We all love going on holiday, but unfortunately jetting off to the other side of the world doesn’t come cheap. That is, unless you’ve done your homework. In fact, there are plenty of ways to make your money go further on your travels, while still having the time of your life. From your flights and accommodation to food and attractions, there are always ways to save if you look hard enough. Here are some top tips for an unforgettable yet guilt-free getaway.
Book Well in Advance
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people leave flights and hotels to the last minute, and pay the price (literally!) for this lack of forethought. If you’re going away during a busy season especially, you’re going to want to plan many months ahead. Use comparison sites to shop around for the best deals.
Book Two Singles (or Get Creative with Your Route)
A lot of the time, paying for a return trip can wind up being more costly than two singles so that a quick search can pay off. Going one step further, you might want to see whether stopping off somewhere en route and getting another flight to your destination works out cheaper than a straight flight. If you’re willing to wait an hour or two, an indirect flight is a great option for the thrifty.
Keep an Eye Out for Deals
Hotels are always offering promotions, from two-for-one to discounted rates, and a little digging can be very fruitful. Keep tabs on your favorite hotels via email or social media, and see if anything comes up. Once you’re there, don’t be shy to ask politely for an upgrade either; it can’t hurt to try!
Consider Travel Cards
If you’re going to be using public transport, it’s an excellent idea to pick up a travel card. Not only will you save money compared to regularly paying for individual trips, but it’ll also make things a whole lot easier if you can use one simple card for all your transportation needs-especially if you don’t speak the language.
Cut fast food out of your diet. Not only will you feel healthier, but also you’ll save anywhere from $5 a month on up, depending on how often you rely on that greasy convenience!
Shop with coupons. If you can procure coupons for something you buy regularly, or even as a treat – especially when it’s on sale in the store – you can really save a lot of money each month. My mom shops for a family of six and saves anywhere from $60 to $150 a MONTH just by using coupons and shopping especially when items she wants are on sale. Just think, that is anywhere from $720 to $1800 a YEAR!
Cook at home more, eat out less. By reducing the number of times you eat out at a restaurant, you’re not only saving on the higher prices of food, but also the amounts spent on tips, overpriced beverages and gasoline to get there.
Try brewing coffee at home at least part of the week. By saving gourmet coffee for special occasions and either Fridays or Mondays, you can really cut down your unnecessary expenses.
Drink filtered tap water instead of bottled spring water. Or, if your office has a spring water cooler, fill up a water bottle and drink from that throughout the day. Consider eliminating soda from your diet and drink more water! It’s very healthier for you.
Roof over our heads:
Wear warmer clothes instead of cranking the heat. Take shorter showers. Turn off lights you don’t need. If you live by yourself in an apartment with a spare room, consider getting a roommate. This will help to reduce overhead tremendously!
Shopping for only those items you desperately need – pantyhose, new shoes, business attire. Shop for items only when you must and save money by taking advantage of storewide sales. Just don’t go overboard!
Before running out to the movies, check the TV page for any specials or made-for- TV movies that might appeal to you. Going to the movies costs close to $20 just for two people to enjoy a single show! Why not rent a movie or set up a movie-swap with some friends or neighbors. Every weekend, meet at one friend’s house, each with a small selection of DVDs or movies, and create your own mini-movie rental system that costs you only time!
Instead of giving up things in your life, take advantage of dozens of things you can do differently. These minor modifications in your life could contribute to you saving thousands of dollars over the course of a year. Now there’s that vacation you’re too strapped to take, a new laptop, digital camera or a down payment for a new car. You can achieve a number of your financial dreams – Just make a commitment and stick with it!