I don’t know about you but I love to travel. I am one of those people who dreams about travelling the world for a living. But current reality says this is not an option, so yearly vacations have become my vice. Right now my husband and I are planning a trip to Australia for next spring (April 2011). I am already excited and the planning is underway. But like anything else, vacations can be expensive. Here are some tips that we have found work well for saving money on vacations:
- Use the off-season– going to places during the off season can be a huge money saver. Hotels and attraction operators are usually running deals to try to get business since the off season is slow. You can even get deals on packages and flights if you look.
- Get organized and plan ahead– travel companies usually post deals 5-6 months in advance. Don’t leave your bookings until last minute, especially if you have fixed dates. You are likely to risk paying additional fees to travel the specific dates you need closer to when you are booked to go.
- Don’t buy insurance from the travel company– you will often do better to buy your health insurance from a third party and a local company.
- Use CAA/AAA– memberships to these often give you discounts, free maps, and vouchers for tours. You can even get free passport photos. Use them to your full advantage. You mind as well get your membership worth. They aren’t just for roadside assistance.
- Sign up for newsletters– subscribe to travel company email updates. This will ensure you are up to date on the current deals and you can jump on a good one when it comes around right off the hop. You won’t miss out on a deal.
- Good packing– pack light and make sure you pack clothes that are versatile and can be layered. This maxes out every piece of clothing so you don’t have to pay for heavy baggage on the plane. We use our backpacks for every trip to ensure that we pack light and only bring the essentials. This not only saves us potential luggage fees but they are easier to transport too. Another packing tip is to roll your clothes. You will be amazed at what you fit into a small bag when things are packed properly.
- Alternate airports– you can sometimes save money by flying to and from a smaller airport.
- Transportation– don’t just assume you need to take a taxi everywhere. Taxi’s sometimes charge a higher rate than other forms. Many hotels offer shuttles as part of your fee to major attractions or you can walk, bike, or subway.
- Shop at grocery stores– just because you are travelling, doesn’t mean you have to eat out all of the time. We buy easy transportable food at grocery stores every couple days. It is not only cheaper, but it also lets us eat healthier.
These are just a few of the things we have tried when we travel to save money. They work well too. Give them a try this summer while on your adventure. Please comment on any other tips that you have to share. We will need all of the ones we can get for our down under excursion.