3 Little Known Tips for How to Save Money on Vacations
In today’s hectic world, just about everybody looks forward to a nice vacation. Yet, the price of rest and relaxation can often be expensive. When adding up the cost of transportation and accommodations – coupled with sightseeing and souvenirs – travelers oftentimes need to work overtime upon their return just to pay for their trip.
But you may not have to – if you know how to save money on your next vacation. By following these three little known ways of saving on your travel dollar, you could find that you can extend your getaway – or even put money in the bank when you get home!
Having some flexibility in your travel plans can also save you a great deal on your overall vacation costs. By not having to stick to a stringent time schedule, many travelers can cut their expenses in half – or more. Some ways to do so include:
- Fly Standby – If your vacation will involve air travel, going standby can greatly reduce the price of your airfare. In this case, be sure to bring ample reading material, as you may spend some time in the airport before your name is called for an available flight.
- Book Last Minute – Oftentimes, airlines and hotels will find themselves with empty seats or vacant rooms. By booking your travel last minute, you could take advantage of these situations and obtain a nice discount.
- Use Hotel Bidding Sites – Over the past few years, travel websites that allow you to bid on the price of your accommodations have become very popular. Although the hotel may not always be able to accept your bid price, you could be happily surprised and obtain a room for the rate that you choose.
Forgo Big Name Hotels
While it is typically nice to stay in the large brand name hotel chains – complete with fluffy towels and a mint on the pillow – oftentimes the cost of such accommodations can be prohibitive. But by opting for alternate options, you could save a substantial amount of money on where you stay.
Other great ways to save money on accommodations include vacation “swap” and house-sit. Today, there are many online resources available where you can be matched with an individual or family who is planning a vacation in your home area. By planning your trip during the same time frame, you can essentially “swap” homes with each other. In doing so, all parties involved can save a substantial amount of money.
Likewise, by house-sitting for someone’s home while they are away, you may not only obtain a free place to stay, but you could also have access to a vehicle, as well as other amenities such as laundry facilities, a swimming pool, or hot tub (depending on the situation).
Today, another money saving trend has been gaining popularity with vacation travelers – that of renting a furnished apartment. Oftentimes an apartment can make for ideal vacation housing, as these options typically include cable and internet access, as well as other amenities such as a pool and exercise room. In addition, by having access to a kitchen, you can also save money on the cost of food by cooking your own meals rather than going out.
Take Advantage of Membership Perks
Before taking your next vacation, research the various rewards that you might have available via your credit cards or other membership areas. For instance, you may be unknowingly racking up airline mileage points with every dollar that you spend on your VISA or MasterCard.
Likewise, many banks and financial institutions today allow their debit card holders to take advantage of rewards such as restaurant and other gift cards just by using their card for everyday transactions. If this is the case, you could be eligible for free or discounted meals, gas, or other perks.
Oftentimes, those who are students, military veterans, or members of other organizations may also be eligible for automatic discounts on travel. With this in mind, be sure to bring your member ID card. In some cases, these discounts are not readily advertised, so be sure to inquire before booking your travel. Even a discount of 5 or 10 percent can add up.
In addition, there are a number of online resources that offer coupons and discount codes on meals, travel, and other purchases. So, before hitting the open road, check out some of these sites and print any of the pertinent money saving offers.