Do you want to travel this summer without breaking the bank? I’ve put together these money saving summer vacation tips to help stretch your budget. With some planning, deal hunting and flexibility, you can save enough money to potentially take two trips instead of just one!!
Money Saving Summer Vacation Tips:
1. Pack light – airlines are charging fees for everything nowadays. Most carries charge for checked bags and overweight bags. If you can, try to pack in a single carry on (within the size/weight restrictions) or limit everyone to a single bag. When choosing flights consider checked bag fees into your purchase. Carriers such as Southwest offer 1 checked bag at no additional cost.
Make sure to factor in the extra space and weight of purchases you may make during your travels as well. We like to keep a tiny reusable shopping bag with us in case we need to lighten our baggage with an extra carry on.
2. Round trip tickets – a must in travel to save money is booking round trip tickets. Booking a one- way ticket is extremely expensive, more than a round-trip ticket in a lot of cases! Don’t forget that you can book round-trip tickets arriving and departing from different airports. Our recent trip we flew into Paris and out of Nice. I wouldn’t recommend this if you’ll be in the same area since you’d have to factor in car rentals as well.
3. Don’t automatically select direct flights – while layovers aren’t necessarily enjoyable, you may save money by flying into the airports hub before reaching your destination.
4. Consider where you’re traveling – you’ll pay more when traveling to popular tourist destinations such as Orlando, Miami and LA. If possible, pick slightly less touristy areas for your vacation. You’ll save money and get to relax on a less crowded beach.
5. Driving vs flying – families may find it more cost effective to drive rather than fly. Determine the amount your family will need to fly then compute the costs of driving such as gas, any additional meals you won’t pack, hotel accommodations if needed and more time off work. My family finds it much cheaper to drive to FL than fly. The $99 tickets we used to get just don’t seem to be available any longer. It’s a bit hard on the driver, but we’ve got it down to a science now.
6. Practice the same eating principles you use at home while on vacation. Eat in instead of eating out. Picking up the pizza and taking it back to the hotel room is cheaper than taking an entire family out to eat. If possible at least try to eat breakfast in – bonus if you find a hotel that has a free continental breakfast.
Look for hotel amenities when selecting a place to stay. Free breakfast, free wi-fi and indoor pools are great features.
7. Be aware of currency exchange rates – if traveling internationally, be mindful of currency exchange rates as well as fees imposed upon you by the credit or debit company. All those 20 euro purchases start to add up when you get hit with a 3% fee for each purchase. Trust me!
If you knock out or decrease some of the essential costs of travel, you can have more money in your wallet for the fun activities. Plan ahead and try to be flexible in your planning. It can save you a lot of money and help reduce the stress of vacation planning.
What are your Money Saving Summer Vacation Tips?