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15 Tips for Saving Money While on Vacation

Vacation and budget may seem like adversaries, or enemy combatants, but they're actually working toward one single goal: your happiness. For me, I'm not happy unless I'm saving money, and I'm always happy when I'm on vacation, so does bringing the two together equal double happiness? I think so! Here's 15 ways to do both.

  1. Plan ahead
    Crucial. Only people in movies buy tickets as soon as they arrive at the airport. Here, in the real world, we plan months ahead. I've known people to book two years in advance.
  2. Shop around
    It goes hand in hand with planning ahead. Don't just stay loyal to one brand of airline or hotel, venture out to see which company provides the best rates.
  3. Budget planning
    Decide how much you have to spend, and stick to your budget.
  4. Get a hotel with a kitchen
    Who says you can't cook on vacation?
  5. Ask for discounts
    Sometimes, you'll get a better price just because you asked.
  6. Check out free things to do
    The internet is a wellspring of knowledge. Look up a calendar of events in your destination, and find what's free or cheap, and blend in with the locals.
  7. Share costs with others
    Go on a vacation with your family or friends, and rent a house together. It may be cheaper that way.
  8. Stay in a hostel
    Whether backpacking through Europe, or spending a weekend in St. Louis, there's plenty of hostels that accept out of town tourists on the cheap.
  9. Buy a guidebook
    Instead of paying for a travel guide, buy or borrow a book about your destination, and beat out your own path, but make sure you don't go it alone. Always travel in pairs, with a spouse, or a friend.
  10. Pay in cash
    This works every time. There's something intoxicating about credit cards, it gives us a false sense of security. Use only cash, or travelers cheques preferably, when on vacation to control spending.
  11. Rent a car
    Instead of using taxis everywhere you go, a rental car is an inexpensive option that provides you with the most flexibility.
  12. Stay at hotels that offer breakfast
    It's one meal that you don't have to pay for, which is a great deal!
  13. Fly in to a different airport
    Sometimes choosing an airport that's 20 minutes further away makes $100 difference on your airplane ticket. Once again, comparison shop for the best deals.
  14. Drive to your destination
    Instead of flying, driving is a great alternative. Especially if the location is within a day's trip. Comparing the cost of the car and gas to plane tickets may be worth the travel exhaustion. Plus, you get a chance to sight see.
  15. Pack snacks
    It's tempting to buy candy and other junk food while traveling, but resist the urge, and bring your own. Conceivably, you won't be traveling to your local Wal-Mart whenever you're vacationing, so make sure to stock up before you go.

I know these tips have helped me save a lot of money. What are some of your favorite tips? Leave me a comment to let me know!

Jessica | Jan 19, 2009 | Category: Money Savings

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