Spring is nearly here and in South Florida it doesn’t mean the grass will be green once more, or flowers will be blooming. What it means is that vacationers will be flocking to our Sun and Sand and warm weather. It also means that many of us natives will be making our own plans for a get-a-way.
Taking a vacation, or even a long weekend, can get costly. I’m all for enjoying life but I don’t think a vacation should result in a person requiring debt consolidation to pay for it!
Using credit cards while on vacation is sort of a given, however debt management must play a key factor when planning how and when you’ll use your credit.
Using your credit card to pay for airline tickets is smart (especially if you pay them off quickly.) Using your credit card to pay for the $7 coke at an amusement park is probably not the best idea.
Saving for a vacation is the smartest thing you can do. A well planned and well thought out vacation can help you determine how much money you’ll need to save. Once you’ve figured out how much you need, budget each month and put money away. Having a vacation savings account will help. Or, simply put away a bit of cash and don’t touch it. Many credit counseling services can also provide you with great tips on saving money for special things, like vacations, and other general items. Fiscal responsibility is so important, and a vacation that doesn’t end with you being in a lot of debt, will be a vacation much more enjoyed!
Here are some ways I save while traveling.
My best friend loves to stay at fancy hotels. I enjoy a nice hotel too, but I don’t enjoy paying for it. I often use travel websites to either “choose my own price” or find a bargain on hotel rooms. I usually get a much nicer hotel room this way.
If you have small children, bring your own stroller. Renting a stroller at amusement parks is expensive.
Pack light. More and more airlines are charging for baggage.
I’ve lived in some of the biggest “tourist” cities in the U.S. including Las Vegas and D.C. Trust me when I tell you; a coupon is your best friend. Look for coupons for meal discounts, amusements, hotels, travel, etc.
Also take advantage of any discounts you may be entitled to from memberships in things like AAA or AARP. My husband is in the military, one of the first questions I always ask is “Do you offer a military discount?” I’ve actually been given a discount sometimes when the business didn’t usually offer one just because I asked politely.
Meals can get costly. Lunches are usually cheaper than dinner, so if there is a “fancy” restaurant you want to enjoy, opt to dine in for lunch instead of dinner. Having a kitchenette or even a mini-fridge in your hotel is a good thing. You can store breakfast-y items in it. If you’re traveling with children, see if you can find a place where the kids eat free or are discounted with a paying adult. If you’re not a “big” eater, share your meal. I do this a lot with my kids because I am never able to finish those large meals served at restaurants.
If you’re traveling to a city where you know people, stay with them. Staying with friends, or relatives is a great way to save while on vacation. Even if your stay is for a night or two it can add up to some real savings.
The preceding was a sponsored post. All views and opinions are my own.