10 Things to do BEFORE Your Summer Vacation to Save Money
Summer vacation is awesome and we look forward to it, but it can certainly be expensive. Every year, people overspend and then swear they will do better the next time around. Some actually follow through but the majority of people just repeat the cycle each vacation. The key to fixing it is to change your behaviors before you go out on vacation. Doing it once you are there is going to be tough.
Here are ten things you can do before you leave that will save you money in the long run on summer vacation:
Book Your Lodging Well In Advance
Your lodging can be a huge source of savings if you put in the work ahead of time. First of all, booking in advance can often net you some savings. Second of all, you will have the security of knowing you are set and not going to be hit with a last minute hotel at elevated prices. Book your lodging as far in advance as possible.
Seek Out Coupons For Area Attractions
With the power of the Internet you can truly find some great deals. Pick up your keyboard and start looking into the various things to do in the area you will be visiting. Many times you can buy advance tickets to things like shows, theme parks and the like at severe discounts. Pick up the phone and call around to find the best bargains.
Make a List of Free Things To Do Where You Are Going
Parks, museums and historic sites are often completely free when you visit vacation spots. As you research, take note of all the free things you can do in the area. This can help to fill up your days when you get there instead of randomly shopping and spending cash you may not have.
Plan Out Your Meals in Advance (Dine In As Much As Possible)
Eating out will cost you a fortune on vacation but you can do some things to minimize the damage. For example, you can plan ahead to eat in. Make out a meal plan to use on vacation and then a shopping list. This can save you a good deal of money in the long run. If you do eat out, do so based around a plan and you will limit your spending.
Buy Everything Possible At Home
When it comes to shopping, there are some things you simply don’t want to buy on vacation. For example, a decent pair of sunglasses at the beach will cost you a paycheck or two. Pack your essentials at home and try not to spend on vacation for things you can get cheaper at home. Think this over ahead of time for maximum savings.
Investigate Various Travel Options To See What is Cheapest
Travel options can be a huge source of savings. Sit down in advance and find out what it would cost to fly, go by train, go by bus, rent a car or drive your own. Look at all the various expenses and the pros and cons of each. Go with the one that makes the most sense and saves the most money.
Be Flexible With Location and Time of Year
Location and time of year will determine many things financially. The off season is sometimes as much as 75 percent off. If you are willing to vacation at odd times and in new and different places, savings are aplenty. Sit down and virtually travel to a few spots to see what you think. You can go anywhere online these days.
Create an Itinerary
Release your inner nerd and plan out your vacation to come. The more organized you are before you go, the better you will stay on top of your spending. Plan things out and you will be able to fit everything in and do it cheaper along the way.
Pack Lightly Where Possible
Packing important items is big, but staying light is also vital. This is why you want to think about packing and what you are bringing long before packing day arrives. If you give it a bit of thought, you will downsize and bring along only what you need. This is a very efficient way to travel.
Begin a Secret Savings
Secret saving for vacation is a ton of fun. This is where you sacrifice something you usually give yourself for a set period leading up to your vacation dates. A good example of this might be a mother that skips her Starbucks each morning for several months. Over that time she saves the $4.00 or so she usually spends 5 days per week over the course of three months. Because of this, she sticks back the money and raises nearly $300 bucks that her family never knew about. Now the extra cash can treat everyone to something special without eating into the family budget for vacation!
Overall the point of vacations is to have fun and enjoy time with those you love! By saving and planning ahead of time you can reduce what you spend while still enjoying your vacation to it’s fullest!