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10 Ways to Save on Your Next Vacation

Vacation planning is hard work, yo. There’s choosing a location, creating a vacation budget, and packing. Oh, the packing!

Then, you’ve got airline security or a road trip. Even the vacation can be exhausting.

That’s why I’m all for a relaxing beach vacation. There’s just nothing quite like lounging around on the beach. A cocktail in one hand, an open book in the other, and the sheer joy of knowing you have zero responsibilities.

Because you already did the hard part.

You’ve planned, booked, and — most importantly — kept your vacation under budget. No?

That’s all right. It’s what I’m here for. Here are 10 ways to make your next vacation more affordable:


  • Be Flexible 1 of 10
    Be Flexible
    Going into vacation planning with an open mind can significantly lower your budget. You may find a less expensive destination nearby, snag a deal on a beach house over a hotel or switch dates based on bargains on airfare. If you're on the road, pick up one of those pamphlets with hotel deals at a rest stop — you could find a good deal for the trip you're on, or one you plan to take!
    Photo Credit: Flickr user susivinh
  • Travel on Tuesday 2 of 10
    Travel on Tuesday
    Weekday arrivals are a better deal than weekend travel, when everyone else is trying to squeeze in a vacation. Traveling on a Tuesday could save you $100 in airfare or a hotel stay. Come home Saturday to avoid a 2nd weeknight stay.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user
  • Comparison Shop 3 of 10
    Comparison Shop
    Utilize travel sites, like Expedia and Priceline, to compare prices between airlines and hotels. You should also compare weekly rates with nightly rates. We once rented a beach condo for a full week at $100 less than a hotel stay.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user jefaspics
  • Book Early 4 of 10
    Book Early
    Airfare goes up as your dates get closer. Book flights about 6 weeks in advance to get the best price on airfare. Source: NYTimes
    Photo Credit: Flickr user Justin Pickard
  • Or Score a Last-minute Deal 5 of 10
    Or Score a Last-minute Deal
    Sometimes you can find fabulous last-minute deals as hotels and airlines work to fill vacancies. If you're planning a spur-of-the-moment getaway, check out your favorite travel site for more than half off regular fees. We have successfully bid on hotels for the very next weekend at more than 60% off!
    Photo Credit: Flickr user
  • Road Trip 6 of 10
    Road Trip
    With a family our size, it saves so much money when we road trip. The cost of gas and food is far lower than the price of 5 plane tickets. Plus, the hubby and I really don't mind the drive. It helps that our girls are pretty good travelers, but an overnight road trip while they're sound asleep can help with kids who aren't.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user
  • Save on Dining 7 of 10
    Save on Dining
    We usually try to book a hotel with a small kitchen to eat in most meals. When we dine out, I check Restaurant.com, city tourism websites, and other resources for locals to find deals on dining.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user SFO CP
  • Avoid Tourist Traps 8 of 10
    Avoid Tourist Traps
    The vacation destination you've heard about from a dozen people? Yeah, everybody goes there. And, everybody spends a fortune. Stay off the beaten path, skip the spots designed to get you spending money, and enjoy a low-key getaway for less. Look for smaller beaches (sans boardwalk) or family-friendly cities with free attractions (like Washington, DC).
    Photo Credit: Flickr user oiyou
  • Scout Daily Deals 9 of 10
    Scout Daily Deals
    I know, I know. I mention daily deal sites all the time, but that's because they really do save a bundle! Watch the deals for your upcoming destination to find local favorites, dining deals, and hidden gems at deep discounts.
  • Skip Souvenirs — Some of Them 10 of 10
    Skip Souvenirs — Some of Them
    Just say no to the cheesy t-shirts, overpriced beach towels, and other junky souvenirs. If you really want a memento, go for kitschier, inexpensive items that will make you laugh later. Our favorites are magnets for the fridge and Christmas ornaments. I love to see reminders of our favorite trips on the tree every year.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Justin Pickard

Follow Heather on Twitter, Pinterest, and her blogs.

 

 

More money saving ideas from Heather on Inexpensively.com:
Discount Theme Park Tickets
Dining on Vacation

More on Babble.com:
9 Inexpensive Ways to Vacation at Home
Money-saving Books for Your Summer Reading List
How to Cut Your Vacation Budget in Half

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