School’s out for the summer. The weather is heating up and many families are taking summer vacations. But don’t let your getaway drain your bank account. Below are helpful tips from Financial Plans & Strategies to help you save money on summer vacations.
- Save on lodging by staying at an Airbnb or VBRO.
An Airbnb can be a great way to save money on your summer vacation. Airbnb and VBRO are popular websites where home, condo, or apartment owners rent out their places to visitors. Dwellings (and renters) are verified through the website and accommodations are often cheaper than area hotels. Plus, these properties come with the amenities of a home, allowing travelers the ability to cook meals. Make sure to review your options carefully before booking because these websites offer both rooms and entire houses or apartments to rent.
- Keep the costs of meals low by having a plan.
Part of the fun of a summer vacation can be trying new restaurants. However, eating out for your entire trip may get expensive quickly. Try to cut down on costs by preparing your own food. This doesn’t mean you have to eat at your Airbnb or hotel. Make mess-free meals and snacks that you can take with you on your adventure. Be sure to book a room with a fridge, microwave, and meal prep area. Save on water by bringing your reusable water bottle that you can fill up at drinking fountains.
A large part of preparing for a vacation is planning. You have your accommodations booked and your activities planned but have you thought of ways to save for trip expenses? One of the easiest ways to save for a vacation is to cook at home instead of eating out in the months leading up to the trip. Pack a lunch for the office and try preparing the week’s meals in advance if mornings are rushed. You can also take advantage of any free lunch or company snacks.
While you are on vacation, consider shopping at farmer’s markets and ethnic grocery stores. Produce is often cheaper than at big chain grocery stores. It can also be a fun way to try new food and break out of your comfort zone.
- Use Points Wisely.
Book your flight with points from your credit card. If you sign up for an airline credit card, you can set it up to pay all of your recurring bills. Just make sure to pay it off each month! This can be a fast way to accrue points for flight use.
Many airlines also allow you to use your points towards rental cars and hotels. Often airlines have reciprocal agreements with these companies, so you can earn double points when you book using your airline frequent flier account.
- Make it a package deal!
Vacation packages are a great way to save money. Consumers can bundle cars, hotels, and flights for a steep discount. Companies such as Costco and Kayak.com offer all-inclusive vacation packages to a multitude of destinations. Tapping into your AAA or AARP
- How about a road trip?
Check out car rentals instead of paying top dollar for flights for the entire family. Again, Kayak.com is a great place to look for car rentals and compares prices across popular sites such as Hotwire or Expedia.
- Open a dedicated vacation investment account.
Set up for auto withdrawals so you will be prepared for next summer’s trip! Our office can help you set this up. However, ensure that the money you are saving for vacation is not taking away from your other financial goals, such as retirement or education funding.
- View the sites like a local!
Uber expenses and taxis can really add up! If you aren’t crunched for time, try walking, biking, or taking public transportation to your destinations. As well as keeping your costs low, this can give you a different perspective on your new surroundings.
- Take advantage of free Wi-Fi.
This is especially important if you are traveling abroad as roaming charges from your cell phone provider can be shocking! Be sure to turn off your data or ask your carrier how you can avoid roaming fees. They likely have a short-term international plan you can use. If you have a long, international vacation you might consider purchasing a top-up SIM card with data included.
By implementing the above tips, you’re sure to save on your upcoming summer travels. To learn more about saving strategies for short- or long-term goals, contact the Financial Plans & Strategies team at 317-882-7675 or [email protected]