8 Smart Ways to Save Money on Vacation

By Chika


Last Updated: December 13, 2021



You have grinded for so long and saved up money. Finally, you get to take the vacation you deserve. Even though you would feel the need to indulge and give yourself a treat, there are smarter ways for you to unwind during vacation without putting all the chips on the table. Of course, you don't want to come back broke after your vacation only to start the hustle all over again. 

As such, it only makes sense to find out ways to cut costs in your vacation budget if you do not want to burn a hole in your pocket. Here are some tips that can help you have a memorable vacation without breaking the bank. 


8 Simple Ways to Save Money on Vacation

1. Find the best deals

The most obvious way to cut costs is by finding the best deals. However, this takes planning and patience because you have to be ready to pounce when the opportunity presents itself. Businesses in the travel and leisure industry normally give promos or discounts to tourists as an incentive for their patronage.

 It is not uncommon to find airlines giving discounts to certain destinations, or hotels offering discounts to visitors. But the trick is these opportunities are not always publicized. You have to be checking on their sites constantly. This can be draining and energy-sapping for something that is supposed to give you relief from the stress of work and everyday living. 

A very good alternative is browsing travel blogs for any information. While some blogs do not hoard information and bare it all bare for readers, others only send alerts to subscribers through newsletters. Information could include low-cost airlines, promos and discounts, the best way to get guides, book a taxi at your destination, and the affordable spots to stay in your preferred vacation spot. 

#2. Budget before booking.

Set a budget for your vacation before booking your trip. It is advisable to have a fixed amount you want to spend, but when planning, try to fix your budget around a lower figure. For example, if you have saved up $5000 for your vacation, when planning, set your budget around $4000 or $3500. 

The extra cash allows you to take care of any emergency or unbudgeted expenses that may crop up during your vacation. If you don't get to spend the cash, you can invest it, plus having a lower amount to work with means you would be more cautious with your spending. 

Flights and accommodations will probably be the biggest expenses you would incur during your vacation so pay attention to them and find how you can cut costs in those areas. Find as much as possible about your vacation spot and juggle between alternatives before making a final choice.

#3. Got to where your local currency is stronger

The best way to get value for your money is by traveling to destinations where the dollar is stronger than the local currency. Luckily, there are many places where your money is worth a fortune rather than a pittance. Countries in Eastern Europe or the Balkans are good vacation spots. Instead of going to Japan, you can go to other south-east Asian countries such as Malaysia or Vietnam. Economies where the dollar (or your local currency) is stronger give you an extra treat for your spending. You afford luxuries that may cost a fortune in other countries. Plus you feel more relaxed and can be more carefree with your spending. 

#4. Carry a debit card

Carrying a credit card comes with the danger of overspending. To curtail this, it is best you travel with a debit or prepaid card. A debit card puts a cap on your spending. You know that once the funds on the card are exhausted, you are out of cash and cant borrow. This way, you'll be much more conscious of how you spend money. Depending on the country or location, you may get some discounts paying in cash instead of paying with a credit card

#5. Set a daily limit for spending.

This is your overall budget broken down to daily spending limits. This is an effective way of keeping your spending in check during a vacation. This can be done by simply dividing your total amount (minus traveling and accommodation costs) by the number of vacation days. If you prefer holding cash, get an envelope for each day of the vacation. Use just the cash or gift cards in the envelope for that day, and if there is any leftover, put it in the envelope for the next day. 

#6. Travel mid-week

Rather than traveling during the weekend when traffic is heavier for travelers, why not travel mid-week? Apart from fewer commuters to deal with, you could also save some money on travel costs. Booking travel mid-week can yield savings of over 35% on airfare and hotels. Hotels tend to have lower rates on weekdays than on weekends. Traveling mid-week also means that you have more days to spend on your vacation. 

#7. Cook some of your meals.

Of course, you want to enjoy the local food when you're on vacation, but eating out a lot can add up quickly and take away from other experiences during your trip. Rent accommodations that have a kitchenette if you plan to stay beyond a week so that you can cook some quick meals in your room. Check to see whether the hotel you're staying at has free breakfast, or carry leftovers from a restaurant back to your room to eat the next day.

#8. Live like a local

One of the best ways to save money on a vacation is to live like a local. Let's face it, tourism is big business. Behind the smiling and welcoming faces are business people who want to make money by providing services to tourists. This is why tourists pay more for items than locals. 

As such, to save money you have to live like an indigene. Rather than eating out at the fancy hotel restaurants, what don't you inquire about local eateries, restaurants, or bukas? Instead of staying in a hotel, you can rent a house and live within the local community.  


Instead of visiting the top designer brands, you can shop at the local grocery stores and supermarkets. This would enable you to get a feel of what the country is truly like, plus you get to save costs because you would be buying things like a local rather than a tourist.

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash


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