5 Smart Ways to Cut Costs from Your Vacation

by Jules on November 13, 2013

More than sixty percent of Americans will embark on a trip or take a vacation between now and the New Year. While vacations are expensive, many times families will sacrifice certain necessities in order to be able to fund extravagant trips.

Items such as airfare or transportation, lodging, meals, sightseeing, and rentals often end up requiring ample amounts of money and leave bread-winners struggling to provide a fun and affordable vacation for his or her entourage. With prices on the rise nationwide, is it possible to vacation and still have a little bit of money left over? Listed below are five smart ways to cut costs from your vacation.

Reduce Your Airfare Cost

With airfare ticket cost rising exponentially in the past ten years, it has become difficult to afford the high rates that many airline companies place on their tickets. Using websites such as Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity will enable vacationers to compare flight costs side by side and choose the cheapest or most accommodating one. Flying midweek also helps in reduction of cost because most airlines charge more for weekend/Monday flights.

Many airlines also offer seasonal promotions that are attached to their emailing list, so becoming a member of your most frequented airline allows you the ability to access these savings. Smaller airlines like JetBlue, Allegiant, and Southwest offer cheaper ticketing prices but charge more for checked bags and carry-ons so vacationers need to research and beware of hidden costs that accompany lower ticket rates.

Make a Plan for Dining out

Many people are unsettled by a two hundred dollar grocery bill but will regularly drop fifty or sixty dollars at a restaurant and not think twice about it. Before heading on a trip, it’s wise for vacationers to develop a rough meal plan to estimate cost of food for the trip. Many times hotels offer a complimentary breakfast and a daily happy hour. These are things that are already included in your hotel fee but many times go unused and end up being profit for the hotel.

Taking advantage of something that’s already paid for is always a good way to save money. Packing sandwiches for lunch (provided the place of lodging offers refrigeration) drastically reduces the cost of dining and enables the vacationer to eat at his or her leisure. Another tip is to use websites such as Groupon, Foursquare, or Yelp. These websites are designed to help the consumer get a basic idea of cost per meal and offer discounts and promotions for certain restaurants.

Figure Out Your Lodging

Hotels are the most common lodging choice during vacation. Websites like Kayak and Hotels.com show side-by-side comparisons of rooms available and allow you to book directly from their website. Many hotels allow cancellation of reservations up to twenty four hours in advance with no extra cost.

While it’s important to have a secure place to stay, this is a valuable option because many hotels reduce rates as time draws closer to a specific day in order to fill their rooms and maximize profit. When vacationing in a resort, check with the concierge for options on rental travel or local buses, trains, or trolleys. Many resorts offer a bundle that includes vehicle rental or have shuttle service directly to major tourist attractions.

Review Your Insurance Policies

Rental insurance is usually required by rental companies, and traveler’s insurance is always a safe bet to invest in when travelling. These expenses protect you in the event that something goes wrong or your personal belongings are stolen or lost. But these are also costly expenses.

It’s wise for the vacationer to review his or her personal insurance policies like the ones you can find at www.homeownersinsurance.com before venturing out on a trip; you’ll find that many insurance companies as well as credit card companies offer traveler’s insurance as part of their package. In addition to saving the traveler from purchasing unneeded insurance coverage, many times the packaged deal offer from an individual’s own insurance company is much cheaper in cost.

Go off the Beaten Path

It’s no secret that places like Disney, The Florida Keys, Outer Banks, and New Orleans are popular vacation spots. Travelers know that and so do the businesses that reside in those places. Prices fluctuate based on desire of attendance to a certain area. Find out-of-the-way vacation destinations and make the best of exploring a new area. Many times hiking and sightseeing options are available free of cost. Exploring small museums and rustic towns offer a cheaper and many times more pleasant alternative to the hustle and bustle of popular vacation spots.

While vacations can become an extremely costly endeavor, there are many ways to save time and money in order to get the most out of one’s experience. Use the internet to research flight cost and lodging details. Plan out dining expenses and take advantage of free opportunities. Review your insurance policies and coverage options. Vacation in a new and unfrequented spot. These five simple steps will present you with a plan to save money on your vacation as well as enjoy the time you have.

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