A Simple Way to Save BIG on Traveling This Summer

by Vincent King · 7 comments

Summer is shining bright in the sky, and you’re ready to hit the road with all your awesome plans. But if you’re like most people, you’re probably worried that you’ll have to sacrifice fun to meet the bottom line of your budget.

Truth is, you can save big, and still see all the sites you want to see, and do the things you want to do – without much sacrifice.

But only if you’re smart, and willing to plan. Here are a few suggestions you can use immediately.

Pack As Light As Possible

Most people want to be prepared for anything, so they often over pack. This not only costs money (if you’re getting on a plane), it is a primary root for unnecessary aggravation.

Take only what you must. Plan on reusing outfits every third day. If you’re flying, try to pack everything in a carry-on to avoid checked bag fees. Even in a car, less stuff means less headache and easier travels. Rolling clothes will take up less space and cause fewer wrinkles.

Ladies, you’ll have a more difficult time with light packing if you’re used to pounds of cosmetics, but it can be done. Evaluate your daily routine and see what you can do without.

Packing light isn’t as difficult for guys, so if you have extra room in your bag, consider sharing space.

Buy Less When You Are Out and About

How many trinkets have you bought from airport duty-free or vacation souvenir spots only to let them sit?

Mementos are a terrific way to remember a wonderful family vacation or a memorable destination, but how often do they do more than collect dust?

Use your phone and take pictures often. Those pictures will mean more to you and your family than any trinket.

Take Advantage of Complimentary Items

You’ve seen the soaps in the hotels. Use them. Depending on your destination, most hotels offer free shampoos and soaps.

If you’ve spent time in any booming beach towns, then you already know that there’s no shortage of resorts offering free stays in exchange for your time. If you’re willing, you can give up one afternoon and earn two free nights in a premium resort with great amenities.

Not much arguing with that deal when you’re trying to save.

Eat Like a Minimalist

Take small snacks that pack a big nutritional punch like nuts and seeds. These sorts of snacks are filling and are great for taking up little space. They’re also not temperature sensitive like fruits and cheeses.

If you have kids traveling with you, these sorts of snacks can help you feel easy knowing that they’re getting the nutrition they need without you wasting your money.

For dinner, hit the restaurants early. Most restaurants offer early bird specials that are considerably cheaper than their dinner menu. And you’re likely to find a buffet right around the corner that will suit everyone’s palette.

Coupons And Discounts

When you’re planning your minimalist trip, make sure you maximize your fun by taking advantage of online coupons and discounts.

Many tourist attractions offer terrific deals that may even get your kids in free with full-priced paid adult entrances. By planning where you will be going and what you will be doing ahead of time, you will keep more of your hard-earned cash in your wallet.

Off-Peak Season Travel

We’re still heading into tourist season, so if you can, travel early and save even more than you would by using peak season discounts and coupons. (These Travelocity promo codes should help.)

Water parks and resorts love to start the season before the crowds show up, so they give deep discounts, offering everything from a free night to kids on the house. Just be careful not to fall into the buying trap once you’re there.

Challenge

I challenge you to keep track of your receipts and your vacation savings this summer, then compare them to the full price options that most other people will fall victim to.

Traveling overseas, across country, or even state-to-state can be budget friendly, as long as you take the time to plan and make sure it’s done right. Travel in minimalist style, and have a game plan when you get there. You’ll not only save your hard earned dollars, you’ll be packing your trip with extra fun as well.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dwight Anthony June 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

I’m going to be following a few of these tips as I’m leaving for Florida this summer. Should be great when you pack lighter than you think you have to.

Reply

Jean June 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I used to overpack like crazy but now I’ve trimmed it down a lot. I used to take so many things that you would think I were moving into college. Now I can fit most of my stuff into one duffel bag with ease.

-Jean

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Lance@MoneyLife&More June 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Off Peak Season travel can save you a ton of money and a ton of hassle. I live in a tourist destination and you’ll save a ton of time by not having to sit in traffic when you visit in off peak season.

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Charlotte@EverythingFinance June 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Great ideas. Another one is to travel in groups. If your just a couple, go with friends and share the rent car and maybe rent a condo or house instead of a hotel. Then you can cook a couple of meals instead of eating out all the time.

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Marbella June 5, 2012 at 2:52 am

I recommend hotels that are all-inclusive resorts for families, children cost a lot on the holiday, irregular hours for meals, sleep poorly, always thirsty, etc. they can eat, drink, sleep when they want for no cost at all included resorts.

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Shane June 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Great travel tips, and you are right in resort areas things are much more expensive so if you can save on snacks it is smart to bring your own and avoid paying too much for the small stuff.

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Frugal Joe June 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

If I can not walk there then I am not going.

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