The following guest post provides excellent insights and tips to help you save money on your next vacation. We love the idea of a prepaid credit card for anyone who needs a bit more help controlling the expenses. Tough love, but still love, right?
A vacation provides a much-needed break from the stress of modern life. However, if you’re working with a tight budget, planning your next vacation may be difficult or even seem impossible. You can have the break you want without sacrificing your financial stability by planning with your needs and goals in mind.
Enforce Your Spending Limits
One way to make sure you stick to your spending budget is by placing restrictions on what you can spend. A separate bank account or prepaid credit cards can help you stick to your limits. Put the money you earmarked for spending on specific items, such as food, into a separate bank account or on prepaid credit cards. Only use the account or prepaid credit cards for the expenses you earmarked those payment methods for. Have one payment method, such as a regular credit card, just in case you experience an emergency while you’re away.
While you’re away, stick to the restrictions you placed. Don’t use other payment methods to cover shortages unless you absolutely need the money. Placing spending limits on your vacation budget helps you avoid unnecessary purchases but only if you follow the rules you set.
Research Your Destination
Lodging isn’t limited to hotels anymore. Short-term apartment rentals, for example, are often available to vacationing travelers and cost less than a long-term stay at a hotel. You’ll be able to make your own food in an apartment, saving you money on eating out. You’ll need to research the rental areas and minimum stay length to see if an apartment rental is the best option for you. The apartment needs to be near major sights and transportation, so you don’t spend money on taxi services or other methods of traveling while you’re away.
If you’re only staying for a short period of time, such as a few days, or if the only available apartments are too far from the sights you want to see, a hotel may be a better choice for you. Compare package deals if you’re going with a hotel. If food or other amenities, such as a car service, are available in a package, it may save you more than a cheaper hotel room with no extra services included.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate rates for anything you’re booking before you leave. Hotel and apartment owners will cut rates to avoid empty rooms. Talk to tour organizations and destination activity businesses before you leave to book activities early and negotiate prices.
Check major airlines for deals if you’re flying. If you’re willing to fly during off-peak times or have a layover, you’ll save on your ticket. Some airlines still offer courier flights. You’ll get a break on your ticket for helping to deliver a package to its destination. You won’t actually carry the package, but you will be responsible for collecting paperwork and delivering it to customs.