Tuesday, July 11, 2017

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation!!

While I am on vacation, I try to find financial balance.  One one hand, this is my vacation, and I want to treat myself to some splurges here and there.  On the other hand, the idea of setting myself back financially, and undoing the progress I've been making in my financial freedom, almost makes me sick.  So, here are some of the things I do in order to save money on my vacation:

1.  Try the 2-in-1 vacation!

I almost always try to see two cities in one big trip.  Depending on how long my trip is I might make it more.  I don't want to sacrifice quantity for quality, but I like to pair a quick 2-day side trip to a more expensive location with a slightly longer stay in a place that I know I can do for a lesser cost.  For example, I recently went to Edinburgh, Scotland.  We were visiting my cousin, who lives there. We spent the majority of our time in Edinburgh, staying with her (which cut some serious costs), and paired it with a train ride into London where we stayed for a couple of nights.  Everything in London costs more anyway, but by pairing it with a city that we knew we could do for less expensive, we kept our budget in line.

2.  "Breakfast Included"

These two little words have a lot of power behind them.  Food is one thing you cannot do without, nor should you.  Food is a part of the local culture you should be most eager to experience.  At the same time, you do not want to break the bank either.  When I am looking for accommodations, I always look for a place with a "breakfast included."  I read carefully to see what that breakfast includes.  I am not the kind of girl that can go all day on a "doughnuts and coffee" kind of breakfast.  Many times a hotel or bed and breakfast will include a breakfast that is considered traditional for the location you are visiting.  This allows you to eat experience some local food culture, and start your day well-fueled.

3.  Skip Lunch

Okay, so I am not being totally literal here.  I always eat something mid-day, but I am the queen of the granola bar in my purse for lunch, or something super quick and cheap that I can eat on the go.   In Edinburgh, I remember that my partner I were both hungry at one point.  Neither of us wanted to spend very much time or money on eating at that point because we had plans for a nicer sit-down meal later.  We spotted a fast-food chain, which ironically, we literally never frequent in the U.S., but we went in anyway.  Much to our surprise, we found veggie burgers on the menu (also not in the U.S. version of this chain). They were inexpensive and staved off the hunger.  We also noticed that they put cucumbers on the burger rather than pickles, which was an unexpected, but enjoyable variation.  Anyhow, my point is that lunch for us is not the indulgence; it is a meal that is all about fueling our bodies.  Besides, there are many things that we want to make sure to take in before they close (museums, etc.) and the mid-day meal isn't something I care to loose time doing.  Furthermore, we prefer to save our splurge for a nice sit-down dinner.

4.  Alternate between FREE activities and ADMISSION-costing ones

A Hike in Holyrood Park Edinburgh Scotland
This isn't necessarily much different from the idea of planning your meals with breakfast being included,  lunch being cheap and on the go, and splurging on a nice sit-down dinner.  If I am planning on going to a museum or play that costs admission, or sporting event, I plan another activity that day that is free: a park, free museum, outdoor market, etc.  Every city has plenty that fall into both categories, you just have to look for them.

5.  Use Public Transportation

This may not always be possible, or you might have situations arise where you want to get somewhere quickly, but I love using public transit.  It gives me a great insight to the culture of the city, and sometimes, I get to see parts of a city that I might not otherwise.  I use bus and train rides as a way to experience local culture, see more of the city, rest my feet, and save some money.

No comments:

Post a Comment