5 Tips to Help You Save on Summer Vacation
Summer is a great time to get away, relax and have fun. However, it can be hard to relax if you’re worried about derailing your savings at the beach. According to recent research, the average vacation expense for an individual in the United States is $1,145. For a family of four, that’s $4,580.
Luckily, vacations don’t have to cost a fortune to be a great experience. Point Breeze Credit Union has the tips you need to keep vacation expenses low while you relax at the beach or explore a new city. Check out our top 5 guidelines below.
1. Set a budget ahead of time
The simplest way to not go overboard with expenses on vacation is to plan out how much you want and can afford to spend. Set specific spending caps for each aspect of your trip, such as transportation, lodging, food and entertainment. Having a specific budget before hitting the road will make it easier to stick to your plan and won’t negatively affect your savings. Track your budget while on vacation. If you set a food budget of $100 and notice on your last night that you spent $80 already, you can opt to have a smaller dinner or cook in.
2. Choose the best days to jet set
If you’re flying, the cheapest days to travel are generally Tuesdays and Wednesdays. According to a national airfare tracking website, you can save between 10 and 40 percent per ticket if you travel on Tuesday or Wednesday compared to Monday, Friday and Sunday. Not everyone can be that flexible, but if you can fly even just one of the ‘off’ days, you’ll still reap half the savings.
3. Skip all-inclusive
All-inclusive resorts provide a simplicity since you know the total cost up-front. However, unless you know that you will take advantage of all a resort’s activities, you may end up paying for activities that you don’t take part in. If you are unlikely to maximize the benefits of an all-inclusive stay, you could save money by paying as you go. Before booking a stay, review what is included in the all-inclusive package – and if you don't plan to do all or most the activities, consider skipping this route to cut total costs.
4. Set a ‘vacation allowance’ for souvenirs
Traveling with the family? Give your children a ‘vacation allowance’ for summer trips. Having a set price will not only cut costs on expensive souvenirs, it will also teach your children about budgeting and making financial decisions. Decide in advance on an amount that each child may receive. Tell your children what the requirement for earning the allowance will be. The requirement may be no whining, carrying their own bags, eating all their dinner, not running ahead of the family at the site you’re visiting, or whatever you decide. If they earn their allowance, let your children buy their own souvenirs or treats.
5. Have a staycation
Everyone is familiar with the big cities and tropical islands that are popular with vacationers. Since these areas are frequented by tourists, prices on hotel fare, food and just about everything else is often higher. So instead of traveling far, treat Maryland like a tourist destination. There are many great tourist attractions nearby for residents to visit, and by staying home you can save on expensive travel, lodging and restaurants.
Do you want to explore the city? Try staying in Baltimore or taking a day trip to Philadelphia instead of traveling to New York City. Do you love sailing? You can avoid expensive trips to the Caribbean and head to Annapolis for a day cruise. Do you prefer hiking and camping out in nature? Try Western Maryland or Harper’s Ferry instead of the Colorado Rockies.