Planning a Vacation? 10 Ways to Get More for Less

vacation ways to get more for less

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.


    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 06/18/2013 6:38 a.m. #

      On our recent cruise I took the battery out of my phone soon after we left port. I didn't want to risk the roaming charges! This is also good to know -> "low airfares is very early Wednesday morning" thanks for sharing!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/18/2013 3:32 p.m. #

        Good that you thought about your cell phone. I don't think many people until it is too late, unless of course they travel often.

    • krantcents

      krantcents 06/18/2013 9:25 a.m. #

      I use frequent flier miles for airline tickets. I use hotel points for free rooms too.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/18/2013 3:33 p.m. #

        I like using frequent flyer miles too, where it makes sense. If the flight is really cheap, then I just pay for it and save my points for a more expensive flight.

    • Brian @ Luke1428

      Brian @ Luke1428 06/18/2013 12:40 p.m. #

      These are great suggestions Sicorra! We often go during the off season to get deals and avoid the big crowds. And you are right...vacation planning is stressful and the vacations themselves are tiring. I just got back from camping with the family and I need a couple days rest just to recover.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/18/2013 3:37 p.m. #

        I know, it is as if you need a vacation to relax from taking a vacation. I love to travel but the planning and the getting there itself can be stressful and quite tiring.

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 06/18/2013 12:44 p.m. #

      These are some great tips Sicorra. I've always heard the rates are cheaper when vacationing during the off-season.

      I know the travelers will thank you for your tip about the fares on Wednesday. With the crazy prices saving any amount of money is a score!

      Hope you're having a great day!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/18/2013 3:38 p.m. #

        Hey Corina, I as hoping my post would encourage you to travel. We gotta find a way to get you to try going somewhere my friend :-)

    • Jake @ Common Cents Wealth

      Jake @ Common Cents Wealth 06/18/2013 1:42 p.m. #

      These are great tips. On our vacation to Jamaica a few years ago we utilized a lot of what you mentioned. Vacations can be pretty stressful (on yourself and your wallet), if it's not probably planned ahead of time.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/18/2013 3:41 p.m. #

        hmmm.. Jamaica. That sounds like a lot of fun!

        The thing I sometimes find the most stressful is the flight. I don't mind flying. It is the getting to the airport early, the whole check in thing and then sitting on a plane for however long.

    • Pauline

      Pauline 06/18/2013 4:28 p.m. #

      I was just daydreaming in the deals section of cruise America, they have 95% off RV rentals for specific routes, for example Chicago to San Diego, it could be an amazing affordable road trip. The downside is dates are fixed and usually last minute.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 06/18/2013 5:18 p.m. #

        Chicago to San Diego would be a bit of a trek but 95% off is amazing!! I've always thought that doing that would be a good way to find out if living in an RV and traveling full-time would be something that a person would enjoy doing it. It would be a good way to test it out.

    • Steven J Fromm

      Steven J Fromm 06/20/2013 6:56 a.m. #

      A couple of tips to add. Remove your cookies when you are looking for deals over the course of days. You may not get the best deal when going back a second time.
      Also, when traveling international get a Capital One card that does not charge for international transactions.
      Finally, use the ATM machines for the best currency conversion rates.

    • Nikola

      Nikola 06/26/2013 8:39 p.m. #

      These are great tips for getting away without breaking the bank! With the economy the way it is, it's nice to know that there are ways to take a vacation without spending a lot.

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