Saving On Vacation

Stretch Your Vacation Spending Money

Summer is here and with it comes the family vacation season. If you are like most people, you need to make your money stretch as far as possible. Finding a cheap flight and hotel is the easy part. The hard part comes once you get to your vacation destination. You need to make your spending money last. This is an area that can quickly get out of hand but we can help. Here are some ways to stretch every dollar of your spending money.

Saving money while on a trip is actually quite easy and will not damper your fun at all. Here are some top ways to save money on your upcoming trip.

Infographic on saving money while on vacation.

1. Spend Cold Hard Cash

You might think that cash would go quicker, but in reality it does not. Spending cash on your vacation can help you budget in several ways.

First, you can divide your spending money into daily allotments and put them in separate envelopes, one for each day. When the money is gone, it is gone. This helps you stay on track with your budget and not spend too much in the first few days. It will leave you with plenty of money for each day.

Second, it is psychologically harder to spend cash money. When you pull out a credit card to buy something, it does not really hit you until you get that statement. When you pay with cash, you realize the cost of an item right away. It might make you pause a moment and think about if you actually desperately need something or if you can do without it.

2. Shop Deals On Groupon

You can save big on entertainment and dining by using Groupon. In fact, you can almost double your spending power in most cases. Want proof? Let’s look at the deals at a popular travel destination. Let’s look at the Orlando deals.

There are dozens of deals currently. Deals change constantly but if you were to look now, you could get mini golf for 2 for 55% off. You could also dine out and get a nice Hibachi dinner for 28% off. Want something a little bit more touristy? How about a sight seeing plane ride for 50% off or snorkel with manatees for 53% off.

There are some incredible deals on Groupon and they can really help you make the most of your daily budget.

3. Get A Kitchenette

Many hotels will have small kitchens or kitchenettes. Make it a priority to find a hotel that has one. This will allow you to save money on eating out by making your own meals.

Breakfast in your hotel room is a no brainer because it is far easier to eat breakfast first thing in the morning than getting dressed to go out.

You can also plan your activities to get you back at the hotel for lunch and snacks. With a family of four, each meal that you do not eat out can easily save you $50 a pop. That adds up in a hurry and the money could be saved or used towards other activities.

In addition, you might get home from vacation without having put on an extra five pounds.

4. Be Thrifty With Living Social

There is more than one discount site out there, so be sure to shop around if you don’t find it all on one. Living Social is my second choice for deals on entertainment and food.

The deals change often so be sure to check it frequently, for at least three months before your trip. Also, make sure you pay attention to expiration dates.

If you were going to Orlando, for example, right now you could get deals on all sorts of things. Movie tickets are 44% off, spa treatments can be had for 73% off and you could even indulge in a wine tasting for 44% off.

5. Get Back To Nature

No, I don’t mean go camping, although that would be cheap. I mean take advantage of the national parks. There is so much to do on the cheap at national parks and so many photo ops.

Going to Vegas, be sure to take a day trip out to see Red Rock Canyon. Going to Orlando, take some time out and visit Wekiwa Springs. Almost every city has a great state park near it with unique nature that you may never get to see again.

Visiting state parks is a win win all around. You save money, get some exercise and chances are good that the pictures from the park are the vacation photos you will cherish most.

6. Bring It With You

Try to bring as much of the stuff that you will need with you. Everything will be more expensive when you get to your destination. Things like sunscreen and toiletries should be purchased at home and packed.

Snacks are good to have both on the trip and when you get to your hotel room.

Also, if you enjoy that nightly glass of wine, or maybe two, bring a few bottles with you.

Overall, count on everything that you need on a trip to be twice as expensive when you get there. Pack it with you and save money and time wasted on shopping.

7. Don’t Skip On The Free Stuff

You do not have to spend money to have a good time. Every city has free attractions. These could be historical locations, parks with hiking trails or a cozy beach.

A fun, free attraction could be to simply go for a walk in a city. You can sight see, take pictures and people watch.

Summing It All Up

Being thrifty (or cheap) is not a fault, it is a gift. Some of the richest people in the country are the most frugal. Finding ways to save on your vacation can give you the trip of a dream without having to take out a loan. Come back rested, fulfilled and without debt.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.