How to Save Money on Vacation
If you’re not sure you can afford to go on vacation, then you need to read this. Saving up a huge chunk of money to use on a vacation can be daunting, especially if it’s anywhere far away or expensive. But with a little help and a few tricks, that next vacation may be closer than you think. Read on for some great ways to make traveling possible in your life, even if you never thought you could.
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Book Last Minute
This option is not for the faint of heart. When you plan a vacation, you like to anticipate it for months. Studies even suggest it’s part of the enjoyment, and many of us feel organized when we have plans set. However, it can be a lot cheaper to book a cruise a week before, or even a day before you leave. It’s not just true of cruises, either. Many tourist options are desperate to fill up their seats, even if it means they have to take a loss in profits, so they go for rock-bottom prices. Do some research into your choice of destination to see what kinds of last-minute discounts you can get.
There is one caveat: plan to be flexible if your first choice doesn’t work out last minute. You may have to rearrange your itinerary or find another destination if your planned adventure is sold out.
Booking vacation a little at a time means you don’t have to save up a big chunk of money and blow it all at once. While as kids, it’s drilled into our heads to put some of our allowances in a jar to spend, some in a jar to give away, and some to save for something big, this practice isn’t necessary for a vacation. You may have a coffee can you put spare change in, which is fine. But you can also choose to pay progressively for a vacation. For instance, this pay period book your hotel. Next pay period, book your flights. The pay period after that, book an activity. The method even works with gas, if you’re driving. You can book a rental car in one chunk, and buy a visa gift card in another chunk to fill up the gas tank. For some who have trouble saving, and are tempted to spend any large sum of money because they know it’s sitting there, booking ahead can be a great way to enable a vacation without worrying about budget.
Use Thrifty Hacks
You can find all kinds of tips and tricks for cheap vacations when you check out travel bloggers and local articles from the area you’re planning to visit. From local watering holes to visit for the cheapest prices to cruise hacks like managing your own excursions, these types of resources can be a fount of information that proves valuable as you travel. You may have to put in a little time, because a lot of the first hits on Google are going to be advertisements or posts from companies that just want you to buy their products. But as you go deeper and search on subsequent pages of internet search hits, you’ll find gold in the form of must-know insider hacks for your destination.
Book with Earned Miles, Points, or Gift Cards
There are many ways to earn money back on things you buy every day. One way is to use a credit card that earns you cash back or airline miles, and then buy your vacation flights with those. I know someone who just did this with an entire honeymoon trip to Europe. It’s really doable! Just treat your credit card like your debit card, and pay off each purchase from your checking account right away so you don’t pay interest.
You can also use apps like Fetch (use my referral code and get up to $4 back right away: U4RGV), Ibotta (referral code: ijosuhn), Drop (referral code: wwqao), Pei (referral code: jxnnlb), Checkout 51, Savings Star, Coupons.com App, eBates, and more. With these apps, you get points back for entering your purchases and/or scanning receipts, and then exchange your points for gift cards. These include gift cards to places like United and Delta, Airbnb and Hotels.com, and grocery stores, gas stations, and more. Pack your bags sooner when you book with earned miles, points, or gift cards.
Making It Work
When you want to get away for a reset, don’t let money stand in your way. Do a little extra planning and you’ll be able to use hacks like this to be on your way to a trip sooner than ever.
For more help making things work, especially as a mom or a professional, hire A Wild Lass to help you.