Reader Question: Vacations have gotten so expensive. Do you have any simple money savings tips how to save money on vacation?
Absolutely! I understand how expensive a vacation can be. At the same time, vacations are meant to be fun and an escape from our normal routine. With that in mind, I’ve included simple money saving tips below that can help you save a significant amount of money without sacrificing family fun!
- Save on Food
Food can be one of your biggest expenses but it doesn’t have to be. A few weeks before your trip begin to seek out sales on items you know your family will use on your trip. This includes snacks for the road! For example, things like bottled water, soda, sandwich meat, and fruit only cost a few dollars but can add up quickly. Consider grabbing your favorite breakfast foods like cereal or oatmeal, you’ll be shocked at how much you save, just by eating in one meal per day.
Eating out is part of the vacation experience for most. Scour the local newspaper for money saving discounts, coupons, and early bird pricing once you get to your destination. If you’ve got young children many restaurants offer free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entree on certain nights. You can even search by zip code at outtoeatwithkids.com.
Don’t forget your Smartphone! Search for nearby restaurants and entertainment in your price range via Yelp, Urbanspoon, or search for coupons on the new Valpak App.
- Take Advantage of Daily Deal and Discount Travel Sites
When making your travel arrangements use discount travel sites such as Travelocity and Expedia to find the best deals on hotels, rental cars and flights. The more you bundle the more you save. Make sure to visit ebates.com first to earn a percentage back on your purchase price.
Daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social offer money saving vacation packages as well as discounts on restaurants, local attractions, and spa services. Once you know where you are going on vacation it’s a great idea to start monitoring deals in that city. Even better, sign up for email alerts for the city you are traveling to.
- Save on Gas and Repairs
Visit your mechanic and get your car serviced before setting off on your road trip. Have the shop change your oil as well as check your fluids, belts, battery, and tires to ensure you’re getting off to the best possible start. Car repairs are costly, and even more so when they involve an out of town auto shop.
Use GasBuddy.com to find the cheapest gas in the area you are visiting; even saving a couple of pennies per gallon adds up!
Vacations are something we all look forward to; time to be away with family, and time to spend focusing on things that bring us joy. Saving money doesn’t have to mean skimping. In fact, with a little preparation you’ll be able to do more while paying less, all the while creating memories for years to come.