Travel Hacks 7 of 12-Save on Transportation Costs on Vacation

Vacationing with a prepared spending plan on hand is one of the best ways to have your fun, and your financial wellness, too. However, transportation costs can take a big bite out of a vacation budget. The good news is, there are loads of tricks and hacks you can use to bring those costs down. Here’s how to save on transportation costs while on vacation. 

Book early

One of the most effective ways to save on transportation costs is to plan and book your travel arrangements in advance. By doing so, you can take advantage of early bird discounts, promotional fares and special offers. Whether you’re booking flights, train tickets or rental cars, comparing prices and booking ahead of time can significantly reduce your transportation expenses.

Travel offseason

Timing your travel during off-peak seasons can yield substantial savings on transportation costs. Popular tourist destinations often have peak and off-peak seasons based on factors such as weather, holidays and local events. By choosing to travel during less-crowded times, you can take advantage of discounted transportation services.

Take advantage of public transportation

Public transportation can be a cost-effective option when exploring a new city or country. Many destinations offer efficient and affordable public transportation systems such as buses, trains, trams and subways. Research the available public transportation options and consider purchasing daily or weekly passes for unlimited travel within the area. You’ll save loads on your transportation costs and enjoy the unique experience of rubbing shoulders with local residents.

Get moving

Think outside the box and consider exploring your vacation destination on foot or by bicycle. Getting from point A to point B outside the confines of a vehicle will give you a more immersive and intimate travel experience. Many cities have well-planned walking and cycling routes, making it convenient and enjoyable to navigate through popular areas and attractions. You can rent a bike for the duration of your stay, or opt for a daily rental when needed. You can also choose to participate in guided walking tours to save on transportation costs while staying active and getting up-close and personal with the destination.

Share rides and carpool

If you prefer the convenience of private transportation, sharing rides or carpooling can significantly reduce costs. Services like Uber and Lyft often offer shared ride options, allowing you to split the fare with other travelers who are heading in the same direction. You can also link up with fellow travelers through websites and apps dedicated to carpooling, helping to reduce expenses while meeting new people.

Use travel passes

Many destinations offer travel passes or city cards that provide discounted or free access to various modes of transportation, attractions and activities. Research and compare available travel passes at your destination to determine which best aligns with your travel plans. These passes can provide substantial savings, especially if you plan to visit multiple attractions or use public transportation frequently.

Seek out local discounts

Keep an eye out for local discounts and offers that can further reduce your transportation costs. Look for tourist information centers, visitor bureaus or websites that provide information on discounted transportation tickets, car rentals and more. 

Rent smartly

If you do plan to rent a car, be sure to do it right to score the best deal. First, use an app like Hopper or Hipmunk to learn about special deals. Next, choose a smaller car for big savings. Finally, don’t ask for recommendations. The hotel concierge who shares the name of a rental place is likely getting a kickback from the company for every referral, which significantly increases your price.

Don’t let your transportation costs kill your budget! Use the tips outlined here to save big on vacation transportation costs. 

TikTok Inspo: Tell us how you’re going to get around for less while on vacation in a short video. 

Travel Hacks 5 of 12-Your Complete Guide to Vacation Budgets

It’s great to get away from the daily grind, but budgets never go on vacation. The classic rules of sticking to your spending plan and not racking up bills you cannot pay still apply when you’re on vacation. The good news is, a vacation budget will actually make your trip more relaxing. When every dollar is accounted for and you know exactly how much money you have to spend in each expense category while you’re on vacation, you don’t have to stress about how you’ll pay for this getaway when you get back to real life. 

Making a vacation budget is not as difficult as it may seem. All it takes is some careful planning, quick calculations and the willpower to follow it. Here’s what you need to know about making a vacation budget.

Set your budget

First, determine how much you can actually spend on your trip. It’s important to be realistic as you complete this step or you may end up paying off this vacation for months, or even years, to come. Do some research on the location you want to visit, how much it’ll cost to get there and the price you’ll pay for accommodations and transportation. Also, look up local attractions to get an idea of how much these will cost. Make a basic list of anticipated expenses and work with that number to set your vacation budget. 

