Everyone should take a break from time to time. However, one or two-week vacation can be very expensive, especially if you want to travel overseas.
How to make your summer vacation cheaper, yet still greatly enjoy it? There are many things that you can do to make your vacation more budget-friendly, yet still very enjoyable.
In this article we share with you five simple tips that will help you save hundreds of dollars!
Choose a cheaper destination
Well developed places which are popular with tourists (such as The Caribbean) are usually expensive. Remote countries which have to import almost everything (such as French Polynesia or The Seychelles) are also usually expensive (or VERY expensive).
The cheapest tourist destinations in the world are located in Southeast Asia. In countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam or Laos you can easily get a decent double room for 20-30 US dollars and get a nice meal for a couple of dollars. Even though Southeast Asia isn’t exactly geographically close to the US, there are many cheap flights to this region so you’ll still save money.
There are also some cheap countries in Central America and South America. Mexico is a good budget-friendly choice for people who don’t want to travel far away from the US. Read our list of cheap summer vacation ideas to discover the best wallet-friendly vacation destinations.
Don’t eat like a tourist
When on a vacation, avoid eating in restaurants – and especially in restaurants in the tourist zone. They are almost always overpriced and you can easily get the same meal a lot cheaper if you walk outside of the main tourist area.
Eating in local eateries will help you save even more money. Moreover, it’ll be more authentic to try local cuisine in a local eatery than in a international restaurant for tourists. In most places, local eateries are perfectly safe as long as you use common sense and visit places which are packed with locals (this usually means that the food is good).
If you’re in a country where street food is common, don’t be afraid to eat it. Use common sense, order food from a street stall with many customers and you’ll probably be fine.
Find out when the majority of people visit your potential destination and avoid this period. Traveling off-peak (or off-season) is a great way to save a lot of money and avoid crowds.
Keep in mind that most hotels in the off-season don’t earn a lot of money and most rooms are empty, so hotels are open to negotiation. Always negotiate your price if you want to get a room in the off-season. Most hotels will be willing to lower the price a LOT just to fill an empty room.
Travel with hand luggage only
Many airlines charge a lot of money for registered baggage. Try to pack everything in your hand luggage. It might be difficult if you’re traveling with your family (check out our list of summer vacation ideas for families), but it can be done. You’ll save a lot of money and time (you don’t have to check your bags, wait for them after arrival, carry them with you etc). Take only the most important things. Remember that you can always buy what you need later, when you arrive in your vacation destination.
Don’t buy souvenirs
Do you really need to bring souvenirs? Would they really improve your quality of life after you return from your trip? Don’t buy souvenirs – bring only good memories and good photos. Photos can be easily stored in a digital form and if you already have a camera, you won’t have to pay anything to take photos. Moreover, you’ll get more space in your home.
By the way, if you have any souvenirs in your home and need some cash for your vacation, sell them on eBay. You probably won’t miss them a lot and extra cash is always welcome.
If you follow this advice, we’re sure that you’ll easily save at least a few hundred dollars. Enjoy your time off!