How To Save Money on Vacation: 25+ Ways To Save

Many people don’t realize that saving money on vacation is possible. You don’t have to spend much money to enjoy your time off.

There are many ways to save money on vacation – it just takes creativity and research! In this guide, you’ll learn how to save money on vacation and how it can be done without compromising the experience!

How Do I Save Money While on Vacation?

Travel does not necessarily require an expensive itinerary, but many people don’t understand the costs during their actual vacation. Eating out for breakfast, dinner, and lunch or taking an Uber can quickly add up.

So, how to save money on vacation? Here are some top tips.

How To Save Money on Vacation

I arranged these ideas from easiest to most challenging, but they are excellent savings options. I suggest you try them! Tell me the cheapest way to save lots of money before the holiday.

1. Get a Savings Account

Whether you set up a separate space with your digital bank or sign up for a different savings account, do this now. Setting up a savings account and putting a goal to it will help you keep the money to one side ready so you can enjoy your vacation guilt-free.

2. Book Accommodations That Offer Free Breakfast

Did somebody say complimentary breakfast? If your hotel offers free breakfast, you will benefit. You can save tons of money on food if you don’t have to buy breakfast daily. In addition, you won’t be tempted by the extensive menu at your favorite restaurant down the street from your hotel room-saving even more cash!

Weigh up the cost of eating out daily vs. the additional cost of upgrading your room to include breakfast or free food (as you could decide to go for all-inclusive).

I usually recommend saving as much money as possible on accommodation, but that’s because I love saving money! You don’t have to book the cheapest room available. On the other hand, if saving $100 per night means staying in a hotel with bad reviews, then perhaps save less and spend more on your trip.

3. Compare Car Rental Companies

Car rentals can be a great way to save money while on vacation because they save on the cost of a cab. But just because they save you money doesn’t mean you shouldn’t compare the price of car rentals. Make sure to compare your rental company against others and if there are any coupons available.

4. Get Your Foreign Currency in Advance

Make sure to shop for your foreign currency and buy it in advance. Don’t wait to get it at the airport if you want a great deal.

5. Consider a Rewards Credit Card

A rewards credit card, if treated correctly, i.e., a full balance paid off every month, can be extremely helpful in helping you save on the cost of your flights and travel. Especially if you get the right one for your needs.

Beware, this option is not for everyone and should only be used if you can afford to pay off the balance in full each month.

6. When Traveling Internationally, Always use a Credit Card That Has No Foreign Transaction Fees

Always use a credit card that does not have a foreign transaction fee. The cost of paying with home currency is a rip-off because many stores charge a more expensive exchange fee than most institutions.

You could use many travel cards with no foreign transaction fees, so be sure to do your research before you travel to avoid unnecessary fees.

7. Travel to Places Where the Home Currency is King

You could live just like kings if you travel to other places where your home currency dipped deeper. So have a look into areas or countries where your home currency goes further, it might mean a longer flight, but it could be worth it if when you get there, you can relax knowing that you can have a great time without spending a lot because your home currency converts well into the local currency.

8. Bring More Than One Credit and Debit Card With you

This is more of a preventative measure. If you only took one debit card and lose it when away, you could be in trouble. Make sure you take an extra card and can access your bank account if you need to while you are away.

9. Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates

Traveling in the off-season, on the weekends, or when deals pop up is easier. Being flexible with your travel dates can also be an unexpected perk to your vacation.

Skyscanner was a good solution for finding cheap flights based on March to September deals. The cities usually are less crowded throughout the week, so you should plan to take off on weekdays rather than during the day. Use websites like Sky Scanner, where you can see when travel is cheapest.

10. Eat Like a Local

Put out your phone and ignore the staff of the house. Instead, ask locals where they would eat, as eating local cuisine could enhance your trip and experience. And you will bet that the local cuisine places are much cheaper than the commercial restaurants they want tourists to visit.

11. Consider Various Accommodation Options from Hotels to Hostels

I am not saying go for the cheapest option but consider other options. Sites like Airbnb will give you a different opportunity than a hotel would.

Apartments and bed and breakfast will also provide fantastic deals to customers who use reservation portals and do some research for a short while.

A hostel can be incredible, fun, and still provide luxury experiences for half the price. In countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Portugal, you can find several high-end 5-star hostels.

12. Shop at the Local Grocery Store

If you go down the apartment route or get an Airbnb, you might be tempted to make some of your own meals.

You can pick up more local produce and regional specialties by shopping at grocery stores. Local stores will also be a lot cheaper to get a drink of orange juice than, let’s say, a local cafe.

