Here’s How to Save Money While on Vacation

Here’s How to Save Money While on Vacation
Written by Irina Vasilescu

A stunning beach destination somewhere in Asia, an exotic exploration of Europe or an African adventure – haven’t you always dreamed of taking vacations like these? Unfortunately, not a lot of people can afford to take the time off work to enjoy such destinations. Aside from time constraints, there are also monetary issues to consider.

If you’re an average earner and you would like to go on a safari trip in Africa, it might not necessarily be something that you can afford with your salary. Fortunately, you could give yourself plenty of time to save up for a well-deserved vacation.

More importantly, you can always do some meticulous research to cut the costs of your travel-related expenses. Unlike a few decades back when you needed a fortune to spend a week-long vacation in a tropical country, there are many cheaper travel packages available now. You can also save a lot of time and make your trip as smooth-sailing as possible by planning the details in advance.

Saving Up for Your Vacation

Now, if you are longing to spend an entire week sipping margaritas by the beach but you don’t have the funds to plan for a luxurious vacation just yet, you still have time to save up. Here are a few important tips on how you can save money for your next vacation:

Stop procrastinating!

How many people do you know have actually realized their dreams of taking a vacation to their desired destination?

Don’t wait for your retirement years to travel the world. You might be not-so-young then to try out more daring adventures or explorations, so be determined in saving up for your travels right now.

You can easily use every excuse in the book to put off travelling – so where would that leave you? The number one thing that you need to do if you’re serious about saving up for your next vacation is to stop procrastinating.

If the expenses are what you’re concerned about, start saving up now. If you don’t know how to actually raise the money, there are ways for you to do just that. If your excuse is lack of time, you can always make the time for it once you actually have the funds.

When you stop procrastinating, you can take concrete actions towards saving for your travels and putting your dreams into action.

Set up a savings account strictly for your vacation-related expenses.

Now, you’ve already vowed to stop procrastinating and start acting. The first step that you can take towards saving up for your travels is to set up a savings account.

Make it a rule not to touch the funds on your travel funds, and add money to it whenever you can. Most banks offer zero payment for opening a savings account, so go to your preferred bank.

When you have a dedicated account for your travel expenses, you can easily keep track of it. You can also decide how much to set aside whenever you have extra funds.

If you want, you can also set up automatic transfers at regular intervals. This will force you to set aside funds for your travels, which makes things easier. Even a small amount saved up on a regular basis will add up to a lot, and you can use the money for your dream vacation.

Calculate your expenses per month and determine where you can cut back.

Next, calculate your monthly expenses and determine where you can cut back.

If you’re single, what is the bare minimum amount for your living expenses?

If you are splurging on manicure and pedicure sessions, why not save money by doing it yourself at home?

If you frequently go out to pricey bars or restaurants, you can eliminate the expense from your budget and simply find ways to entertain yourself at home.

The money you’ll save can go towards your travel fund. You can also get rid of unnecessary subscriptions for magazines, cable or satellite TV, landline phone, pricey mobile calling plans, etc.

Liquidate your small assets and put the funds directly in your travel fund.

Liquidating your small assets is a great way to inspire yourself to save more money for your travels. After setting up a savings account for your vacation-related expenses, clean out your closet or your entire house. Pool together all the items which you have barely or never used, and those that can still be sold online. Organize a garage sale in the neighborhood or sell your stuff on sites like eBay, Craigslist or Amazon.

Use and spend less, save more.

Another way to boost your travel fund is to use and spend less, in order to save more. Saving money on water and electricity is something that you should be doing in the first place. Whether it’s the hot or cold season, making sure that your home is airtight will prevent heated or cooled air from escaping, thereby saving you money on electricity.

If you haven’t already done so, replace those ordinary light bulbs with energy-saving ones. Cut your shower time in half and make sure that everyone in the family is doing his or her share in saving water and electricity.

By exerting as much effort as you can in saving electricity and water, your utility bills will go down and your savings can go towards your travel funds.

Ways to Save Money Before & During Your Vacation

Let’s say that you only need a few hundred dollars to complete your vacation fund. What are the ways for you to save money before and during your vacation? Take a look at the following tips:

Know when to book your airline tickets to get great rates.

Travel experts recommend booking your airline tickets six to seven weeks prior to your actual travel date. This is when most airline carriers offer the best rates for airfare. If you are travelling as a family or with a group of friends, you can also take advantage of group discounts. Flying during weekdays is cheaper than weekends, and there are peak hours where the rates are more expensive as compared to the off-peak hours.

To compare airline ticket rates, you can visit sites like Skyscanner. Use the ‘Everywhere’ tool to find the cheapest flights from any airport – even if you are planning to fly direct. The price difference might make you change your mind.

