[The following is a guest post…]
When you’re on the road, whether it’s for leisure or business, it’s really easy to let the spending get out of control. This isn’t conducive to sticking with an overall savings plan, but it is important to keep your bigger financial picture in mind even when traveling; and to focus on saving money on vacation. There are several ways to keep expenses under control with a little bit of future planning. Here are some tips on how to save while away from home.
5 Tips For Saving Money On Vacation
By following these simple tips, you will be on your way to saving money on vacation expenses! Even if you are traveling on business, these tips can help you to save money.
Set A Budget
Before you leave the comfort of home, sit down and figure out a budget for your trip. Factor in what you’re willing to pay for food, lodging and transportation. Set an amount for incidentals, including souvenirs, and stick to it. If you happen to come in under budget, make sure to put that money back into savings.
Decide Your Method Of Payment
Some people research to find the best credit card offer and plan to pay for their entire vacation with plastic. This can be an effective strategy, but only if you have the money set aside already and can pay off the balance before the end of the billing cycle, otherwise you will be paying high interest rates. Choose a card with a reward program, and you can come out ahead. There is always the option of utilizing 0% balance transfer credit cards if you are unable to pay off the balance right away.
Use The Credit Card When Traveling Out Of The Country
Using a credit card when traveling outside the country affords you a little more protection than using traveler’s checks or cash. Some offer travel insurance, a much better exchange rate and other buyer’s protection options. Check your credit card agreement for more details on travel information.
[Khaleef’s note: Using credit card benefits to offset some of your travel costs is a great idea, you can also set up a similar plan for your day-to-day spending.]
Saving Money On Vacation By Shopping And Eating Locally
The native residents of an area will know the best and least expensive places to shop and eat. Ask your hotel desk clerks, housekeepers and gas station attendants where they like to go and what they like to do. Chances are they can give you the inside track and you can save a lot of money this way.
Do Not Pre-pay In Advance
It may look as if you are saving significant money when you book and pay for a hotel room in advance, but the truth is you won’t save more than a couple of dollars after all the fees are charged and pre-paid reservations are not refundable. If anything happens, you are out that money no matter the circumstances. Stay away from the third party vendors and book the reservation through the hotel’s website or directly with the hotel.
The best tip is to plan ahead as much as possible. You can’t plan for every contingency, but being prepared is the best way to save money when away from home.
photo by Graeme Weatherston