Your goal of paying off your debt doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a vacation! These travel tips include the best ways to save money on summer holidays, whether you’re going to Disneyland, Europe, or the closest lake.
Before the tips, a quip:
“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” ~ Clifton Fadiman.
Whether you go to a land far away or the lake in the next county, remember to enjoy without judging. Seeing and accepting the world as it is helps you enjoy your trip far more than if you compare people and customs to your world back home! If you’re dealing with financial stress, read The Encyclopedia of Cheap Travel (Updated Annually). And, here are several travel tips for money and summer holidays…
Best Ways to Save Money on Summer Holidays – 7 Travel Tips
1. Start your travel plan research early. Use discount travel sites such as Orbitz.com and Kayak.com to find cheap hotels, flights, car rentals, and travel packages. Priceline.com allows you to bid on your hotel room rates — but you have to be willing to pay for a hotel before you know where you’re staying. Other discount travel sites are Hotwire.com, Travelocity.com, Sidestep.com, or Microsoft’s Bing Travel.
2. Consider a home swap. You’re not the only one who wants to save money on summer holidays! Try a formal home exchange through HomeExchange.com or HomeForSwap.com — but remember that many home exchange sites charged a membership fee to be involved. But, this gives you full access to all the listings and allows you to post your home. Or, do an informal home exchange by reaching out to friends, friends of friends, and family members to see if they’re interested in saving money while traveling.
3. Look into a hostel for budget accommodation. Many hostels are family friendly, and it’s a great way to meet people from all over the world! I stayed at a hostel last month — the Jericho Beach Hostel in Vancouver — and loved the adventurous, friendly atmosphere. My husband and I stayed at a hostel in Salzburg, Austria last year; read Tips for Couples Staying at Youth Hostels to learn what I learned.
4. Combine business trips with vacations. This is my favorite way to travel! My husband often has business trips in different cities, and I almost always pack up and tag along. Of course, it’s easy for me because I’m a full-time writer and blogger — I can work from anywhere in the world! But, if you plan ahead, a business trip can become a wonderful opportunity to save money on summer holidays. You’ll only pay for one less airfare, and you’ll save money on hotel accommodations.
5. Eat dinner early. “Most restaurants and bars have happy hour specials between 5 and 7 pm on weekdays, with drinks at half price and a range of menu items for $10 or less,” write the money gurus in The Smart Cookies’ Guide to Couples and Money. “Why not [go] for a half-price drink and split some items off the bar menu? While you’ll need to get your drinks and food orders in before 7, you can take your time finishing them.”
6. Eat meals in — and have picnics. This is one of my best ways to save money on travel — I love hotel rooms with kitchenettes! If you’re staying in a hotel that doesn’t offer a kitchen, ask for a room with a microwave and refrigerator. Bring simple non-breakable dishes and make your own breakfast (such as cereal or yogurt), dinner (salad or frozen meals) or snacks. Make sandwiches in the morning, and take them when you’re exploring the city. You’ll save lots of money if you eat out once a day in a restaurant — and you’ll spend more time out enjoying the sights instead of sitting in restaurants.
7. Strategize your souvenir shopping. Instead of buying souvenirs at a tourist gift shop, visit a large discount retailer. In many areas, these stores have a good selection of T-shirts, mugs, magnets and postcards at much lower prices. Or purchase something you will enjoy later, like local foods, craft supplies or a needed household item (such as new kitchen towels, a vase or a basket) that will remind you of your trip.
If you have any thoughts the best ways to save money on summer holidays — and achieve your financial goals – please share below!
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.