Vacations are wonderful way to spend time with your family, or to have a break from your everyday life and the rigors that come along with it. However, vacations can also be costly, and add stress to your life because of the expense. The following are some tips for how to cut your vacation costs down:
1. Rent a condo. A hotel room is great, but can be costly. If you are traveling with three or four people, instead of hotel rooms, rent a condo. Not only is the per night cost less, but the accommodations are usually better, and will help you save money in other areas as well. For example, a condo has a kitchen which means you can eat in. This can help you save hundreds of dollars, especially if you are traveling with your family.
2. Use resort amenities. Many people over spend on activities while on vacation and neglect to take advantage of some of the amenities that they already have access to at no additional cost. For example, if you are staying at a place with a great pool and spa, then why not take one day to swim there and enjoy them? If you do this instead of spending a day at a theme park or tourist attraction, you can save a few hundred dollars for a family of four. So, find out what is happening at your resort, and find activities that are free or low cost that are readily available to you, then take advantage of them.
3. Take the little things with you. When you are on vacation, if someone gets a headache, and you have to buy a bottle of pills from the hotel gift shop, you are probably going to pay a 400% mark-up. What about things like sunscreen? Most of these are items you already have at home, and do not need whole new bottles of. So, plan ahead. You know your family, and you can anticipate your potential needs. So, if you burn easily, take a bottle of aloe vera. If you know your kids will want to watch movies in the evenings, grab a few from home so you don’t have to rent them or buy them while out. Take the little things with you and save big.
4. Eat cheaper. Food can be a huge expense while on vacation. Cut your costs by staying somewhere with a free breakfast, or a kitchen in the room. You can also save by packing things like water bottles and sodas for your days at theme parks, etc. so you do not have to pay the highly inflated prices. In addition, take advantage of “kids eat free” offers, or any coupons and discounts you can find. Usually the hotel lobby will have some food discounts and coupons available for guests, just ask for them.
5. Have a pre-set spending limit for kids. Kids often want souvenirs, snacks, etc. Help yourself not go broke by giving them a budget, and letting them determine how to spend it. Just remember, when it is gone, it is gone.