In addition to being a lifestyle and wellbeing blogger, Amy is an incredibly frugal traveller.
As soon as summer hits, we all get thinking about our summer holiday. Let’s be honest—for some of us, this will be the first thing on our minds as soon as the new year hits.
In this day and age, with more stresses piling on top of us each day, more and more of us become desperate to get away from it all. It’s no wonder that the cost of the average vacation for Americans is $4580 for a family of four and the average spend on for Brits is £4800. Pricey.
So, how can we make sure we’re getting the most for our money when it comes to planning a holiday? Read on for my five tips on how to save money when planning your vacation!
1. All-Inclusive Isn't Always Best
We all have busy lives, so it’s no surprise that most of us love a package deal when it comes to planning a holiday. It’s quick, it’s convenient, and everything’s included in the price. We’ve all been there; we’ll find an amazing looking deal on our dream destination, but the second we start checking dates and airports, the price skyrockets.
Is an All-Inclusive Resort Right for You?
It’s not just the price changes that mean you should think carefully about booking an all-inclusive package either. Consider if this particular type of holiday is for you. If you’re the kind of person who loves to lounge by the pool with a cocktail and you’re quite happy spending your time in the resort, a package deal would be great for you!
But if you love to explore and try different restaurants and bars, will you be getting your money’s worth if you go all inclusive? Think these things through will ensure that you pick the option that’s best for you.
2. Plan in Advance
It’s tempting to just kick back and relax once you’ve made your plans, with the mindset that you’ll decide what to do when you arrive, but planning a few trips and days out before you go can actually save you a little cash.
Pre-Book Your Excursions
Think about any particular attractions or theme parks you want to visit on your trip and do a little research into whether or not you can pre-book your tickets. Quite often, if this is the case, you can get a nice little discount by booking in advance. Some parks and excursions may even offer bundle savings if you book more than one.
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Do Your Research Ahead of Time
Doing some research on sites such as TripAdvisor will also mean that you get plenty of ideas for things to do, and you can also read reviews from other visitors to make sure a particular place or activity is going to be worthwhile.
If you end up getting a little overwhelmed by the amount of choice, take a look at these tips on how to plan your perfect vacation, which will help you narrow things down. In addition to the money saving element, this can also save any arguments as to what you’re going to do and when every day!
3. Plan Your Transport in Advance
If you’re flying to your destination, it’s important to consider how you’ll get to the airport. It may sound obvious to some, but as someone who has frantically been making phone calls to friends and family members to try and get a ride to the airport the week before I travelled, I would definitely recommend doing this ahead of time.
Book Your Shuttle (or Your Ride) Ahead of Time
If you’re using public transport to get there, you’ll often find lower rates if you book your tickets in advance. Of course, the best way to save money would be to see if you can find a friend or relative who is willing to take you to the airport, but ask them well in advance so that you can make other arrangements if you need to.
Pre-Book Your Airport Parking
If your flight is at an ungodly hour and you don’t want to burden someone with the task, or simply if you prefer to travel on your own terms, taking your car may be your preferred option—especially if you’re travelling with children! If this is the case, you can still save by pre-booking your airport parking to make sure that you don’t get stung by hefty fees.
4. Shop Around
Shopping around for the best deal in terms of the holiday itself is one thing, but what about those extras? Looking into the best rate for your travel money and doing a comparison search for your travel insurance are both excellent ways to save on your trip.
Get Your Travel Insurance Sorted Out in Advance
While we’re on the topic of travel insurance, sort it sooner rather than later! Of course, we don’t like to think of anything that could go wrong on holiday, but ensuring that you’re prepared will mean eventualities like getting stuck with a large medical bill will be one less thing to worry about.
Plan Out Your Travel Money
When it comes to your travel money, it can often be difficult to know exactly how much to take with you. More often than not we overestimate how much to take, but this handy article has some useful tips on working out how much you’ll need.
5. Don't Buy What You Don't Need!
If you’re anything like me, as soon as your holiday is booked, you’ll be heading straight to the shopping centre for your holiday wardrobe. As tempting as it is, this is a surefire way to overspend before your vacation has even begun. Of course, if you’re in need of a new bikini or whatever, that’s okay, but the key word here is need. If you’ve bought a bikini for every holiday you’ve taken in the last five years, you probably don’t need another one.
Before you hit the shops, take a look at what clothing and other holiday essentials you’ve already got. Chances are you probably don’t need anything, so you’ll be able to save some extra cash for those souvenirs!
© 2019 Amy Jackson