Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to Save Money on your Vacation

Vacation Season is just around the corner- and for some of us, it's already arrived!

There are several things to consider when planning your vacation.

How much is it going to cost? We'd love to go out to Las Vegas or California- or Scotland! However, a plane ticket per person is going to be at LEAST $300. $600 starting off the bat is not something we can afford every single year. Or every other year. Or every other other year.

You get the point. Make sure you know your budget before you ever book the first step.

What kind of things are there to do/ how much do they cost? Obviously, the more "resorty" the town is, the more expensive things will be. We went to Avon Colorado and the McDonald's didn't even have a dollar menu. O.O Talk about expensive. Be sure to scout out things to do that are interesting and reasonably priced BEFORE you decide on where to go. Free museums are always interesting- in fact, in Colorado we had the best time at the Mining Museum ($2 entry per person) even though neither of us had much interest in mining. It was just a fun, out of the way little thing to kill an hour that led to the best priced gift shop I've ever seen and some of the best photo opps EVER!

Stop by the State Welcome Centers! Even when we vacation in North Carolina, I go to our State Welcome Centers. You can get all kinds of coupon books and fliers for things to do. It even helps plan vacations for years to come.

Join Email Lists. If you know you are planning on going to a theme park area, join the lists of those theme parks to get information on ticket deals. I've seen some excellent "entire vacation" deals come through my email.

Go Off Season. You don't have to hit the beach in January, but by avoiding booking around July 4th or Memorial Day, you can often take advantage of betters deals and LESS PEOPLE!

Buy Less Stuff. Tim wants a souvenir when we go somewhere, which is fine. It's not a bad thing to buy yourself a little something. However, (and we talked about this last year too), you don't need to buy everything you see. Are you *really* going to use that Virginia Beach Sun Visor more than never? Do you HAVE to have a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt with the name of the place you're visiting on it? If you have to have something, buy one item and then stop. It will save you headaches years from now when you're yard saleing that visor with it's $20 price tag still on.