwiches, bring yogurts and bags of chips and snacks. This will keep your family eating healthy, save you money from having to buy overpriced fast food, and you can use the cooler in your hotel room once you arrive at your destination for water and beer.
The best part of saving money while on vacation is allowing you to save and invest that money for future vacations! Set a vacation budget, and then work to come in under that budget. Then take that difference and make smart and wise investments.
Basically, if you pre-plan your trip, then it’s very easy to save money while on vacation.