When some people think of vacations, they imagine pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and most certainly an air of relaxation. But looming overhead often times, is the price tag of a great vacation. Holidays can take a toll on your wallet and visiting paradise comes at a cost; however, it is possible to vacation without breaking the bank. Here’s how you can shave costs off your next vacation, find the best vacation deals, and make the most of your budget.
Besides accommodations, airfare is one of the most costly components of a vacation. Lock in the lowest prices on airfare by booking six months or more in advance. Plus, many hotels and resorts are more likely to have vacancies the earlier you schedule your stay.
Research & Compare
Get started in the planning stage as early as possible. Research the area and attractions you’d like to see as well as the hotels and resorts in your desired destination. Comparing your research findings can take some time but does pay off in the end. Review multiple websites and compare offers, and be sure to read the fine print to avoid or to be made aware of possible hidden fees and taxes. You will quickly discover that researching and comparing is a cost-saving skill.
Ask About the “Extras”
One of the best ways to make the most of your budget when going on vacation is to book at an all-inclusive resort or hotel. With clear-cut costs and inclusions, it’s easy to track costs and stay on budget. Inquire about “extras” and book at a hotel or resort that offers added value—anything from free nights and free room upgrades, to air credits and spa treatments—which can help reduce the overall cost of your trip.
Leave Room for More
Leave room in your suitcase for items like souvenirs and things you may want to bring back from your trip for yourself. There are many ways to make the most of your budget before arrival but it is equally important to stick to budget after you arrive to your destination. Avoid extra baggage fees and the possibility of having to buy another piece of luggage for the items purchased while on vacation by bringing a foldable tote bag and packing it in your suitcase to accommodate the extra items.
Invite Friends & Family
Sweeten the vacation deals by inviting family and friends. The more, the merrier…and, the cheaper! Bring some friends or family members along and you’re likely to get a better vacation deal. Some resorts, hotels, and tour operators will offer discounts when there is a group of people all booking together.
Don’t Travel Hungry
We’ve all heard the saying, “don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.” The same applies to eating out while traveling. Dining expenses can sink a budget quickly, especially when on a long layover or after a missed connection. Try bringing along snacks and even meal replacement powders, which can both be packed into carry-on luggage if sealed.
Utilize Social Media
Before you leave for your trip, tap into your social media network. Let your friends and family know where you are going. It’s quite possible that someone has been to the vacation destination you plan to visit. Use them for their recommendations to save money while on your trip.
Give it All You’ve Got
Once you’ve narrowed down your vacation details, “give it all you’ve got” in order to get the best vacation deals and make the most of your budget. Sign up for email airfare alerts to find out when the fares drop. You can also decide the frequency in which you’ll receive the alerts. Also, use your rewards. Vacationing is the perfect time to use your rewards, whether from loyalty programs you’ve joined or rewards points from a credit card. Use your hard-earned points to help pay for your vacation. Plus, check online for coupons and discounts being offered by national chain businesses in the destination you will visit.
Amy Fry is a passionate traveler who writes about travel destinations and vacation deals. Amy is currently based in London.