It’s ironic that one of the most stressful activities in life is planning a vacation. How tiring is that? You have to work on a lot of kinks, plot ideas, consider everyone’s opinion, and pay a hefty sum so you can relax.
Though planning can be stressful no matter how much you try to make it less so, you can at least find comfort in the fact that you can find ways to make your vacations less expensive.
Are you the type of person that avoids taking vacations because you are watching your spending and living on a tight budget?
10 Key Tips To Help You Get A Great Vacation For Less
Watch Out For Airline Seat Sales
There are a lot of cheap flights if you know where to look. Some people use flight-finder websites, while others simply subscribe to the website of the airline of their choice in order to keep track of promos and good deals.
One thing to note is that the best time to search for low airfares is very early Wednesday morning.
Save Money by Booking Early
One thing about flights is that they get a lot more expensive the closer you get to the date. If you book way in advance you can get a better price for your flight.
If you can, try to make your flight reservations months ahead.
Avoid The Holiday Rush
A lot of people will try to go on holiday during the usual periods, like when school’s out. If you avoid the rush, you’ll be able to purchase cheaper tickets and accommodations.
If you are trying to save money when you travel avoid booking a trip around Christmas or New Years, as airfare and hotel rates are usually quite high then.
Go During The Off-Season
This is somewhat related to #3 above. You don’t want to join the rush of travelers trying to make the most of their vacation, and you don’t want to pick a destination that will be packed with tourists during your stay.
To clarify, this means not heading to the beach during the summer months of your destination.
If you’re heading to a tropical island in Southeast Asia, for example, that means avoiding the months from March to June, because the beaches will be packed with tourists and flights and accommodations will be expensive.
Buy Vacation Packages
It’s a lot cheaper if you buy a whole package rather than book the flight and accommodations separately. Plus, this is an easier way since you won’t have to worry about each individual part while planning your vacation.
As well, some vacation packages already include local tours, breakfast, and other amenities.
Don’t Use The Currency Exchange At Your Destination’s Airport
As much as possible, it’s a good idea to get your money exchanged to the local currency before you even leave.
You could get a better deal if you have it exchanged at your local bank, rather than have to deal with the high rates at your destination.
Be Wary Of Bill Shock Through Roaming Charges
This is a big one that could quickly make your low cost vacation extremely expensive.
Your phone’s data roaming capability should be turned off before you go overseas as it can be very expensive. It’s better to buy a local sim and use that to make calls.
If you want, you can also take advantage of messaging apps and Wi-Fi, so you can keep in touch without having to spend a fortune.
Avoid The High Fees Charged When You Use Your Credit Or Debit Card
Though it can be tempting to use a credit or debit card to pay for your purchases overseas, remember that this means you’ll be dealing with a lot of fees and charges if you’re not careful.
Avoid the miscellaneous charges by using your card only for emergencies. If you are concerned about security, take travelers cheques and cash them in as you need more cash, a bit at a time.
Avoid Overloading Your Baggage
An easy way to save money is by trying not to bring too much stuff on your vacation.
Back in the day you were allowed to check two pieces of luggage with no questions asked.
Then the airlines found a quick and easy way to make some extra cash. They knew that people tend to over pack when they travel so the airlines began charging a fee for any piece of luggage that was over 50 pounds.
Just as people got use to that rule, the airlines decided that they could make even more money by simply charging people for any piece of luggage that they wanted to check.
Whether you travel alone or with your family, checking several pieces of luggage in both directions can add up quickly.
So if you want to save money on your next vacation, plan well, and find ways to pack as little as possible. In fact, consider using a carry-on suitcase that meets the airlines guidelines and you will not have to pay any additional baggage fees.
Create A Strict Travel Budget and Stick To It
You may be tempted to think that “the sky is the limit” for your perfect holiday, but spending too much isn’t really fun.
You should create a budget first then try your best to stick to it rather than the other way around.
The first time I went to Europe for 2 weeks money was tight and I wanted to go but I knew I had to a travel budget.
So before I even planned out the trip I calculated out exactly how much we would spend each day on food, hotel \ B&B, and transportation. Then I added in the flight and travel insurance.
Each time we went out for a meal or searched for a hotel I knew exactly how much we could afford to spend, and I kept track so that we wouldn’t run out of cash.