Vacation time is meant to be a time for relaxation and fun, not stress about finances.
But let’s face it, holidays can be expensive, from travel to accommodation to food and activities. The debt some take on to enjoy a vacation can be more stressful than not taking vacation at all.
By following these tips, you can save money on your next vacation and still have an enjoyable time. Here are five ways to cut your expenses while still enjoying a memorable trip.
Start your vacation planning by setting a budget, including all expenses. Doing so can help you prioritize your spending and find ways to save money.
Book your flights and accommodations in advance to get the best deals. Same for rental cars.
If possible, use mass transit instead. In many European destinations, for instance, train travel is much cheaper than driving.
Choose budget-friendly accommodations
Consider staying in a budget-friendly hotel, guesthouse or Airbnb instead of a luxury hotel.
You can also save money by staying outside of the city center or opting for a vacation rental. Be careful, though, that your expenses on getting to attractions from remote stays aren’t more than what you save on a hotel bill.
Eat like a local
Dining out can be one of the biggest expenses on a trip. And lots of “tourist friendly” restaurant areas are overpriced and offer substandard fare.
To save money, consider cooking your own meals or eating at local restaurants and food stands. You’ll get a taste of the local culture and save money at the same time.
To save on travel costs, consider visiting your destination during its off-season. Prices for flights, accommodations, and activities tend to be lower during this time.
If you can book a flight, train or ferry early, you can save. It’s also sometimes possible to save by booking last minute, but don’t do this if it means your trip might be interrupted.
Explore for free
Instead of paying for tours and attractions, take advantage of free activities such as visiting parks, museums and historical sites. You’ll be able to enjoy a cultural experience and save money.
A decent used guidebook can pay for itself many times over, and many museums and cultural sites are free on certain days of the week.
Read up on your destinations and be your own tour guide. It’s educational and can be fun.