With the Covid-19 vaccine being widely administered, many people are leaving the safety of their homes to finally see the open skies again by taking a well-deserved vacation. But, unfortunately, many people’s finances were negatively impacted by the entire Covid-19 situation. Whether it was the loss of work or reduced pay, everyone was impacted. So, for those who desperately need to get out and relax, here are ways to save on summer vacation.
- Travel by car. The average cost of a domestic round-trip flight is about $377. Which, for a family of four is roughly $1600. Additional fees include baggage fees, airport food, and taxis/rides. The cost to travel by plane can be costly in exchange for faster travel times. However, gas prices have been relatively low. By driving to your destination, you also cut out needing to rent a car or call a ride. Therefore, renting a car is sometimes a cheaper option than flying.
- Share/split expenses. You can cut costs by sharing rental cars, rooms, condos, and meals. This will help reduce travel and lodging costs, allowing you to get more bang for your buck!
- Stay with family and friends. Often, visiting loved ones is a great and inexpensive way to take a trip. You can stay with your family and friends and check out the local color. Plus, it is a way to stay connected with family.
- Use airline miles or hotel points. There are credit cards that offer travel points. These points can be used to earn airfare, hotel stays, train tickets, and other things. Consider the type of points you would like to accrue and investigate those credit card options.
- Explore Groupon Deal. Sites including Groupon offer travel deals. Some of these deals include airfare and lodging. Just keep an eye on sites like Groupon to see if something in your price range comes up.
- Plan around your pocket. Consider what your budget is, then look for destinations and deals. Finding a good deal may influence where you decide to go. Check out sites like Expedia, Travelocity, or TravelZoo. Be flexible with your destination option.
- Search for all-inclusive resorts. The more that is included in a vacation deal, the better. All-inclusive typically includes hotel stay, food and drinks, and entertainment and activities. In addition, all-inclusive resorts make trips easier to budget for.
- Take a cruise. Cruises can often be all-inclusive. Most expenses can be included in a cruise cost including food beverages, entertainment, and lodging. Driving to the cruise port can save money as well. Instead of staying in one place, you can sail the high seas.
- Search for a vacation bundle. Expedia and Travelocity offer discounts when you bundle/group parts of your trip in a deal. For example, you could bundle things like airfare, hotel stay, rental cars, and more in one package. Expedia reports that travelers save around $570 when they book their hotel and flight simultaneously.
- Go Camping. If you are strapped for cash, consider going camping. Search out state and national parks that allow camping. Pop up a tent or stay in a camper. There are lots of things to do in nature including fishing, hiking, and feeling the natural vibe. If you need a few more amenities, you may find a cabin to bunk in.
- Fly on Tuesdays. According to multiple sources, Tuesday is the cheapest day to fly. Avoid weekend flights, if possible.
- Avoid credit card foreign transaction fees. Avoiding these overseas costs can save you 1-3% on your foreign transactions.
- Search for child-friendly locations. There are places where children can stay and eat free or receive special discounts or gifts.
- Flash sales. Sometimes places are trying to fill up seats or rooms, and special deals are available last minute. If you have an open weekend you need to fill, maybe you can spot one.
- Cooking is cheaper. Look for rental locations with a kitchen. Sure, you will want to check out some local spots, but eating out every single meal can become quite pricey. By having a kitchen, you can supplement eating out expenses with “home” cooked meals.
- Shorten your vacation time. If you cannot afford to leave for an extended period, take a mini-vacation. Maybe take a day trip to the beach. Or visit family in the next state over. Every trip does not have to be extensive or cost an arm and a leg.
- Look for free venues. Places with free venues have inherent values. For example, national parks and beaches are excellent locations that are often free to visit. Places like New York or New Orleans may have musicians and entertainers performing along the streets.
- Check out the visitor center. Visitor centers often have brochures that describe the local area and offer deals. In addition, you can find coupons and discounts on local attractions.
- Weigh the costs and benefits. You want to make the most of your trip. Sometimes sacrificing 5-star amenities for 3- or 4-star amenities can completely shift a vacation budget from over the top to manageable. Whatever way you find that can save you some coin, consider that option.
The past year has been a rough one: a global pandemic, a quarantine, and financial woes. Everyone deserves an opportunity to decompress. You do not have to spend an arm and a leg to take a vacation. Using these tips will help you plan, prepare, and save on your next vacation. Enjoy!