Saving money on vacation requires a little planning and some creative thinking. From saving on booking a flight to avoiding luxury restaurants, find out how to save on your next vacation.
If you want to spend less, have a relaxed trip and avoid returning even more stressed with how much you spent, follow our tips on how to save on your next trip.
1. Buy flights on cheaper days or hours
The price of flights varies considerably according to the month, day and even the time of the trip. Compare prices and opt for the cheapest.
Avoid travel on weekends as this often means pricier flights. Opt for mid-week flights which tend to be much cheaper. Explore sites such as Momondo and Kayak, to find out the prices charged by different airlines.
2. Travel in the low season
Why visit London in June when you can do it much more cheaply in March? If it is summer, avoid the weeks after school vacations start. Much of Europe still offers a pleasant climate in the middle of September, but as school vacations end, flights are cheaper and the chosen destination will be less crowded.
If you are not traveling with children, traveling when school is in session is an excellent opportunity to save money on your vacation.
3. Combine flights
Did you know that you can save money by purchasing tickets to different airports or with stopovers? If traveling directly to Turkey seems absurd, try to spend a night in Milan, Italy, and then head to Turkey.
An overnight stopover is a great opportunity to explore another destination while saving some money as well!
4. Pre-book airport parking
If you plan on leaving your car at the airport while you’re gone, reserve your spot early! A good way to save money on your vacation is to start by reserving your parking in advance.
5. Fly from an alternative airport
Your closest airport may not offer the cheapest or best routes for your destination. Check other airports in your area to see if they offer cheaper flights. The price difference for driving to an airport a little farther away may surprise you!
6. Taking food on board
If you can take food on a flight, why not? Not all airlines include a meal on board and you can save a few bucks by bringing your own food from home instead and avoiding expensive airport restaurants and poor quality airline food. Forget liquid foods, as they won’t make it past security, but opt for snacks, sandwiches or snacks and buy water at the airport.
7. Avoid baggage fees
If you are concerned about excess baggage fees, how about resorting to some good tricks like carrying a jacket in your hand with some belongings that don't fit in your suitcase? A backpack can help distribute the weight of hold luggage and will help you avoid paying overweight fees. Better yet, pack light and avoid checking in your luggage.
Pro tip: always review your airline's baggage policy to avoid any surprises at the airport.
8. Weigh luggage before leaving home
Avoid the hassle and embarrassment of having to unpack at the airport because your suitcase is over the limit. By weighing your bag before leaving home, you can avoid expensive baggage fees that will eat into your vacation budget. An inexpensive luggage scale can save you money and time at the airport.
9. Swapping houses
If you’re tired of expensive and soulless hotels, consider a house swapping service. By doing a house swap, two families can save money while visiting a new city and enjoy all the comforts of home. We recommend the following sites for exchanging accommodation:
10. Experimenting with an AirBnb instead of a hotel
Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in the number of sites that allow residents to rent their sofas, extra rooms or even entire apartments.
Sites such as AirBnB have transformed the accommodation options for travelers by offering rewarding and unique experiences that are often less expensive than hotel stays.
There are prices for all budgets and you will usually find houses close to attractions, so you can feel like you are living like a real local.
11. Eating like a local
Eating out at restaurants can make a big dent in your vacation budget. Consider shopping at supermarkets instead for ready meals and snacks to save some money.
If you are staying in an AirBnb with a kitchen included plan to buy groceries and prep snacks and meals you can take on the go. Some supermarkets also offer easy online ordering and delivery straight to your door. Your host can also recommend local eateries with local prices for when you feel like eating out.
12. Saving on currency exchange
Withdrawals abroad can be expensive, as most banks charge commission and foreign transaction fees for each withdrawal and purchase. To save on these fees, visit a currency exchange store in your home country and do the exchange on the spot or, if you prefer, change the currency on arrival at the airport, where they guarantee better rates and more savings on conversion.