Are you planning to go on a vacation soon? Do you have an urgent business trip coming up shortly?
Leaving your home and going for a vacation can sound fun. But, without proper preparation, it can easily burn holes in your wallet.
If you’re like me, you want to save money whenever you can. Unfortunately, things always cost more than you plan for them to, especially when you are on vacation. This is why it helps to research first where you’re going before you make your hotel reservations and start packing.
In this post, we’ll take a look at seven ways to save money while traveling so that you can come back with money in your pocket!
7 Tips for Saving Money When Traveling
Below are seven ways to save money while traveling. See which ones you might benefit from when planning your next trip.
1Start with saving at home
One of the things that can help you have more money for your vacation is to start saving money at home. Set aside a little money every month and set a goal you want to meet. In setting your goal, make sure it will meet the total expected cost of your trip.
One thing I sometimes do is to put spare change in an automatic ATM coin bank. You may think it’s just “pocket change” but it adds up quick! If you deposit a few quarters every week from the change you get back from small transactions, you’ll get a lot of money over time which you can use for your vacation.
Some online banks offer a way to put aside money specifically for various purposes. I’ve often used my mobile banking “goals” option to save for a vacation automatically.
2Join a discount membership service
You know the offers I’m talking about. You probably see them in magazines or newspapers. You may even get calls about some of them. Some are scams, but some are true values that you should look into.
Discount travel booking sites, such as NextVacay.com, can save you hundreds of dollars on vacation costs, airfares and more. If you are planning on flying somewhere in the near future, take a moment to visit their site and select your flight location from their quick pull down menu and instantly see which travel deals match up best with your local and final destination. If you are short on ideas for where you might like to travel next, be sure to check out the bottom section of their site to see where the latest deals were purchased from other customers.
Unlike other “discounted travel sites”, NextVacay was actually created based on the needs and experiences of real-life travelers. The story of the site was recently shared on The Ringer, where it went on to say “Naveen Dittakavi and his wife started Next Vacay after catching the flight-hunting bug. They’d seen a friend’s Facebook post about a $300 round trip from D.C. to India and they were sold. Friends noticed the couple’s frequent travels and asked how they were managing this. From that, Next Vacay became a subscription service that costs $25 a year and is personalized to members’ origin airports.”
3Find a debit card without foreign fees
If you are traveling abroad, you will want to find a debit or credit card that doesn’t charge you extra fees for foreign transactions. These fees can add up to large amounts of money that can cost you far more than you bargained for.
One card that allows you to avoid these fees is the Charles Schwab card. There are actually a lot of credit cards with no international fees if you just do your homework.
NerdWallet has a great article on the best credit cards without foreign fees attached to them. The last thing you want to do is to travel while feeling limited by every purchase you make.
4Get a job!
We go on a vacation to get away from work, right? But, there are many foreign countries that love to hire travelers from other countries to improve their perspective on things or get ideas from other cultures. Look into this and see if this is something you might want to do to increase the money you have available for your vacation.
If you have the time to spend working on something while you are on vacation and don’t mind trying something new, look into working abroad for a day or two per week to earn more money for your trip. Just make sure you understand the foreign exchange rate and how you’ll be paid before you take on such an opportunity.
5Visit discount websites for airfare and taxi service
One way to save money while traveling is to watch your transportation budget. Paying for transportation, such as taxis and airfare, can get expensive when you are on a vacation.
It pays to hunt for transportation discounts on the Internet that can save you money. If you can save money on your travel fares, you’ll cut down your expenses substantially. In essence, you’ll have more money to spend on things you want to enjoy.
6Use mobile apps to find deals
Many vacation and travel-related companies are creating mobile apps that allow you to find great deals to help you save money on food, shopping and recreation. Google can help, too. It can help you find great deals according to your location.
Apple users can use Safari to locate similar opportunities as they travel. These are onboard programs on the Google and Apple platforms.
In addition to those two, there are plenty of other apps available for travelers who want to save money while on the road. Gate Guru by Apple is one good example. It’s a mobile app that can help you locate restaurants, local hot spots and other shopping opportunities near your area when you’re traveling.
See Also: 21 Top Travel Apps and Tools
7Use the hotel extras to save on little things
Hotels leave toothpaste, soap, shampoos and body wash bottle in your hotel room. Many even leave free mouthwash and other items. There’s no need to buy toiletries like those if you’ll have them in the hotel. So, check to see what your hotel offers and leave some things at home and pack lighter.
In addition to the extra bathroom and toiletry items, some hotels offer free breakfasts that are better than some of the local restaurants. If you get up in time to enjoy it, you can save $20 or $30 per meal by eating in your hotel. Ask your desk clerk when you make reservations to see what the policies are for dining and free food.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Next Big Trip
Planning ahead is really what we’re talking about. When you look around for saving and budgeting opportunities all of the time, you’ll find lots of ways to save money. So, when you are ready to go on vacation, you’ll be ready.
Read our other travel articles to learn more about great tips on saving money when planning your next vacation. You can also run through these travel checklists for helpful tips on ways to save money while traveling abroad as well as domestic traveling tips.
Remember, when you save on airfare and travel expenses, you’ll enjoy your vacation a whole lot more. You may even have enough money left for a cool souvenir, too!
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Author: Brandon Johnston
Freelance writer, blogger and expert roundup creator. I'm also a HuffingtonPost contributor and write at BlogReign.com and BloggingTips.com.