I like to scrimp and save and stretch my vacation budgets as far as they’ll possibly go. Therefore over the years I’ve come up with some ways to creatively fund my vacations as well as save money on my trips.
Here’s how you can save some serious cash on your vacation, too.
Creative Ways to Fund Your Vacation
Who wants to derail all of their financial goals to go on vacation? Not me.
If you know you’ll be taking a trip you need to start saving ahead of time. Here’s how you can save for a vacation.
Make it a Line Item In Your Budget – If you know you’re going to be going on vacation you need to budget accordingly. You shouldn’t wait until last minute and then use all of your emergency savings to take a trip. And you definitely should not go into debt to take vacation.
Figure up how much money you’re going to need, divide it by 12 and start saving a year in advance!
Cash in Your Change – I always save up my change and use it for something specific. (As long as my kids aren’t stealing it…haha) The picture below is my boyfriend’s change jar – which is massive! We’ll be cashing this in to go on vacation this year.
Sell Your Junk – Another thing I plan on doing is selling all the junk I’ve accumulated over the past couple years. You can host a yard sale or sell your stuff online. Either way you’ll raise some money for your vacation.
Use Your Credit Card Rewards Points – As you probably know I’m not a huge fan of using credit cards for their rewards. But I also know that many people feel differently about this. If you have a bunch of rewards racked up cash them in or use them for a flight or hotel.
Creative Ways to Save While on Vacation
Now that you’ve found some ways to fund your vacation you need to make your money stretch. Here are some ways you can save while on vacation.
Take Your Trip During the Off Season – If you take your trip during the off season you can save 50 percent or more on your vacation. You see, when things like hotel rooms are in high demand you’re going to pay top dollar. When you vacation in the off season you’ll be able to score a much better price.
Book Hotels Online – Using a travel site, like Travelocity.com or Expedia.com, can save you money on your hotels and rental cars. You’ll also be able to compare prices of various resorts which makes this worth your effort.
Haggle on Hotel Prices in Person – If you’re vacationing during the off season you might be better off negotiating a hotel price on your own. When you arrive to your location simply ask for a better price or some type of upgrade on your room.
Use Restaurant.com Gift Certificates – Restaurant.com offers gift certificates for restaurants at up to 75 percent off. That’s a huge savings!! Browse their site and buy gift certificates for any restaurants that catch your eye. This is one super simple way to save money on vacation.
Look For Vacation Packages Off of Deal Sites – My neighbors just went on an amazing vacation to the Dominican Republic by getting an awesome price on a deal site. Deal sites like LivingSocial.com often feature exotic vacation packages as well as local vacation packages on the cheap.
Split the Bill with a Friend – Last year I went on a vacation with a friend and we were able to split the bill on the cost of a cabin. By bringing along a friend or family member you can save on lodging and fuel costs.
Take a Mini Vacation – You don’t have to leave the country or spend a week away from home to have an amazing time. If you’re strapped for cash (or time) just take a weekend getaway. Pick somewhere fun that is nearby, book a hotel room and enjoy the change of scenery.
Take Your Time Planning
The most important thing you can do to save money on vacations is to take your time planning.
Start saving and looking for deals in advance. By doing this you’ll be able to really take your time to find the hidden gems and avoid costly vacation mistakes.
What do you do to save money on vacations?