10 Ways to Save Money on Vacation

10 Mar

Challenge: Enjoy a week of vacation where I do absolutely nothing work related other than working on my tan.

Could be tough for me, but I’m up for it.

That means: no cell phone, no Internet, no homework, no work, nothing.

The reason I say this is because in approximately 2 days I will be on my way to Florida for a weekend in Cocoa Beach and then a week cruising the high seas with 15 of my best girl friends on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Can. Not. Wait.

This is the last time we will all really be together until who knows when, so I want to cherish every moment of it. However, that doesn’t mean I need to spend beaucoups of money just to have fun. There are plenty of ways to save money without being cheap on your Spring Break trip, or any trip.

Here is a list of some suggestions:

  1. Visit/stalk sites like www.kayak.com: Their slogan is “One and Done” because they literally scour the web for any and all flights, hotels, etc. and show you the prices. Then you choose the best one. Easy as that. Start early and you’ll find even better deals.
  2. Make your own meals: It sounds so simple, but people often forget that they can make a sandwich for lunch, instead of paying upwards of $15 for a bad burger on the beach. Plus, if you pack yourself a little picnic, you can stay in the sun for even longer. A win/win.
  3. Pack efficiently: If you can manage it, pack as little as possible and carry-on your luggage on flights. Checking bags can be unbearably expensive these days, and truthfully, not always worth it. You will probably only really need about one sixteenth of what you are packing anyway.
  4. Walk: Benefits of walking include – seeing sights you may not see otherwise, getting exercise, saving money by not paying for a taxi/bus/etc.
  5. Avoid over-priced drinks: On cruises especially, alcohol can be more expensive than anything else. Sure, you have to pay for soda now too, but those fun smoothies and fruity drinks by the pool can really rack up the credit card bill. Consider drinking water or finding other options, like waiting until you’re at a destination stop to drink.
  6. Limit yourself on shopping: Those cutesy, tourist-trap shops may have the perfect thimble for your great-aunt Susie, but realistically, you don’t need to buy it. Consider other options like taking pictures and framing them when you return from vacation for souvenirs. Let’s be honest – Susie wouldn’t even know what she was missing anyway.
  7. Use coupons… for everything: Oftentimes your hotel will have coupons in the lobby for different restaurants or attractions nearby. Also, you can search online before you go for coupon codes, group discounts or student discounts for most things you want to do.
  8. Budget for the week: Create one. That’s it.
  9. Bring snacks/drinks in the car or on the plane: This will save tons of money when you are tempted to hop out of the car and grab a bag of Doritos, some gummy worms and a Coke at the gas station. Plus, healthier snacks will actually keep you full for longer, so you will have to eat less, and ultimately spend less. Try peanut butter crackers and an apple, or if you’re like me, a jar of peanut butter and an apple.
  10. Have a “staycation” instead: Many people don’t even consider staying home an option for vacation. However, if you don’t have to money to travel somewhere, consider taking a weekend to veg-out with a good book, glass of wine and no cell phone. It will do a world of wonders. Or, you can check your local paper to see what awesome attractions are happening in your area. Try free concerts, museums or just a nice hike. It will be worth it in the end.

Overall, I’m looking forward to see how little money I can spend this week. Since my sweet roommate booked our cruise through a travel agent literally in October, we got a great deal. It’s going to be glorious.

In the meantime, feel free to add suggestions for what your best money-saving tips are while traveling.

Bon voyage!


5 Responses to “10 Ways to Save Money on Vacation”

  1. hthom77 March 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    so true. as much as we love social media, getting away from it helps us to engage with everyone around us without getting distracted 🙂 another great site for cheap travels is airfarewatchdog.com . i found a round-trip flight to copenhagen for $330! have fun 😛

    • Lauren Locher March 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      Thanks for the tip, Hannah. That’s absolutely incredible to hear you found the flight for that cheap! Wow – Have a blast!

  2. glamazonguide March 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I love that you included the staycation on your list, because that is what I am doing for spring break! Unfortunately it’s because I’m lame and have a lot of schoolwork, but I am looking forward to not having classes, sleeping in (a little) later, and spending more time with my pup!

    • Lauren Locher March 22, 2011 at 6:42 am #

      Hope your week was perfect and relaxing and that you got a lot done! Summer will be here before you know it.


  1. Royal Caribbean… really treated royally « Nice Ideas - March 22, 2011

    […] away from the keyboard for the week, I have a good reason. As you may remember in my post about saving money on vacation, I have been on a cruise to the Bahamas for my senior spring break with 15 of my closest friends. […]

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