Spending less on holidays – are we talking about a Mission: Impossible sort of thing? One of those ideas you can’t allow your mind to dwell on if you want to have a good time? Something that happens to other people? Well, no, no and no! Spending less on holidays without sacrificing that much-needed comfort is entirely possible! Check out these simple tricks, take a moment to really acknowledge how unfussy they happen to be and enjoy a fun, budget-friendlier vacation this summer.
1. Consider All Inclusive Deals
Spending a bit more for an all inclusive/package deal may sound luxe in theory but it could really become your trick for spending less on holidays in practice. This especially goes if you have small children or are planning on visiting a place noted as being “quite expensive.” Ask around, get informed about the regular costs of food, water, drinks and even entertainment (i.e., everything your inclusive deal may include), be realistic about your meal requirements (include snacks if traveling with kids) and you’ll have no problem deciding on whether the all inclusive deal would be a save or an unnecessary waste for the given destination.
2. Purchase Must-Have Cosmetics Ahead
Sun block, mosquito repellent and a trusted burn relief cream are some things I always like to bring with me. It makes me feel safe because I know I won’t have to take risks with a replacement product should it happen that none of my faves are available and it also helps me save because I know where to get them cheapest. Do not count on buying these products on the go (read: in one of those small, conveniently located shops) if you want to save because you’re sure to overpay for them, and definitely plan a trip to a big supermarket in case you run out of anything during your stay.
3. Plan Your Daily Budget
If package deals are not the ideal option for you and your family, you can definitely try something just as good! Do your best to get to know the place you’re going to be staying in, list costs you can’t avoid, little treats you would like to afford in moderation and guilty pleasures you can allow yourself to think about only if you manage to stick to your budget during the first ¾ of your vacation. Be a good girl and do your best to go with the program – who knows, you might even manage to put something aside each day and then you can really treat yourself before you pack up your bags and catch a flight home.
4. Plan a Gift Budget
The larger our families are, the more money we have to spend on gifts, and as nice as this tradition is, one can’t help but feel a bit… well… forced into something one cannot always afford. Write the names down before you leave, write down how much you can afford to spend on each gift and consider opting for “family/house gifts” instead of individual ones if you can’t keep the list short (or shortish). Consider refrigerator magnets, decorative pottery, coasters, mugs and other traditional souvenirs – they are not as cheesy as you think! I actually collect refrigerator magnets and decorative plates and my mom loves just anything souvenir-ish!
5. Pack Your Snacks/Eat in
If your accommodation includes a kitchenette, a grill toaster, a microwave or a coffee machine, you can always choose to cut some costs by preparing something yourself. Microwave meals, super yummy toast sandwiches or simply your morning coffee can really make a difference, helping you save big time by simply not having to eat and drink out every single time or being able to prepare a beach snack for your kids. Cutting costs on a vacation doesn’t mean you don’t get to take a break too, of course, but let's face it… you can’t deny yourself or your kids these basic things and when costs start adding up, you end up realizing that going DIY here and there is really a big save.
6. Employ a Few Foolproof Tricks
Unplanned expenses can sprout like mushrooms if you’re not being careful. If you, for example, end up packing in a hurry, your favorite staple pieces might end up getting so creased you’ll have to pay for pressing. If they get stained you’ll have to get them washed or dry cleaned and, trust me, these services are neither cheap nor easily available everywhere. Don’t forget to pack your trusty stain removal pen, therefore, and do pack carefully. Do not fold easy to crease items – roll them up instead! And here’s another cool tip – should some of your clothes end up too creased for your liking, hang them up in the bathroom so you can steam-press them by yourself while you’re taking a shower.
7. Work out Transportation Issues Beforehand
Vacationing often means sightseeing and that, of course, means added costs. Tickets and fares are usually fixed so there’s nothing much you can do to save except for maybe booking them online. You can, however, save considerably by working out the most budget-friendly transportation option. Consult a map before you book your accommodation because what might seem like a huge save accommodation-wise might actually cost a fortune in the long run. Taxi service is so cheap in some countries that you won’t even have to use public transport, a conveniently placed metro station is always a benefit and a location with at least one or two sites within walking distance is even better!
See ladies? Spending less on holidays this summer is entirely possible! All it takes is a bit of careful planning. But tell me, what do you do to keep your vacations budget-friendly and hassle-free?