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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Savvy Savings Tips for Vacations



Savvy Saving Tips for Vacations
*they don't call me Super Savvy for nothing!*


The expenses of a fun filled vacation can add up fast before you know it and end up costing you more money than you planned. But with some creative and practical tips before your vacation, during planning, and while on your trip, you can stretch your vacation dollars while making memories to last a lifetime.


Prior to Your Vacation


Set up a Budget. Create a budget for your normal expenses and determine how much you can spend on a vacation.


Open a Dedicated Savings Account. Opening a savings solely dedicated to your vacation will help your saving efforts and give the ability to always know how much is in your vacation fund.


Start a Change Jar. For extra spending money, use a large jar to toss in spare change an adequate amount of time before your trip.


Save on Every Day Items. Saving on every day items will help you put away more money for your vacation. Cancel your health club plan and work out at home, cut back on eating out, use coupons for groceries, or buy generic items. For example, you can save a great deal of money buying generic printer ink from websites like www.inkpal.com.


When Planning Your Vacation


Establish a Plan. When deciding on a vacation, create a plan on when and where you want to go and the types of fun activities you want to do. Create a vacation budget and the allotted amounts for food, entertainment, transportation, attractions, and souvenirs.


Do Your Research. Conduct thorough research on variety of destinations and be sure to gather as much information about each place.


Be Flexible. Consider traveling during the off-season of particular destinations to pay cheaper prices. Flexibility with travel dates and times will also save you money.


Book Early. Many travel websites and destination packages offer specials for booking in advance.


Compare Prices. When searching for vacation packages, do some comparison shopping for all aspects of your trip including airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and attractions. Make sure to visit a variety of websites and talk to many different travel agents to gather information and price quotes.


Ask for Perks and Discounts. Always inquire about possible perks or discounts such as military discount, upgraded rooms, family discounts, attractions, etc. It never hurts to ask and you could end up with numerous free amenities.


While on Vacation


Rent a Smaller Car. Car rentals can add rather quickly when considering the price per day, insurance, gas, and mileage. It is important to consider renting a smaller car that is still suitable for your family, plus you will all be so excited about getting to your next attraction that you will not notice the rental car.


Use Pubic Transportation. If possible, when visiting a large city use public transportation instead of renting a car.


Bring Empty Water Bottles. Packing empty water bottles to fill up at water fountains will save you a great deal of money on staying hydrated.


Make Breakfast Your Biggest Meal. Breakfast menus often offer the best value for the money with a variety of choices to let your family start out the day.


Stock Up on Groceries. Instead of eating out for every meal, visit a grocery store in your destination to stock on easy food items for throughout your trip.


Use Your Own Stroller or Wagon. Instead of paying money to rent strollers or wagons for the kids, bring your own.


Inquire About Free Activities. Ask hotel staff or locals about free activities you can enjoy in the city.


Bring Your Own Necessities. Needed items are typically much more expensive at tourist destinations, so be sure to bring your own sunscreen, aspirin, Band-Aids, and other necessities.