bright lights, big city…
snow covered mountains…
whatever your vacation dream, it’s time to make it a reality!
Stop dreaming, start traveling with these crazy ways to save money on your next vacation.
Ways to Save Money on Travel
The Vacation Fund
Try these painless ways to save money for your next vacation!
- Unload all your $1 bills every night…it’s like the old-fashioned coin jar, but it takes into account inflation! You’ll likely save at least $1200 a year.
- Sell, Sell, Sell…have a garage sale, sell on ebay, sell on craigslist. According to Consumer Reports, the average family has $1000 – $2000 of unwanted items just sitting around.
- Start using a rewards credit card…if you use a credit card responsibly (translated: you pay it in full every month), find the best rewards credit card and use it for everything! I use a Delta Sky Miles credit card, and I generally earn 4 round trip tickets per year!
Deal First, Destination Second
This is The Budget Diet girl’s motto, and it simply means…don’t get your heart set on a destination, and then discover the deals don’t exist. Instead, be open-minded and get excited about a great deal. Look beyond Expedia and Travelocity, and take a look at these unconventional ways to score a travel bargain.
- Buy discounted gift cards to use for airlines and hotels. Here are some of the latest discounts I’ve seen…Hyatt (8% off), Four Seasons (10% off), Fairmont (10% off), most airlines are 5% off! Buy Discounted Gift Cards For Up To 30% Off at Cardpool.com!
- Groupon Getaways are Groupons for travel…huge savings with a few restrictions, so make sure to read the fine print. I’ve seen a Seaside Resort in Belize for 74% off!
- Earn Cash Back for Travel through Ebates.com. How does it work? Let’s suppose you’re looking for a hotel room on Hotels.com. Instead of going directly to the Hotels.com website, start your search on Ebates.com. You’ll discover money saving coupon codes and they’ll let you know how much cash back you’ll earn. Ebates works with most major hotel chains, airlines and travel services like Orbitz and Expedia.
- Hotel rooms are expensive, stay in a loft in Manhattan, a ski condo in Aspen, or a beach house in Australia. It’s free with Home Exchange where you stay in my house, and I stay in yours. It’s worth looking into especially if you live in a popular tourist destination.
- Consider a volunteer vacation. There are organizations around the globe looking for volunteers in exchange for boarding or other amenities such as meals.
Before You Pack Your Bags
Plan ahead and do a little research to save on food and fun.
- Find out if there are any chain restaurants at your destination, and then order a few discounted gift cards to save on meals. Carpool.com has those too!
- About a month before you travel, start checking Groupon everyday for discounts on tours, restaurants, golf, spas and fun! Find Today’s Daily Deal in Your Destination City at Groupon.com!
- Do a simple internet search for “free events in ________,” and you’ll likely discover free concerts or festivals to enjoy.
Do you have any crazy ways to save money on travel?
In full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links to help support The Budget Diet girl! My advice will always be unbiased and free, but free won’t pay the bills! Thanks!
I like your deals first, destination second advice. You really can enjoy any destination as a new adventure, but the wallet has to survive, right!
Great tips! HOwever, I have always been nervous about doing a home exchange. Has there ever been a reported problem from doing that?
If you read the reviews and comments on their site…it’s all positive! There’s a lot of preliminary work that’s done prior to the actual exchange.
We just bought our 1st hotel stay on a deal site last month. $85 a night for a $199 a night retail. And we have until next fall to use it. Love all the tips, I need to set aside a vacation fund.
Thanks for sharing your experience with online travel deals! There’s a misconception that they have to be used right away.