Travel Tips

16 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation

16 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation

Vacations can be an expensive endeavor, no matter where you go. However, there are ways to save money on your vacations. Here are 16 easy ways to save money on vacation that won’t hurt you at all. In fact, some of them might even enrich your vacation.

16 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation

Last week I wrote a post called 10 Ways to Pay for Travel, full of ideas to help you save money for your vacation. If you follow these tips as well, you won’t have to save quite so much money. That’s a huge plus when things are so very expensive.

Items to Take

Bring your sunscreen, bug spray, medications and toiletries with you. This might require you to pay for a checked bag or you could make 3 ounce containers of each thing to fit in your carry on bag. If you’re traveling with someone, you can split the containers up for your carry on.

Bring your own snacks for travel instead of buying in the airport. Let’s face it, food at the airport is crazy expensive and airplane food is either nonexistent or not very good. Pack your own snacks and bring them with you. This will save you a lot of money, it will taste better and you will get what you like.

Bring a reusable water bottle, with a filter if possible. Bottled water in the airport is crazy expensive. Seriously, I’ve seen it for over $5.00 a bottle. Not right at all. Most airports have water fountains to fill your bottle after you get through security. If you have a filter on the bottle, you can use it at your destination as well.

16 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation England

Avoid the currency exchanges if at all possible. They generally have pretty high fees, although they don’t list it as a fee, it is in the exchange rate. If possible, exchange enough cash before you leave home, at a local bank. That will get you the best exchange rate. If that isn’t possible, use the ATM at your destination. If you do this, take out as much cash as possible at one time to avoid paying extra ATM fees.

Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. This will take some digging, but they do exist. It’s good to have a credit card with you either to pay for things or just for emergencies.

Things to do ahead of time

Investigate your destination ahead of time. Sometimes we pick a destination without knowing exactly what the place has to offer. Do some digging and investigating to find out what there is to do and compare costs and reviews. You don’t want to spend your hard earned money on something that isn’t a good fit or just isn’t a good company.

16 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation Martinique

Plan tours in advance and buy tickets ahead of time. If you find places that you absolutely want to visit, try to purchase your tickets ahead of time online. Usually the cost will be less expensive than just showing up at the door. You might even be able to find coupons to make the cost lower.

Determine if you need rental car insurance. It’s possible that your regular car insurance will cover your rental car. Your credit card might also cover rental car insurance. I can tell you that I never buy the insurance offered by the rental car companies. Just be sure to bring your insurance information, in case you need it.

Stay in an AirBNB instead of a hotel. In case you don’t know what AirBNB is, I will tell you. It is a website where home owners rent out their home for vacationers. We’ve stayed in a few of them and have loved every one. They generally cost less money and you have a whole house or apartment instead of just a room. One of the other things that is pretty nice about AirBNB is, if you have an account, you are given a referral link and anyone who signs up on your link and then books, gives you a credit in your account. (Those links are my referral link.)

If you decide to stay in an AirBNB, go to the local grocery store and cook some of your meals. I would really rather do this than eat out every meal, every day. This will save you a whole lot of money and you will get food you enjoy.


Eat at roadside stands instead of restaurants. When you’re doing this, be sure they are clean and hopefully have a health department license. This is a great time to try some local food that is prepared closer to how the locals eat than the restaurants.

16 Easy Ways to Save Money on Vacation China

Shop for souvenirs away from the tourist areas. If you buy on the local strip, you will pay a lot more than going a few blocks back for the very same items. When our kids were growing up, we had them each select something they wanted to collect and that was their souvenir from various places. That made it a lot easier to shop and less expensive too.

Use public transportation instead of taxis whenever possible. Busses or the subway are a lot less expensive than taxis. I would caution you that if have been exploring the local nightclubs, splurging on the taxi might be a safer option.

Whenever possible, find alternatives to tour groups. I’m not a huge fan of tour groups. Sometimes there are no alternatives, but if there is one, I try to go with that option. If you have your own snorkeling equipment, you are a proficient snorkeler and you can get to the snorkeling area by car, why would you pay someone to take you?

Travel Off Season if possible for huge savings. Everything will be less expensive and there will be a lot less people at your destination.

Use wifi instead of your cell phone for great savings on international destinations. Phone companies will charge you a whole lot of money, depending on your carrier, for phone calls and internet usage. You can use Facetime, Facebook Messenger or Skype to call people for free with wifi.

How do you save money?

Will you try any of my 16 easy ways to save money on vacation? Seriously, they do work. When you go on vacation, how do you save money? Leave me a comment below and share your tips.









