What are some of the best ways to save money for a vacation? Or ways to save money on the vacation itself?
My fiance and I are planning on going to Florida for our anniversary this summer. We made a tentative budget and are assuming we’ll need $1500-2000, with $500 of that being for flights (we’ll be staying at a family member’s vacation home for free). This isn’t too much money, especially for a week vacation, but we’d still like to save as much as possible. Ideas?
I waitress at nights and I think having cash on hand or a separate designated savings account is vital. At the end of my shift (or once a week at the end of the week) I pull out a bunch of envelopes with different labels on them (emergency fund, vet bills, vehicle registration fees, family vacation, etc.) that I know are coming up, and I sort out money into each envelop. It makes it easier not to dip into a fund when I know dinner out with bae means I have to dip into money set aside to take care of my dog’s health.
Also consider your little daily splurges. If you can afford $5 for an afternoon coffee, you can probably also afford to deposit an additional $5 into your vacation savings account. Tip your waitress $4? Deposit an extra $4 to your savings. Making frequent little deposits like this makes it soooooo much easier to save up massive amounts instead of trying to save in large chunks.
To save on flights: check out Hopper. It watches flights and let’s you know the best time. Look out for airport bag fees and pack light. My boyfriend and I managed to pack everything we needed into one carry-on bag for a weekend getaway to save $35 on a second bag.
Another huge cost we encountered while flying: food! Food at the airport was ungodly overpriced (I’m talking like $4 for a small bag of chips. Seriously, the airport gives movie theaters a run for their money when it comes to expensive snacks.) So pack some snacks. We of course ate before going to the airport, but after being in the terminal for 2+ hours for your flight, you start to crave some snacks. We got a side of $3 sweet potato fries, and that was worth it to me, but you can definitely save some money by bringing snacks.
For transportation: Do you have someone who can pick you up from the airport? Are you considering renting a car? Would it be cheaper to Uber to your destination and use public transportation from there when you leave your abode?
If your family member also has a library card for a local library, you may be able to rent museum passes (sometimes as much as $25/person) for free! Not sure what part of Florida you’ll be visiting, but it seems like there’s always something to do for cheap or free - visit farmer’s markets, go on a nature walk, visit the beach (of course!), look for live music at a bar or in a park. Sometimes just window shopping down main street is a great activity.