Vacations can be expensive. Many people simply cannot afford to take time off of work or pay for travel/hotel/transportation expenses. This is even more true for low to moderate income families that need to closely follow a budget. If you do find yourself in a financial position where you can take a vacation, here are some money saving tips for the 2018 summer vacation season, including hitting the beach like I indicate below. No matter what, it is always a great idea to try and do it.
When you take a vacation, it comes with many benefits. Not only does time off help you physically rebalance, it also helps you mentally recharge for the future. It makes employees more productive at work, allows children and parents to recharge for work or school and there are many other benefits.
In addition, quality time with loved ones is priceless for memories and pleasure. It can help a family rebuild bonds. If you can afford to take a vacation, here are some thoughts on how to save money:
Consider staying at a hotel that offers loyalty rewards points. Or another tip is to just go ahead and register to join a loyalty program before booking the trip. These programs reward customers with perks like free Internet, beverages or discounts on local activities and restaurants. Or you can build up your points over time to use to pay for a hotel room in the future.
Look for hotels that offer free breakfasts or maybe appetizers at dinner. Even cutting out one meal per day on a trip can add up to saving hundreds of dollars over the course of the trip. If you skip that meal, your restaurant bill savings will surely add up. Many hotels offer free breakfasts, with continental ones becoming more common in 2018.
Also, to save money on food, pack a lunch or water bottle. It can reduce the temptation to buy expensive snacks or meals while wondering about. Also pack enough food for the entire family, including hungry kids! If the hotel has a fridge, keep the water/food in their as well.
Take advantage of any on-site amenities at hotels like pools, miniature golf courses, arcades or other family friendly features to save a lot of money. On-site amenities like pools can provide hours of entertainment and decrease the amount of money spent on traveling to local sites even if it’s just for an afternoon or evening. The point is to relax and spend quality time with your loved ones.
Take a vacation off season. While this can be difficult if your kids are in school, we have found that people can save up to 30% on their trip by taking it off season. Even if you have to go during the summer of 2018, do not travel during the main holidays such as 4th of July or Memorial day. Go more “off-times” during a season. It is a small tip, but maybe the most beneficial one to a moderate income household.
Contact local tourism boards and ask for coupons/brochures to area attractions. This is one of our best suggestions to save. They are often available for free online. Coupons are usually available for local restaurants, theme parks, mini golf and other family friendly activities. A family on a limited budget, or low income, can really save money by doing this.
Go to a free attraction, like the beach! They cover almost the entire coast in some places, like South Carolina and Mt. Pleasant. But there are many other free amenities to try for free. They include many zoos, scenic drives, museums (as many even like in NYC have fees but they are “requested” donations), large parks, and many more.
Or get the information from a free phone application. There are many to use. You can find out where to go while on your vacation, locate a few nearby events, or maybe some apps even give coupons for the area you will be in.
Consider joining airline and car rental loyalty rewards programs which are free to apply for. They may also offer cash back benefits too. When doing this, ask for other benefits. Many of these programs may end up leading to upgrades, steep discounts for a lower income family and other services.
Almost any family can afford to take some type of small trip or vacation if they plan in advance. Even if you are struggling, it is healthy to recharge from time to time. Just stick to a budget, plan way ahead for the trip, and save money well in advance to pay for the costs involved for a vacation. All of these tips will add up over time and save you money during the 2018 summer vacation season.