It is a given that you’re going to shop and compare discount travel sites to find the best airline ticket deals and hotels for your next vacation. But how do you save money once you get there? Try these holiday saving tips.
If you are like us, you want to experience your destination like a local – the tourist traps just won’t cut it. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save hundreds of dollars on food, entertainment and activities without sacrificing your vacation experience.
Why are you packing shampoo, conditioner, soap and toothpaste? Those items are readily available at most hotels for free, in fact, there are many hotel freebies that are ripe for the taking. The benefit of leaving the toiletries at home is two-fold. Not only will it preserve your own private stash, extending the life of each, but it also will reduce, the weight of your bag when packing for vacation. With the rising airline baggage fees, every little bit counts.
Start monitoring daily deals from Groupon and LivingSocial in the city you are travelling to. This is a brilliant idea for two reasons: First it gives you a great sense of what there is to show in the area (the tourism sites tend to list only the main attractions), and also you will save far more than you would if you showed up to the attraction on any given day, even with a restaurant coupon.
Think you can’t get from the airport to your accommodations on public transportation? Think again. In most cities you can get to and from the airport by bus or train, and it is affordable.
If you don’t want to go the public transportation way, then you might want to hire a car, just make sure you pack your own GPS in your checked luggage. The car rental agency will try to up-sell you on a GPS rental, but that’s money that you can save to spend elsewhere.
Eating out every meal is costly. In fact, it can eat up more than half of your vacation budget if you are not careful – even with dining discounts and certificates. If you have a small fridge within your accommodations, pick up a few easy-to-eat groceries like fruit, cereal, and sandwich ingredients. Eating before you head out for the day and packing snacks will keep the hunger pangs at bay and more money in your pocket.
Nothing should go through your door that does not serve a genuine purpose, so shot glasses, key chains, decorative spoons and T-shirts shouldn’t be something you waste your money on. You don’t need these things to remind you of the great time you had on vacation. Instead, take lots of photos. It is fun, cheap, and the fond memories will last a lot longer than any item you pick up at the airport.
When you go on vacation, you want to splurge and you deserve to splurge. It is a vacation after all, but by being smarter about how and where you spend your money, you’ll have more of it to spend on the things that matter, like extra activities or shopping opportunities you can’t get back home. Plus, forcing yourself to save on vacation will often get you out of the tourist traps and land you where the locals hang out. A good vacation doesn’t get much better than that. Trust these holiday saving tips this festive season.