Who doesn’t love summer vacation? Just the thought of going on a cruise or relaxing on the beach puts me in a good mood.
No matter where you’re planning on going, what you’re planning on doing, or how long you’re planning to stay, it’s smart to check different websites to reduce your costs.
Here are a few of my tips (from personal experience 😉).
- Save – It’s never too late to start a vacation fund. Have a jar and put all your spare change in it, by the time you’re ready for vacation, go and cash it in. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up! Open a separate Savings account for you vacation fund! Set up an automatic deposit from each paycheck to be deposited into your savings! Before you know it, you’ll be ready to book your dream vacation. If you get paid bi-weekly and deposit $50 from each check for a year, you’ll have a vacation fund of $1300!
- Plan – Pick a few dates and shop around. There are several travel websites that I rely on when planning a trip. If you’re flying, staying in a hotel and/or renting a car, try Expedia for the package deals. If you’re driving and there are several of you going, try VRBO to rent a vacation home – most of the time it’s much cheaper than booking a hotel and you can cook your own meals!
- Rewards – If you have any credit cards that give you rewards, check your points and rewards! Carnival has a great rewards card with no annual fee. American Airlines has one as well, but it does have an annual fee.
- Loyalty Programs – Do you frequent the same Cruise Lines/Airlines/Hotels? Most have loyalty programs that offer discounts and extra perks for staying with them!
- Food – Meals can add up pretty fast if you have a large family and dine out for three meals a day. My advice is taking a cooler (unless your house/condo has a refrigerator), and stopping at the local grocery store for a few staples like cereal, milk, fruit, sandwich fixings, snack foods, and drinks. Save your money for experiences!
- Fun – Speaking of experiences, they don’t all have to cost a fortune. Get outdoors for some free entertainment like hiking, public beaches and parks. Many communities have free concerts and festivals. There are often neighborhood publications at hotels, restaurants, and shops that will list things to do and upcoming events!
What’s the best way that you’ve found to save money on vacation?