You all deserve a vacation now and then; it’s an opportunity to relax and take a few days off from your busy schedule. Sadly, while vacations are meant to be relaxing, they can often become very stressful. Why? Because of how expensive they tend to be! You end up spending loads of money on a vacation, without even realizing that you’re doing it. Instead of enjoying yourself, you’re constantly counting your money and calculating how much you’ve spent!
Yes, some vacations will be expensive no matter what you do. This applies to the big fancy vacations you take in life – like a honeymoon or a celebration of sorts. But, for the most part, you can do a few small things to lower the costs of every vacation you go on. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Book non-refundable hotels
Now, this comes with an element of risk, but you can save a lot of money with such a simple tip. Usually, hotel websites will have two prices for the exact same room: a non-refundable price, and one with free cancellation. If you book a hotel with free cancellation, you can basically cancel it up to 24 hours before your visit, and be refunded all the money. It’s a nice safety net, but ironically it isn’t actually free as the price for a free cancellation room tends to be significantly higher than a non-refundable one! So, if you opt for the non-refundable option, you lose the safety blanket but can pay less for the same room. If you plan your vacation correctly, there’s a very slim chance that you’ll need to cancel the hotel room that you booked. In fact, most instances of hotel cancellations are likely to happen less than 24 hours before your stay, meaning the free cancellation offers don’t always apply anyway!
Avoid hotels when your party reaches a certain number
Hotels are convenient places to stay when you have a party of two or three people. To be honest, three people in one hotel room is still a stretch, and you usually end up paying a lot for a big room. So, if you’re going on vacation with a small group, it’s more affordable to avoid hotels. Instead, rent an apartment or a house for your time abroad, splitting the costs between all members of the group. Even if you have kids (meaning you can’t split the costs with them) it will be more affordable than staying in a hotel. Why? Because family rooms are outrageously priced, and the only other option is to pay for multiple rooms – which is stupidly expensive. This idea can help you save money while still ensuring you have a nice place to stay.
Always find the best currency exchange rate
You’ll be stunned at how much money you waste on exchanging currencies for your vacation. Different places offer different exchange rates, some of which can be remarkably different. When you have a bad exchange rate, you end up spending more money to be given less money in the foreign currency. It’s the same as if you were to send money to the USA from a foreign country – you’d need to find the best exchange rate, so it doesn’t cost too much. You can compare rates online with ease, so find the best one for your needs. This way, you save money on your vacation by not spending stupid amounts of money because of terrible exchange rates.
Try to avoid using cards with foreign transaction fees
Some debit cards will charge a fee for any foreign transactions you make. So, if you’re paying for dinner in a foreign country, a fee gets added to it in your bank statement. This is one of the reasons people take cash to different countries – it eliminates any fees. Try your best to avoid using any cards that have these fees, saving money in the process. It’s easy to figure this out, just go to the bank’s website and they will provide all the details of overseas transactions. Or, contact them directly and ask your questions.
Also, another reason to avoid using some debit cards is that you have to pay via the bank’s exchange rate. Sometimes, this can be good, but it’s often pretty poor. As a result, that dinner you bought actually costs more than it should because of the poor exchange rate and the foreign transaction fee.
There are some very niche tips here that you probably haven’t thought of them before. Of course, don’t forget the obvious ways to save money on vacations: compare flight/hotel prices, jet off outside of peak times, and so on.