Although many people get vacation days at their jobs it doesn’t mean they really take a yearly vacation. Last fall I actually took a vacation with my family. But it was the first real vacation I’d had in several years.
When vacations are luxuries that don’t come often enough you want to savor them. At the same time, if you’re like me, you can’t afford to overspend on them either.
To help you make the most of your vacation without overpaying, check out these 7 tips.
1. Travel Light
Airlines often charge an additional fee for luggage that is extremely heavy. In fact, some may charge as much as $25.00 or more for each overweight bag.
To avoid these extra charges, pack a carry-on bag as an alternative. But if you can help it, try to avoid that altogether as well. After all, the more you pack, the more you have to lug around during your trip.
Try to travel light instead. Wear unsoiled items such as pants or tops more than once. Or, wash items in your sink and hang them dry. Using these ideas may save you money and let you vacation without overpaying.
2. Vacation with Others
If you want to take a vacation without overpaying, travel with other people. I did this when I vacationed last fall and found it cuts down on costs considerably.
You can split gas, rental car fees, parking fees, accommodations and more to make the trip more affordable. Splitting food may also be an option if you like the same things and get along well.
3. Consider Cheaper Accommodations
When planning your vacation consider what activities you’ll be doing while traveling. If you are like me, very little time is spent in your room. I’d rather go out to see the sites and make memories with my friends and family.
That being the case, there’s no reason to spend tons of money on five star hotel rooms. If you plan on staying several days that bill could be pretty steep.
To cut accommodation costs, try sharing your room with others in your party. Use coupon codes or book through a discount site to save more money. Or, get an even cheaper room through Airbnb.
Staying with someone you know at your destination is the cheapest route of all. I have done this many times and saved a bundle.
4. Fly for Less
There are plenty of different ways to take a vacation without over paying on airfare if you’re flying. For instance, you could sign up directly with your favorite airline, to find good deals. I chose this option and got a great deal on airfare through Southwest Airlines.
However, there are other ways to get plane tickets at good prices as well. You could comparison shop to get a better deal or book your flight early.
Another idea is to make your destination a surprise. Book plane tickets at the last minute if you feel daring and don’t mind last minute packing.
5. Save on Food
Food can be one of the pricier parts of taking a vacation. Nevertheless, eating while you travel doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With good planning you can practically guarantee money savings.
Rather than eating in expensive restaurants try lower cost alternatives. If you’ll be staying in a hotel see if they serve continental breakfast. Buy snacks at a nearby grocery store to get you through lunch. Search for options that are less expensive for evening meals too.
6. Mix Business and Pleasure
If you’re looking for more ideas to take a vacation without over paying try mixing business and pleasure. Several years ago, I traveled with my husband and two kids when he had business out of state.
Obviously we had to pay for our own expenses, such as food. Still, we were able to get the hotel room and his food without paying for them ourselves.
7. Plan Ahead for Extras
Sometimes the best way to travel is to book a vacation package. Many include food, spa treatments, and other fun extras.
Of course, no travel package is the same. Therefore, before signing any paperwork you should check the fine print.
Look at everything that is included and compare it to other options available. That way you get the best value for the money.
It’s true that not everyone can afford a yearly vacation. But there are ways to take a vacation without over paying. Use these ideas to save money and take vacations a little more often.
When was the last time you took a vacation?
Jeanne is a married mother of 2 children who works as a full-time freelancer and virtual assistant. She also helps out occasionally on the farm she and her husband own together. Her background is mostly finance and medical office management. She’s currently working to improve her financial well-being and hopes to help others improve theirs as well.