It’s the time of the year, where more time is spent outdoors lying on the greener grass lounging under the sun or building a sand castle on the beautiful beaches with your loved ones. Kids are home on summer vacation and you want to plan this year’s summer vacation sooner than later. Summer vacations tend to get expensive making it even harder for the average family to pay off debt. How can anyone afford a vacation? Well, maybe these savings tips can help you find ways to save money while you are on your long awaited summer vacation.
Savings Tips at Planning Stage:
Part of not overspending on your summer vacation is attributed to planning. If you wait until the last minute to plan your summer holiday, you might be just accumulating a load of possibly avoidable credit card debt. You might end up paying much more than you expected for your vacation home or hotels if you wait until the last moment to make the bookings.
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. I prefer to book a vacation home with good ratings if I am traveling locally and with a crowd. That way I can manage the cost of lodging and not add up any more consumer debt.
Save Money with Connecting Flights
If you are traveling to a destination you need flying and don’t mind spending a little more time to get there, connecting flights can be a great way to save money on your trip. The transit time can be converted into a little expedition itself.
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. This can help you avoid too much credit card debt post vacation.
Savings Tips During the Trip
Want to save even more money on food? Skip the restaurants and buy some groceries on your vacation. If your accommodation options 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 savings tips to help you 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 debt repayment strategies, call American Consumer Credit Counseling for a free counseling session. 800-769-3571.