Who doesn’t want to take a vacation? Especially nowadays when it seems like the world just keeps on getting crazier and crazier, we could all afford to get away from it all… But the word “afford” is the operative word, isn’t it? While taking a vacation is all well and good, you’ve got to be able to stretch your budget far enough to be able to afford the kind of vacation that you want.
This is, of course, why it’s always good to have a few tricks and ideas up your sleeve when it comes to taking a vacation. If you do things the right way, then you can have the vacation that you want at a fraction of the price that you might otherwise pay. With all of this in mind, we’re going to share our 20 favorite ways in which you can save on your next vacation.
Now, fair warning here. Not every one of these tricks is going to work for every person. However, if you’re looking to take a vacation and you want to save a little coin, some or several of these tricks could very well help you!
1. Call the Hotels
Oftentimes, the very best rates can be found by picking up the phone and actually calling the hotels and resorts you might want to stay at.
2. Flexible Departure Dates
A big part of any vacation budget is airfare. Keep yours as low as possible by not traveling on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
3. Flexible Airports
In many places, you might have a choice of more than one airport, especially if you’re willing to travel after you arrive. Opening up possibilities makes rate shopping easier.
4. Stick with an Airline
When you stick to one airline and join their loyalty program, you’ll get more travel perks than you might expect.
5. The Travel Credit Card
This one’s pretty much a no-brainer, but if you haven’t picked up a credit card with travel rewards, then now is the time.
6. Keep Looking
Just because you’ve booked, that doesn’t mean you can’t change things up. Keep shopping around for rates while you wait for vacation to arrive.
7. The Early Bird
Generally speaking though, if you want to get the lowest possible rates, you need to book in as far advance as possible.
8. Travel in the Offseason
Want to see that far-flung and exotic local? Why not try traveling during non-peak times when rates will be lower.
9. Shoulder Seasons
Alternatively, you can travel in the time in between peak and non-peak seasons. It’s a little pricier, but the weather will probably be better!
10. Tuesday Mornings
Here’s a pro tip. The best time to look for the cheapest air fares in on Tuesday morning.
11. Don’t Bring the Kitchen Sink
Plan ahead, pack light, and enjoy. Plus, you won’t be paying any extra fees for checking extra bags…
12. Don’t Be Hostile to Hostels
While not for everyone, if you’re traveling solo, it might be worth checking into a hostel. They’re inexpensive, and you get to meet other travelers.
Nowadays, you don’t need to stay in a hotel. When booking, see if there are any attractive and affordable AirBNBs available.
14. House Swap?
If you really want to get wild, there are services through which people can plan to swap houses for vacation.
15. National Park Living
For one of the cheapest and most memorable vacations you can ever have, try staying in a national park.
Planning on being somewhere for an extended period? It may make more sense to do a monthly rental than to pay nightly for a hotel or resort.
17. Try House Sitting
It’s possible you might be able to get paid on your next vacation… That’s provided you’re willing to house sit for someone, of course!
18. Don’t Eat Out
When you travel, you eat out for most every meal. If you book a place where you can cook for yourself, though, then you stand to save some money!
19. Ask the Locals
Tourist traps charge tourist-trap type money. Ask locals what’s good in the area, and they’ll steer you in the right (and more affordable) direction.
If you’re using Groupon where you live, then you should definitely try looking for Groupons for where you’re traveling to.