9 Money Saving Tips for your next vacation
Vacation – that time away from the day-to-day work schedule and the craziness of family life at home. TV ads would have us dreaming of being pampered at an exotic resort, sipping fruity drinks on the beach or lounging on the deck of a luxury liner.
But the experience of getting away is truly whatever you make of it, and there are many ways to enjoy vacation while saving money – whatever your vacation or travel budget may be. It really is possible to save money and have even more fun. Let me show you how.
1) Book well in advance – The farther out you book your airfares, hotels and rental cars, the more you can usually save. Plan your vacations a year ahead when possible and set reminders for advance booking.
2) Stay away from tourist areas – You don’t have to stay right in the center of everything to have a great time. Be adventuresome! The hotels, shops and restaurants know the typical tourist mindset and capitalize on it. Often you’ll find that the quality of what you are purchasing is much lower than what you can find by going outside of tourist areas – this is a low-value play. So it pays to do your own research and/or contact a trusted travel consultant to help you know where to stay outside of tourist areas, making sure that where you are staying is both safe and economical.
3) Use a trusted and experienced travel agent – With the advent of the internet and the “do it yourself” mentality, many don’t realize that a good travel agent can make the difference between a good vacation and a great one. Although you may be able to find much of the same information as your travel agent, you are going to spend a lot of valuable time doing so. A knowledgeable travel agent can save you hours of painful research and comparison shopping. They have immediate access to the most up-to-date pricing, hotel information, and new activities. A travel agent’s prior knowledge and experience makes them the best resource for planning a trip.
4) Go where the locals are (Similar to #2) – Hanging out where the locals do will increase the quality of your vacation experience. You’ll get to indulge first-hand in the local food and culture. If traveling to a foreign country, learn a little of the language. Just trying to speak the native language shows the locals that you care enough to learn and will likely make you a few new friends who will teach where the local hot spots are.
5) Stay close to home – There are many countries that are cheap once you get there, it’s getting there that is so expensive. Remember, the farther you fly the more you are going to pay. If you live in the U.S., going to the Caribbean is going to be much cheaper than going to Croatia or India. The water is just as blue in St. Lucia as it is in Australia. This thought process doesn’t work if you are going for the cultural experience, but if you are looking for beautiful scenery, this will work great.
6) Don’t take the kids – You need a break, don’t you? Besides, your children would probably love a week-long slumber party at a friend’s house. Grandma and Grandpa might even be willing to look after them for a week. They would probably appreciate a break from you, as well, and appreciate you more when you are back (hopefully). Oh, and you can reconnect with your sweetheart, too!
7) When flying, take only carry-on luggage – With the airlines charging upwards of $35 or more per bag, per person, each way, it can add a big expense to your vacation. Plan to bring only what you really need. Remember, anything you may need can almost always be gotten at your destination.
8) Take a vacation close enough to drive – There are many beautiful places within a day’s drive of St George that are perfect for a long or short weekend. Southern California is only five hours away with beautiful beaches, great shopping, and theme parks that offer great deals. There is an abundance of natural beauty right here in Utah: Park City, Kanab, and Springdale/Zion, just to name a few. And let’s not forget about Vegas. Only an hour and a half away with some of the best shows outside of New York City. Mid-week in Vegas is the perfect time to find the best deals.
9) Go during the off-season – Peak seasons such as Spring Break, Christmas break and summer have the best weather and are the most convenient times for many to travel. The edge of these peak seasons when the weather is transitioning is the time to find the best deals on airfare, hotels, and especially cruises. If you are heading for the theme parks, the difference between peak season and off season is about 90 minutes in line for your favorite ride!