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  • Ann July 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    These are all great tips. I particularly like the ones about bringing a re-usable water bottle, and packing airport/plane snacks. It’s easy to drop a significant chunk of change at the airport before your real trip even starts. And — even if you aren’t in an AirBNB, if you have a hotel with a small fridge and a microwave, getting breakfast items from a grocery is a great way to cut back on food expenses.

    • ppadmin July 14, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      Absolutely. There are lots of ways to save money. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman July 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    We have taken to saving money shopping at grocery stores instead of eating out all the time. Not only does it save money, it also keeps our weight in check. A few cheat meals can be good for the diet but a cheat week is bad. Kind of like Shark Week, but with more calories.

    • ppadmin July 14, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      Such a great thing to do. Plus, if you have food you have prepared, it’s better for your digestion. I find if I eat in restaurants too much, I get sluggish and sick.

  • Fiona Maclean July 14, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    I like self catering – AirBnB or other kinds. They allow you to have some home cooked meals which is somehow a bit of a relief from dining out the whole time. And to really relax.

    Your tips are great – I particularly need to remember about the water bottle – I have a stackload of them and always forget to take them!

    • ppadmin July 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      I also like self-catering the best. All that restaurant food is not so good for you. I have loads of water bottles. I take one with me wherever I go, even at home. It’s a good habit to get in to.

  • Danik July 15, 2018 at 1:48 am

    I sometimes find in recent years staying in AirBNB is a heck of a lot cheaper than hotels so that has saved me money. However I been renting out cars a lot when I am in North America and thats where I am not saving money (but still cheaper than flights in Canada, how they charge so much I dont know!)

    • ppadmin July 15, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      I agree so much. Cars are a killer on the budget. Your insurance company might have discounts on car rentals. Mine does. Sometimes the prices are really, really great.

  • Medha Verma July 15, 2018 at 3:58 am

    Yes to almost all of the above! I always prefer using public transportation such as trains and buses unless I am in a country where there are mountains and countryside, then I like to rent a car! I also prefer eating road side food instead of a restaurant unless you’re in a country like India where it’s extremely unhygienic to eat road side food. Airbnbs are a good and cheaper alternative to hotels, for sure. Even better is to cook your own food, buy groceries and basics from the super market!

    • ppadmin July 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      I found when we lived in China, there was no way I was eating at the roadside stands. Most of it looked questionable. However, in Martinique, they were so clean and so good, we ate at them all the time. You just have to figure out where is safe. Since a lot of our trips revolve around work, we don’t usually have to pay for our car rental, so that’s why we have cars most of the time. I really liked traveling by train in China though.

  • Indrani July 16, 2018 at 1:56 am

    We do that – take out as much cash as possible at one time to avoid paying extra ATM fees. Great idea about the souvenirs. Need to check out distant places from tourist spots. We indulge in local cuisines and street foods a lot. You are right about saving money on that too.

    • ppadmin July 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Anything you can do to save money, while still having fun is a great thing!

  • Vasu Devan July 16, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Great tips. We have followed them all to a greater or lesser extent every time. 🙂 Local food are cheaper than “Foreign” food, so we try to have them as it only accentuates our experience . I spend hours before booking accommodation. It helps because once we got a 1 bed room , fully furnished, apartment for about 30 USD a night in warsaw.

    • ppadmin July 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      That’s an excellent price! I also look for a place to stay for hours too. I rarely look for hotels for vacation anymore.

  • sherianne July 16, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Great tips. Pre-planning saves me so much money! And it’s nice to have everything purchased and ready to go when i get to the destination.

    • ppadmin July 20, 2018 at 7:03 am

      It truly does save money. Plus, you don’t to run around looking for stuff when you get there.

  • Vicky and Buddy July 18, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Researching ahead of time is definitely something I always try to do. Something I would suggest is also looking for places that offer free entrance on certain days of the month. For instance, some museums offer free entrance on the first Friday of the month (or whichever day). If you time your visit right, you can visit places that normally cost a lot more.

    • ppadmin July 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Oh, great idea! Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Suruchi Mittal July 19, 2018 at 8:07 am

    I agree with all the pointers you have mentioned in this post especially about researching the place and buying tickets before hand. Staying in air BNB ‘s too is quite a good option and can help in saving a lot. I too agree on carrying your own refillable water bottle to save money and plastic waste.

    • ppadmin July 23, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      Thank you. Saving money is always a handy thing, be especially on vacation. You don’t want to be worrying about money while you’re trying to have fun.