There are those times that will inevitably pop up where you just want to get away from it all and enjoy a nice, relaxing vacation far away from where you’re at currently. That’s easier said than done, though. Assuming that you can get that time away from work (or other obligations you may have), there’s that little caveat of having to pay for your vacation.
Studies have shown that the average cost for a vacation is north of $1,500 for just one week. That’s just for one person, too, so if you’re bringing friends or family with you, be prepared to pay a lot more. So how do we avoid overpaying on a vacation while still getting everything that we want out of the trip? Here are a few rules that you should follow.
1. Know Your Airline
Perhaps the biggest expense that you’ll be paying for on vacation is the air travel. Many people will jump on the cheapest face value flight, but always look at the fine print. Airlines like Spirit or Allegiant may have cheaper ticket prices, but you can get nickeled and dimed very quickly compared to airlines such as Delta or Southwest that won’t be charging you extra for your carry-on. Also, check where your flight is headed to, as larger airports are typically much cheaper.
2. Grocery Stores Are King
Naturally, you’re going to want to sample the finest local cuisine no matter where you’re traveling. That doesn’t mean that you have to eat every meal at a restaurant, though. If you’re staying for an extended period of time, make sure to stock your hotel room with cheaper local groceries so that you can get by on breakfast and perhaps lunch. You don’t have to go to the dollar store, but it will save you quite a bit of money.
3. Enjoy the Sights
They say the best things in life are free, and when it comes to visuals, that’s certainly true. If you find yourself vacationing to a scenic spot, you won’t have to pay hand over fist to get a once in a lifetime experience. It doesn’t cost you to look at some of the world’s most majestic mountains, oceans or rivers, but can cost you a pretty penny to see a band or a museum. Natural beauty is the cheapest beauty.
4. Cash Out Early
The easiest way to pay for anything is with a card these days. This is especially true as companies like MasterCard or Visa are accepted just about anywhere, but international fees can pile up quickly (as well as pesky ATM fees). To save yourself some money, try to get cash out from your home country and have it converted upon arrival at your vacation destination.
5. Skip the Souvenirs
We all want to remember our vacation, and one way of doing that is souvenirs. However, these tend to be extremely overpriced and will likely end up collecting dust as soon as you get home. Instead of little mementos that will be boxed up and in storage within weeks, try to take more pictures and capture those memories. With the way smartphone cameras are these days, you’ll be getting a clear picture of your amazing trip.