Let’s talk about how you can save money on vacations from here on out. I realize that taking a vacation can seem like such a double edged sword. On one hand, you’re dying to take a break from the “day to day” and desperately need one of those fruity drinks in your hand. On the other hand, spending your hard earned money on a day at the beach can sometimes leave you questioning if it was even worth it. Whenever we travel, I have a few tricks that always save me money, allowing me to enjoy the fruity drinks without buyer’s remorse.
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How To Save Money on Vacations
How To Save Money On Vacations
- Airfare watchdog – I travel to Chicago often to see family, and typically have flexible travel dates. I use Airfare Watchdog to alert me anytime tickets to Chicago are extremely cheap. Depending on what you enter for your destination and threshold spending, you can receive alerts on when to book your trip! If your dates are flexible, I hightly recommend signing up for free at Airfare Watchdog.
- TripAdvisor – I love TripAdvisor for the easy flight comparison. But, you’ll also get tons of reviews, which are an absolute must for me when going somewhere new. It has way more than flight booking too: Restaurants, things to do, hotels, etc. can all be found on TripAdvisor.
- Priceline – I love the Priceline Negotator tool! Sometimes I’ll test it out and just try prices that I think are way too low to be accepted. It really can’t hurt!
- Mileage rewards – I have mileage rewards points through many airlines. I am not loyal to particular airlines (since I usually go for best time/cheapest rate), but whichever airline I fly, I have rewards that build up. Sometimes these go unused with certain airlines, but sometimes I’ll end up flying the same airline and realize I got a free flight!
- Lap Child – If you’re traveling with a child under the age of 2, you have the option to forgo purchasing a seat for them on your flight. This isn’t the most luxurious way to travel, but it can save you a few hundred dollars. If you’re thinking of going this route, I recommend checking out this awesome post on how to get through a flight with a toddler!
- VRBO/Homeaway – Love these sites! There’s so many times that I’ve found staying in a furnished home ends up being cheaper than a small hotel. It can depend on area and size of your group, but I always check out VRBO and Homeaway before booking a hotel. When we go to Hawaii, we have a large group, and booked an AMAZING house on the ocean for much cheaper than we would have found at any nearby hotels. My only advice is to always check the reviews first (I refuse to stay anywhere with no reviews or bad reviews).
- Hotels.com – If I do end up staying at a hotel, I always book through Hotels.com. That’s not an overstatement, I don’t even know the last time I stayed at a hotel without using Hotels.com. It’s free to join, you often find rooms for less money, and after you have 10 stays, you get 1 night free! I currently have 1 free night and am 4 nights away from another one! This is truly one of my favorite sites to use because there’s no downside.
- Rewards Credit Cards – If you’re not making all of your purchases with a rewards credit card, you’re missing out on a lot of free money! I say all the time how this is an amazing way to save money everyday (not just on travel). I mean it, check out some credit cards and sign up for one with rewards. I’ll wait…
- Ebates – It’s an understatement to say I am obsessed with Ebates. Check out this entire review I wrote on how awesome Ebates is! It’s so simple, free, and saves you money on so many websites! Before you buy anything, Ebates should be your first step. You could get cash back on your flight, hotel, and anything else you book for your vacation!
Read here for my: Complete Ebates Product Review (spoiler alert, I love it!)
- Timeshare Presentation – I know, these are awful. But, if you’re really strapped for spending money and want to enjoy your vacation time, sometimes they can be a necessary evil. My husband and I went to Cabo for our honeymoon and wanted to do every activity imaginable. The problem was, Cabo is expensive! We agreed to a timeshare presentation, and negotiated for a while. We not only got free breakfast, but we were able to get tickets for almost everything we wanted to do in return. It was boring and took up about 3 hours of our time (including breakfast), but honestly, it was worth it for that time in our life. Now? I’d probably just pay the extra money to avoid sitting through another presentation 🙂
- Dining In – Ok, I’m guilty of loving to eat at restaurants on vacation. But, we try to limit this to dinners to save money. During the day, we’ll keep food in our hotel room or house that is easy to make and bring with us. PB&J is a big hit, fruit, bagels, anything that doesn’t need to be cooked. It ends up saving us a lot of money on food, and we don’t feel guilty going out to eat each night!
- Groupon – Check out local activities or restaurants on Groupon before you go anywhere. You could end up cutting your restaurant and activities bill in half (and it’s a great way to discover local activities you may not have known about). ** Sidenote: I just checked Groupon for our Hawaii trip, I purchased Luau tickets and a couple’s massage each for 50% off – these were things we planned on doing anyway!
- Carseat Cover – If you plan to bring a little one with you, you’ll most likely need a car seat. This can be really expensive if you rent through a rental car company. I purchased this cover for $20 and bring my own carseat when we travel anywhere (it’s free to check!).
Next Steps: Ebates should really be your first stop from here. That way you can earn cash back on all of your other purchases!
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