Large areas of the United States are currently getting buried in snow, which means that a large population of Americans are currently ready for a sunny vacation. Local governments aren’t the only ones struggling to stay under budget this winter. Individuals struggling to get out of debt are reeling from the additional costs of snow removal and lost wages from missed work. So how can anyone afford a vacation? Well, maybe these tips can help you find ways to save money on travel.
Shop for Vacation Packages
Depending on your destination, you can usually save money by bundling your vacation with one company. There are several websites dedicated to complete trip packages, like CheapCaribbean, TravelZoo, CheapTickets, Priceline, and more. The airlines themselves may also offer flight and hotel packages. JetBlue and Southwest Airlines are two examples. Join an airline’s email list to get updates on their deals.
Save Money with Connecting Flights
If you don’t mind spending a little more time to get there, connecting flights can be a great way to save money on your trip. For example, according to a quick search today for a trip in April, a flight from Boston to Cancun will cost $90 less if you’re willing to have a layover for 30 minutes.
Many airlines will charge you for checked luggage, but some will allow one checked bag per person, as well as a carry-on. Travel light to avoid checking extra bags and incurring more charges.
Plan Meals Ahead
Some quick research can help you save a bundle on dining out while on vacation. First, research restaurants in the area ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to find a place to eat. You can find reviews, menus, and pricing information online. If you’re in the United States, you may also want to look for deals on sites like Groupon and Living Social. You can search by location, and find deals to save up to 50% off your meal.
Want to save even more money on food? Skip the restaurants and buy some groceries on your vacation. If your accommodations have a kitchen, you can start your day with homemade breakfast, bring your own snacks as you head out for activities, and even pack a lunch. Don’t forget that you can also bring your own food from home on the plane, just no beverages.
Eat Light Dinners
Dinner is typically the most expensive meal at any given restaurant. Avoid this hefty expense by making your other meals more hearty. Having a big lunch will cost less than the average dinner entree. Eat more during the day and have a light dinner to save some money on your trip.
Use Public Transportation
Depending on your destination, this may or may not be an option. But, if it is, you can save a lot of money by utilizing the area’s public transportation. Buses and trains will cost less than cabs or rental cars. Look up the transportation options in the area of your vacation and see where you can save. A daily bus pass will probably cost less than one ride in a cab.
These are just a few ways you can save money on travel and vacations. Anyone have any other frugal travel tips? Please share in the comments.
Many consumers are on the lookout for ways to save money, whether they’re trying to build up an emergency fund, or put more money towards paying off debt. For more hands-on counseling about credit card debt and debt repayment strategies, call American Consumer Credit Counseling for a free counseling session. 800-769-3571.