Plumeria in Hawaii – Photo Credit
So, the day has come at last! You have saved here and there and now it is vacation time! Now how to not go over budget while on vacation? Yes, I did say budget. Everyone needs a little holiday budget. For this, you will need to plan ahead.
1. First look for a hotel or apartment with a kitchen area so that you can prepare some meals yourself, this will help save on restaurant bills. Alternate days when you do things that cost money with days you do things that are free. Visit museums and parks on the days they are free.
2. Bring bottles for water from home so that you are not tempted to buy drinks while out on your visits. (This saves on dentist bills as well.) Also take a bit of fruit with you on your outing so that you are not tempted to buy more expensive (and less healthy) snacks.
3. Keep track of your expenses in a little book. When you are aware of what you are spending, you are less apt to go over budget. Also, you can reward yourself by saving a little each day and splurging the last day. Hold off larger purchases for this day.
4. Eating lunch out rather than dinner can save you money as lunches are frequently better deals and prices often go up for dinners, especially in big cities.
5. When we were traveling in England, we ate breakfast out. If you eat an English breakfast, you won’t need to eat lunch and we ate sandwiches that we bought at the grocery store and fruit for dinner in our B&B.
6. Stay away from tourists traps and try to do things the natives do. These usually will be rather inexpensive. Again when we were in the UK we took our sons bowling. These kinds of outings are fun and inexpensive.
6. Buy gas in the city, and if possible from a self-service or grocery store chain and not on the highway as the prices are not the same.
7. Try to pack things you know you will need and bring them from home as opposed to buying them on vacation. These include: soap, shampoo, hats, sunglasses, aspirin, pens, paper, playing cards, etc.
8. Whatever else makes it fun…"Hey kids, think we can save enough to do this the last day?" As long as you make it into a game, kids will play along.
9. Buy an Entertainment Book before you travel to the city your are visiting. These books have coupons on popular restaurants, attractions and hotels.
10. Try to on off-peak days like the middle of the week if possible. You will usually find better deals on hotels, airfare and rental cars on these days. Also if possible try to plan out your vacations during off-peak seasons.
Article written by Mr. Cheap Stuff contributor.