You’ve found the lowest airfare and the best hotel value for your getaway. But once you’re actually enjoying your vacation, how can you get the most out of every dollar and avoid the stress that comes with spending too much? Try money-saving tips like these to help you achieve a budget-conscious trip that keeps your bank account in balance while you’re away.
1. Get the app for that. Apps like Foursquare (food, nightlife and entertainment) and Scoutmob (gear and goods) are great for finding one-time deals at your destination. And apps like Happy Hour Finder and Restaurants.com can hook you up with local food and drink specials. If you’re beyond U.S. borders, use the Viber app for free calling, texting and photo sharing, and download the XE Currency app to stay on top of exchange rates.
2. Don’t cab it. Look for airport shuttle services that offer group lifts for much less than taxis charge. Research local bus and train systems for inexpensive alternatives (booking in advance may save you even more). You can also download the rideshare apps Uber and Lyft to get a reasonably priced ride within minutes.
3. Consult the concierge. Your hotel concierge is a wealth of knowledge who may be able to provide discount theater tickets, two-for-one restaurant deals and information on the price ranges of nearby eateries and attractions.
4. Get groceries. Make the grocery store one of your first stops to help you avoid the temptation to eat out for every meal. Check your location for grocery delivery services that work with your hotel or property manager to stock your fridge before you arrive.
5. Chat up the locals. Locals can give you the inside scoop on unique eateries and off-the-beaten path shops devoid of tourist markups. Strike up a conversation at a coffee shop or visit Couchsurfing.com to connect with people offering to show visitors their town.
6. Switch up where you stay. If you’re not locked into an extended stay, continue to shop the rates offered by other accommodations. Peek at Airbnb for rooms offered by local hosts that are usually much cheaper than hotels and help you avoid the added costs of various hotel services.
7. Find free days. A little time spent surfing city, chamber of commerce and attraction websites can help you discover the best (and cheapest) times to visit the hot spots. Museums, parks, zoos, aquariums, theaters and other spots may offer discounted or free days, and tour packages can save you even more. Look for local guide organizations — including those where volunteers share their city knowledge with you.
8. Pack your Rabobank card. During your trip, use your Rabobank Rewards Visa credit card to pay for any expenses and enjoy Zero Fraud Liability Protection, the ability to earn rewards (including travel!) and other benefits like collision coverage on rental cars.
- “11 Ways to Save Money on Vacation,” by Mikey Rox, Moneycrashers.com, http://www.moneycrashers.com/ways-save-money-vacation/, accessed on May 14, 2015
- “26 Secrets to Save on Travel,” Kiplinger.com, updated April 2015, http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T059-C000-S001-21-secrets-to-save-on-travel.html, accessed on May 14, 2015
- “9 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Next Vacation,” Time.com, by Matthew Kepnes, posted Feb. 11, 2013, http://business.time.com/2013/02/11/9-easy-ways-to-save-money-on-your-next-vacation/, accessed May 14, 2015
- “8 Must-Have Apps to Use on Vacation,” HarpersBazaar.com, posted Dec. 23, 2014, http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/travel-dining/advice/a4736/apps-to-use-while-traveling/, accessed May 15, 2015
The information contained in this article is intended for general educational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal, tax, or financial advice. Please consult with your own legal, tax or financial advisor for guidance with your own particular circumstances.