When embarking on trip it does not mean that you have to break the bank while on vacation. I should know, because of some past experiences, I’ve seen people go completely nuts. I’ve seen people blow money on food, clothing, hotels… you name it. Sure, a little extravagance is nice but if you can’t afford it when you’re at home why would you expect it while on vacation? I’ve thrown together some tips to help you comfortably afford a little getaway.
Continental Breakfasts are a must. I said this in a previous trip post, but make sure the hotel you book (even before you book) has continental breakfast. I cannot stand it when hotels charge you an arm and a leg and then all you get is a bed to sleep in. The breakfast doesn’t have to be much, it can be eggs, bacon, toast, coffee and juice. Now hotels are jumping on the full continental breakfast and all for an affordable hotel price.
Become loyal to a hotel chain. Loyalty has its perks and that’s how we can afford an amazing hotel close to all the local attractions. Two years ago when we were researching hotels to stay in our aunt suggested a certain hotel and since then, we’ve been loyal. We joined the loyalty card club and each stay racks up points. Eventually you can get a free stay, sometimes if you stay during a specified time frame they’ll automatically give you a free night, or how we’re affording this one – points plus cash. Also become loyal to the same hotel in each city you travel. They’ll know you by name, remember your preferences and go the extra mile for you.
Don’t blow it on dining out. Sure you want to try all the wonderful places your city, town or province/state might not have to offer, but why do you have to blow the bank? Before you head out on your trip, sit down and reasearch places to eat. The internet is fabulous for this now! Websites such as Urbanspoon, Yelp!, Trip Advisor, etc. are wonderful websites (even apps) to help you decide where to dine out. Include a budget. For this trip, I have $100 to dine out – breakfast (we are going out one day for breakfast), lunch and dinner. When you finally arrive at your hotel, ask the front desk where the popular local eateries are… most importantly, it’s cheaper where the locals go.
Happy, Happy, Hour! In addition to above, see if the restaurants offer happy hour specials. Most stipulate you must by an alcoholic beverage, but most do not. For $16 you can get a ton of appetizers and you’ll still leave satisfied and full. Agree to split the bill and you’ll save even more money!
Search for free things to do. You don’t have to spend your money to see amazing attractions. Before you leave hop on to the internet and search “Free things to do in (destination)”. You won’t believe what comes up and even so Visitor Centers are now online and will provide you with this service. You could go to the Zoo for free, art galleries, museums, and heck… find out when the local Farmers Markets are open. You’ll find some neat stuff there too!
Coupons are not just for at home. I’m cheap. I’ll be the first to admit it. I like to save a penny where I can and if it means while on vacation, dangit, I’m using a freaking coupon! While in the U.S. we like to purchase grocery items that we cannot find here and sometimes, there’s coupons online! Aaaand, they’ll let you stack. Oh em geee! Extreme couponing while on vacation. Yes. I’ve also used coupons from group coupon sites when it comes to dining out. I’ve saved a lot and I’ve also dined at some fantastic local eateries.
And while we’re on the topic of money… here’s a great tip. Before you leave for your trip, set up future dated bill transactions. For example… when I get paid all my bill money goes to a savings account and then I transfer the day before said bill date. This way I won’t spend my bill money. Check to see if your online banking account has this feature. It’s easy and gives you peace of mind knowing that your bills will get paid.
What are your tips to saving money while on vacation?