29152509So you are finally taking that once in a lifetime vacation.  You have been saving the money you feel you will need and are ready to start your planning.  There are many things you can still do to reduce your expenses unless you have money to burn.  There are tips you can use to save money both planning your trip and while on your tip.  Check below to see which tips could help you save more on that vacation


One of your biggest expenses on your trip is likely to be the airfare.  Here are some hacks that could save you getting to your location.

Try to plan your trip far enough in advance so you can do your research.  By checking the travel discount websites you will find that price can vary quite a bit.  Just because you have found a fare you think is good, don’t stop there.  Keep checking and you may be astonished at what you find.  I was researching a trip to Austria a few months back and thought I had found a very good round trip price at about $900.  Over the weeks that followed, I kept checking other sites and prices.  I finally found a round trip fare at $500.  I had to recheck is several times as I could not believe it was real.  If you have any flexibility on you travel days, this may also present an ability to save.

Most people prefer direct flights (who wouldn’t).  If you are seriously looking for the best price, non-direct flights may be the way to go.  My wife and I were planning a trip to Vermont, a few years back.  After checking multiple sites, we found that the airfare was cheapest if we have a few stopovers, two in fact.  While this was certainly less convenient, we were able to afford a trip that we might not otherwise have been able to take at the time.  It also became part of a great adventure you can read in my post “Trapped in Vermont”.

Other ideas on saving money on airfare include round trip tickets vs 2 one way.  Traveling as light as you can to avoid those hefty baggage fees you may otherwise incur.

If you have the flexibility, try to schedule your trip in the offseason. I have found significant savings planning a trip this way.  Hotels and airfares can to be a low as 50% cheaper.

You may also find significant saving by bundling your airfare and hotel.  Try it and see what you can come up with.  I have found the best fares on FLY.COM

Granted, most people on vacation do not spend a lot of time in their hotel room, other than sleeping or changing cloths.  It is still a good area where you could save some bucks.

You have probably already figured out that staying in the center of town, while certainly more convenient, can also be much more expensive.  Try to find a hotel on the edge of town and you could be surprised at the savings.   Last year my wife and I went to our son’s wedding in San Francisco.   I did quite a bit of research on the local hotels and found that the hotels near the center of town were, not only much smaller, but were also much more expensive.   We found a very nice, family owned, hotel about 10 minutes out and saved about 50%.  They also included a free breakfast.  Such a deal!

If you are traveling with four or more, check into the prices of 2 bedroom suites vs 2 regular rooms.  They will often cost less and offer more room with just as much privacy.

I have found the best hotel prices on IHG.COM


This can be a very important part of any vacation as, who doesn’t love to eat.  You can still have wonderful dining experiences without breaking the bank.  Here are just a few ideas.

Plan ahead.  It is not very hard to check out the eating options in the place you are going to and these places will often list their prices.  This can avoid the very uncomfortable situation of finding yourself at a restaurant a bit above your budget.  It is also a good idea to have a little bite to eat sometime before you go out to dine.  This will reduce the risk of overeating and putting a big dent you budget.

How would you like a free breakfast?  Ask your waiter for some bread to go the evening before.  Also consider asking for a doggy bag, if you have significant leftovers, so you can maybe get two meals for the price of one.  Check out if your hotel offers free breakfast.  Many do and some can be quite good.  One hotel we went to last month offered, not only the traditional cereal, Danish and coffee, but eggs, waffles, toast juice and a wide assortment of other options.  Choosing one of these hotels can make for substantial savings.   You can also run out for a muffin or Danish from the local bakery and have it with the free morning coffee offered in most hotels.

If you are in a foreign location, check out the local grocery stores.  You may find some great and low cost, eating ideas.

Transportation: Read my article “The hidden costs of that vacation for information on this


There are some other ways to save on your vacation.  For example, if you are not renting a car, or even if you are, consider walking to the closer locations.  Even though my wife is disabled, we still walk whenever we can.  If you are going to a city you have never been to, this will give you and, otherwise missed, opportunity to check out the local atmosphere.  I guarantee this will enhance your trip.  You may also find that, meeting with the locals, could give you inside information on great places to visit and places to eat.

These are just some of the ways you can save on that trip and increase your experience.  Keep checking back as there is a lot more information on this to come in future articles.

If you have found a travel hack, not listed here, please tell us about it.

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