You should also think about travelling during the low season of the tourist destination that you are visiting. This will give you cheaper rates for everything, and prevent you from having to weave your way through a huge crowd when checking out the sights.

Save money on accommodations.

You can call the hotel directly and ask for discounts or room upgrades at no extra cost. Aside from traditional hotels, you can also check out alternative accommodations like boutique hotels, hostels, holiday villas, cottages, etc. Check out AirBnB for cheap accommodations.

You can also visit websites which have couch surfing services where you can bunk with a local during your trip so you won’t have to spend as much on accommodations. This is an especially useful feature for those who plan to stay out most of the day, anyway.

Save money on food and other expenses during your vacation.

One of the best ways to experience what makes a place tick is by mingling with the locals. Ask where the local watering hole is, along with cheap eateries. If you hang out where the locals are, the price should be cheap and the food should be good.

When you are going on a road trip, you will save more money hauling food supplies and buying them from the grocery store instead of always eating out at restaurants or fast food chains.

Instead of buying run-of-the-mill souvenirs which will just gather dust in your display cabinet, simply take plenty of photos or collect coins from the places that you’ve been.

Look for alternative free ways to travel.

What about teaching English to foreign students? This will provide you with the money to fund your travels, while giving you the opportunity to explore different countries at the same time. You can also look for student grants so that you can grab the opportunity to travel without having most of the funds come from your own pocket.

Do not come home from your vacation with empty pockets.

Finally, never make the mistake of coming home from your vacation with empty pockets. This can be a real downer, especially if you can’t wait to plan for your next vacation. Try not to charge your entire trip on your credit card – otherwise you might find yourself only dreaming about Paris when your previous trip to Bali is still being billed on your monthly statements.

Travelling is one of the most enriching experiences that you should make time and save money for. By following these tips, you can set aside funds for your future travels, and actually realize your dream of going to that luscious sightseeing destination.

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.


  • Getting a separate account to save for vacations is a great idea. I want to go on a big trip next year and have started to budget for it. I am pretty good at finding good deals. I like researching everything myself and that saves a bit too.

  • I also tend to use the power of my networks, as in getting help from friends or family who may have been to those places or can help in some way.

    Those with knowledge about a place can obviously provide info on the cheapest and efficient way to play a destination. And if they have friends that live there, particularly if it’s a major city, see if they can give guidance on where to hang out that doesn’t involve a ‘tourist tax’ but is a pretty regular place.

    On top of that, if any one I know has a special corporate rate (and I’ve managed it only once or twice) I’ll see whether they are able to book for me.

    • I just back from a trip to Asia and was able to get by with only staying in a hotel for two nights out of the 15 I was there. Staying with friends and family is a great way to cut costs, but also to spend time and bond. It’s great to have a local contact as well to show you around – just make sure you leave them with a gift or two for their considerations!

  • International travel in the Philippines is not anymore for the rich and famous.

    If only one has got the patient to surf and monitor different airline rates, one could get the best deal.

    Even if the rates are shockingly low, one would still need sufficient money to be able to organize the planned and actual trips.

    Vacation as it is, money is still the paramount issue.

    • My partner recently got back from a trip to the Phillipines and expressed concerns for her safety while over there. She said gun and weapon control in general was really lax and she felt somewhat threatened to walk down the streets at night. Is this normal in the Phillipines or is she just being overly cautious?

      In particular she mentioned that taxis were really scary.

      • Where in the Philippines did she went to? Aside from saving money for a trip, she should have at least read the news paper or watch news on the television for updates if there are some threat or something to worry about where is she is heading to. There are so many places in the Philippines that is not scary and it is safe to walk anywhere else like – Davao City in Mindanao.
        Hope she will ask her travel adviser some places that she will not feel threatened or what so that she will enjoy her stay. Believe me there are so many paradise in the Philippines to look forward to. The whole world is so amazing to see..=)

  • Every one would love to be able to travel more — but vacationing is always a huge expense especially for the struggling middle class family who lives paycheck to paycheck. Thank you for the tips — my family will definitely be putting them to use.

    • Vacationing doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive. I guess it somewhat depends on where you live geographically, but for many people there are plenty of places that you can visit within a weekend driving distance. Even a day trip out to the countryside can be an effective escape from the doldrum of day to day life.

      Other than that, leveraging staying with friends and family can always lessen costs and give you a great excuse to visit.

  • Everyone loves to travel and go places. It’s nice to experience the many joys of life. I first tend to visit the website of any tourist spot and gather as much knowledge as possible. Planning out the trip ahead, saves you a lot of pain and money. Using road transport during a vacation is a great idea. It not only saves money but also lets you witness the local place in all its glory. I would, however, like to splurge on local food. Any journey is incomplete without savoring the local stuff.

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