It is safe to say we are all ready for a vacation! You might be dreaming of going to the beach, seeing a new city, or having a staycation. Whatever your dream vacation might be, we have six tips that will help you save money before and during this getaway.
Tip #1: Saving Early
Saving money might seem like a no-brainer, but people tend to forget. Start by opening a savings account. Next decide how much you can save on a regular basis and set up automatic transfers to your savings account. Finally, stay motived/excited by naming the savings account with the name of the vacation you’re going on.
Tip #2: Set a Budget
Creating a budget is based on an educated estimate – research is key. Start by researching flights, transportation, accommodations, food, and activities. The type of questions you should ask are:
- How many times are you going to eat out?
- What activities are on the top of your list?
- Will you be shopping?
- What area would you like to stay in?
These are basic questions to keep in mind when creating/researching a budget. Within each category, you can break down the expense more to help you create an overall and daily budget. Once a budget is final, you may want to add a little more cushion to the dollar amount to help you with any unforeseen expenses.
Tip #3: Flights
Flights can be expensive, but there are ways to make sure you do not overpay. First, plan your trip early. Depending on where you are going and what time, purchasing tickets in advance will help make them cheaper. Another factor to consider is that prices can be higher on certain days of the week or during tourism season. Be flexible with dates to avoid this. Second, look at different airlines and sites to help find the cheapest flight.
Tip #4: Accommodations
Finding a place to stay can be overwhelming. You do not want to overpay, but you want to be comfortable. An easy way to save money is by getting a hotel with just the basics or try renting an Airbnb.
Before booking a hotel, you will want to search for the best deals. It can be as simple as typing the hotel name into Google or using a site to compare prices. Please note, some sites may not include extra hotel expenses, so make sure you research.
One great thing about Airbnb is that it can be an inexpensive alternative to a hotel. It works well when you are traveling with friends or family because you can split the price. When searching for an Airbnb, make sure you are close to the activities you want to do to save money on transportation.
Another accommodation tip is to find a place that has a kitchen or an area to keep food. This will help cut down your food expense by not eating out so much.
Tip #5: Food
Food can be one of the best parts of traveling, but it can be expensive too. To save some money, limit the number of times you eat out. Go to the local grocery store and pick up snacks or items for breakfast or lunch. You can also eat where the locals eat. Typically, prices are cheaper at local spots compared to tourist locations. Another way to save on food is by not having alcoholic drinks. Drinks can be expensive. If you want to drink, limit the amount to help with cost.
Tip #6: Experiences
The worst part of going on vacation is the cost of tourist attractions. Check the community calendar for free events and find attractions with free days. Look for deals on Groupon, TripAdvisor, and other sites.
These tips will help you have a great and fun vacation without breaking the bank. Remember, saving early and researching is key to having a successful vacation.
*Red Crown Credit Union is not a financial planner or advisor, and this blog gives general ideas on how to save money. Individual results may vary.