As you set that budget, be sure to consider any money you may have saved up for your trip. If you’re planning this trip well in advance, take into account how much you can afford to save each month leading up to the vacation. 

Plan your expenses

Once you have your set budget and a basic list of expenses, you can work on setting an exact dollar amount for each expense category of your vacation. Use the amounts you researched in the previous step and write out your vacation budget so the individual expense categories total the same as your overall budget amount. If the total amount is way outside your affordable range, consider swapping out some expenses for cheaper, or even free, options. For example, you can choose to use public transportation instead of renting a car, dine on street food instead of eating out in classy, expensive restaurants and book activities in advance to save on the admission price. 

Track your expenses

Once your vacation budget is set up, you’ll need to track your expenses to ensure you stick to your spending plan. When purchasing airline tickets, making hotel and car rental reservations and purchasing items for your trip, be sure to record these expenses in your budget. Similarly, when on vacation, keep track of your spending so you stick to your budget. A budgeting app, like Mint or YNAB, can make this easier. 

If you find yourself overspending in any category, look for last-minute ways to cut back on your expenses. You may choose to cut out an expensive activity or to cook your own meals for quick, easy savings.

Tips for sticking to your vacation budget

The hardest part of vacationing on a budget is sticking to it while you’re away. These tips can make it easier for you to actually keep your vacation budget:

  • Use cash. Keeping the plastic out of sight while on vacation will force you to stick to your spending plan. You may also find it easier to track your expenses when you only have the exact amount you planned to spend in a specific category. Be sure to keep your cash in a safe place, such as a secure wallet or purse. 
  • Book in advance. Try to book as much of your vacation as possible in advance. Hotel stays, car rentals, tours and more are nearly always cheaper when reserved ahead of schedule. You’ll also leave fewer spending choices for your actual vacation when your willpower may be weaker. 
  • Keep a copy of your budget with you on vacation. Make a physical or digital copy of your vacation budget to carry around with you during your trip. The simple act of reviewing your budget will make it easier for you to stick to it as planned. Pull out your copy whenever you come up against a spending challenge on vacation.

Follow the tips outlined here to enjoy the trip of a lifetime without letting your budget go on vacation.

TikTok Inspo: What if budgets DID go on vacation? Shoot a 15-second video playing the role of a traveler who ignores budgets when on vacation.

Travel Hacks 4 of 12-How to Choose a Vacation Destination for Less

Looking to save on vacation costs? One of the best ways to do so is to smartly choose your destination. Here’s how to find a budget-friendly trip of a lifetime!

Set a budget

To keep vacation costs down, pre-set an amount to spend. You can choose to blow a lot of money on airline tickets to get there, but then you’ll need to spend less on lodging, food or attractions. Work out your complete vacation budget before choosing a spot so you have enough money left to spend in other categories. 

Pick your top priorities

Narrow down what’s most important to you in a vacation destination. Are you set on jetting off to Europe? Do you need to travel somewhere family-friendly? Or, are you willing to visit any city or state that’s not your own?

Jot down your priorities in order of importance, and when choosing a vacation destination, look for those that satisfy as many of your first few priorities as possible. 

Consider vacationing close to home

To save big on your vacation, consider traveling somewhere close to home. You may be able to find fascinating attractions and sites just two or three states away. You’ll likely save a day or two in travel time as well, giving you more time to enjoy your vacation. 

Look for deals and discounts

One of the best ways to save money on your vacation is to take advantage of deals and discounts. Many travel companies offer promotions, such as discounted airfare, hotel packages or all-inclusive deals. 

Consider alternative accommodations

You can save a boatload of money by staying at an Airbnb instead of a hotel. Be sure to do your research well to avoid getting scammed. 

Choose a budget-friendly destination

Look for vacation hotspots that are known to be budget-friendly. This includes countries with a low cost of living, like Nepal and India, as well as areas that offer inexpensive hotel stays and free or low-cost attractions.

By following these tips, you can find a destination that ensures the trip of a lifetime without breaking your budget!

TikTok Inspo: Can you convince us that your recent getaway was the ultimate in budget vacations? Sell us on your chosen destination in a 15-second video by showing us how much money we can save vacationing there.