How to Save Money on Vacation

Vacations are expensive, but I probably don’t have to tell you that. This post is not to persuade you to stay at home your whole life and never travel the world, it is simply to help you keep your costs low, so you can enjoy your trip without hurting yourself financially. I have been on hundreds of vacations over my life, visiting countless states and a variety of different countries, so I think I have my fair share of knowledge on the subject. You can have a great vacation with your family without breaking the bank, so here are my top ten tips on how to save money on vacation.

Go Grocery Shopping

When we are on vacation, our daily routine is different than we are used to. The fact that we are away from home and that we have already spent a decent amount of money on travel, hotels, and time off, seems to trick our brain into spending more. I like to think of it like a snowball effect. The first thing you should do when you get to your destination is find the closest grocery store and go shopping. You only need to grab enough food for however long you will be staying, so try not to shop like you normally do.

Eat Out Less Often

This one kind of piggybacks off of the last one, but you need to eat out less on vacation. I advise eating out less often when you are at home as a way of saving money, but if you thought that eating out at home was expensive, then eating out on vacation will really kill your wallet. Restaurants in most vacation spots are built to cater to the tourists that visit. Most of them, especially the themed restaurants, have higher prices because they know tourists will pay them. Not to mention places like Margaritaville have their own gift shops, which people feel inclined to spend money at.

Stay Away From the Resort Bar

We made this mistake on our honeymoon. The resort had a poolside tiki bar, and the drinks were amazing. They were tasty, and colorful, and they had the coolest glasses, however the price for one of their standard drinks was about $10. So you can see how we managed to rack up a couple hundred buck over the course of the week. When you hit the grocery store, pick up a couple cases of your favorite drinks and you can avoid paying the crazy mark up that the resort and restaurant bars will charge you.

Only Buy Souvenirs You Will Use

It has been almost engrained in our brains that we need to bring home souvenirs from our trips. Now there is nothing wrong with this, but a few souvenirs will do. I can’t tell you how many souvenirs can be found collecting dust in the storage at my house. Things that I overpaid for and never even used. So if you are going to stop at one of the hundreds of souvenir shops in whatever tourist destination you decide to go to, make sure it is a hat, t-shirt, or something that you really need, and not something that you just felt like you had to buy.

Look for Free Activities

The reason that businesses will pay a premium for a location in a tourist town, is because most tourists are okay with shelling out ridiculous amounts of money so that they have something to do when they are there. They rent boogie boards, go zip-lining, deep sea fishing, swim with dolphins, you name it. I’m not saying that you can’t do any of these things, because they are a ton of fun. Just try to limit yourself to a couple paid activities, and look for things that you can do for free. Most resorts offer events that you can do on the property, and building sandcastles is fun and free.

Walk or Take Public Transit

Now this might not be possible in certain smaller vacation areas, but it is sure to work in the bigger cities. When me and my wife took our honeymoon last year to Florida, we found out that not only could we get to the beach and most essential destinations by walking, but you could buy a day pass on the bus if you needed to get somewhere further away. We probably saved a couple hundred dollars by not paying for Uber or a taxi.

Thanks for Reading

I hope that you have enjoyed this post. This is not a comprehensive list of every single way to cut down on vacation costs, but they are some of the most important ones. If you follow these tips you should be able to save a couple hundred dollars on your next trip.

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