We go into spending overdrive when on vacation, as if the holiday is going to last forever and we have no more worries. The truth bites when we get back home to find there are three weeks before our next pay check and our cards are maxed. If only we had been more careful with our money! You can, when you follow these seven ways to save money Tips.
1. Go Away in Shoulder Time, Not Peak
We really are a bunch of lemmings when we go away at Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving time. Hotels know they are going to end up fully booked no matter what they charge, so they cancel special deals and start adding extras. The shoulder season starts when the peak ends and the mob goes back home. That is when hotels start reaping the final holiday harvest, and this time the consumer is in charge. So negotiate.
2. Be Wary of Chain Hotels
Hotel chains are not cheap, they just say they are, but then they do provide pay facilities like multiple restaurants, spas, fitness centers, 24-hour service and so on. Ask yourself a question. Do you use these facilities because you cannot live without them, or because they are there and you want to boast about them afterwards. Book into small independent hotels with comfortable rooms and little else instead, save money on your vacation
3. Stay Away from Top Resort Towns
Corfu, Mykonos and Belize are signature resorts and the rich and wealthy stay there. Hotels and restaurants adjust their prices accordingly. This is why Mr & Mrs Average find them so expensive. Skip the places you cannot afford and go where you can get a bargain. Save money by poring over last minute online deals and grab a special when you spot one. You will have so much more to tell your friends about a destination they have not been to yet.
4. Dine Out on a Tight Budget
Decide how much you can afford to spend on meals before you board the plane or ship. Rule number one is refuse to pay for hotel breakfasts because they are expensive and offer more choices you could think of. Grab a fresh roll or sandwich and a juice at a local deli. Admire new surroundings as you eat and walk. Rule number two is never enter a restaurant without prices on a menu board outside. Taste with your eyes until you find what you are looking for, and then order it and nothing else.
5. Consider Going Self-Catering
You do not need a fancy holiday apartment to prepare your own food. All you need is a microwave in a cupboard, a kitchen sink and a barbeque outside. You will save a fortune by buying heat-and-eat snacks and value takeaways. If they seem a bit bland, pick up a salad at the fresh produce market and get creative. If you feel like cooking properly, there are also savings from buying fresh food on its sell-by-date. Stores mark these down to shift the stock and there is no difference in the quality that you will spot.
6. Take Inexpensive City Tours
There is so much to see that does not need an entrance fee. Many galleries and museums are free at weekends. If you catch a city hopper bus on a season ticket, you can jump on and off as often as you like. Hijack a guided walking tour but stay on the fringes. The guide will not want to risk confrontation especially if it is a public place. Later, take a self-guided city walk at early evening when the stars are starting to come out. See the city as the locals know it. Truly, this is the art of holidaying.
7. Claim All Your Discounts
Claim your discounts everywhere you go. If you are a student, get a student card. If you are a senior, demand your pensioners discount. If you are a family with kids then search out the kids-eat-half-price-at-lunchtime specials. Many fast-food outlets have discount deals one day a week. The days vary between restaurants. With a little planning, you could make this a daily event.
Do not be tempted into eating more because the food is cheaper, or going more frequently to movies because you qualify for a discount. Live frugally as you do at home. When you bank the savings, you start paying for your next holiday! Not two-for-one but well worth doing.