13. Carry a Water Bottle Instead of Buying Bottled Water

Most cities have many places where you can get free water to fill up a reusable water bottle. Ok, you won’t save loads on this one, but you will still save money and do your bit for the planet.

14. Skip Drinks and Dessert When Eating Out

This one is an option, not a mandatory one. It depends on how much you need to save. If you find a place where the locals eat, you may not need to skip anything as the place could be reasonably priced.

15. Bring Food to the Airport

We know that airport food is usually bad, and you typically pay what you would for a fancy dinner. So cut back on the stuff that doesn’t count and take your own lunch to the airport with you.

16. Plan Your Meals & For Expenses

Just like when you prepare dinner at home, you must set a budget for how much money you want to spend. Take a step further and eat outside when you exceed your food money. You can find deals before you go and buy things like a multi-attraction pass in advance. However, consider what you will do while on vacation, and plan your savings goals accordingly.

17. Walk Around

If you’re staying in one of the major cities, they usually have good walking routes, especially in a central location. So take advantage of it and walk around. You might even be able to find cheap walking tours that work for tips.

18. Purchase Gifts or Souvenirs in Local Stores

Get extra cash by exploring flea markets for the best souvenirs and new items. These products are more expensive at airports, resorts, or other tourist sites.

19. Download Movies and Shows to Watch on Your Phone

Download any favorite movie or show on TV before boarding the plane. You don’t know what your data charges may be while abroad, so if you like to watch a lot of Netflix, be sure to download anything in advance.

20. Always Keep Some Cash

You never know when you might need to leave a tip, or if you decide to use public transportation or eat in local restaurants, they might not take a card.

21. Purchase Plane Tickets in Advance

When traveling to destinations for the holidays, booking flights as early as possible can help you book more seats at lower prices. Use sites like Skyscanner to help you register for updates to grab great deals. Remember traveling at off-peak times will also save you some money.

But leaving flights to the last minute or even worse at the airport isn’t necessarily one of the best ways to save money. It could cost you more and be a lot more stressful.

22. Research and Book In Incognito Mode

When you surf the Internet in incognito mode, your browser does not store cookies on your computer. However, travel sites can use cookies to see how often you have visited the site and to implement variable pricing, be sure to shop privately and wipe any cookies.

23. Avoid Fancy Cocktails

This only applies if you are not all-inclusive. If you are all-inclusive, then go wild. If not, then to save money, you could drink a glass of water each time you drink to reduce alcohol costs and prevent excessive drunkenness.

Cocktails bought separately are expensive, so keep to beer, wine, or even better water unless you have budgeted for these in your daily expenditure.

24. Pack Light

Try packing lighter than possible and use the smallest bag you can. It will save on additional airline fees. Remember to leave a little room in your bags for things you may have to take back when you return.

25. Plan a Housing Swap

Websites such as Home Exchange or HomeLink can help people find a home that could be borrowed for their vacation. You can go further by renting an apartment or house on Airbnb. Just ensure that you respect the conditions of your rental agreement and local laws.

It could be a fun way to save your accommodation expenses if you know someone who has a house in a place you’d like to visit!

26. Ask for Discounts

Don’t be afraid to ask for a deal, be polite but firm with a customer service agent. It helps if you shop around because you can play different vendors against each other to see who will give you the best deal.

Apply this when you are on vacation, too but asking for discounts on any large purchases.

27. Have a Vacation Food Budget

Food and drink are probably your highest cost while on vacation, so make sure you give it a reasonable budget and use that budget to determine where you eat each night.

Check in the restaurants for the prices of the appetizers and children’s meals. Also, check if there’s something special going on when you’re there, like a food or drink festival week or event where you can eat and drink for less.

As a result of these primary guiding lines, you can get a holiday food budget of $60 per day per adult and less for children.

28. Sell Your Stuff

There is no need to host yard sales and get rid of your furniture so that you can prepare for the next vacation. You probably have things in your home you do not use anymore. Have a clear out of stuff you don’t need to help you fund your vacation. You’re helping your neighbors get a great deal and helping the environment by encouraging recycling.

29. Use a Budgeting App

A budgeting app you could streamline your saving process, using apps can help you identify where you could save money in your monthly budget. Most budgeting apps are free, so do make the most!

Final Thoughts

Saving money on vacation is a lot easier than you may think. Creativity and discipline make it possible to have the experience of a lifetime without breaking the bank.

Will you implement these ways to save money on your next vacation? What are some other things we can do to make this happen? Let me know in the comments below!