So you want to save money for your next vacation, but you’re not sure where to start.
It seems like no matter how you slice and dice your budget, there is little wiggle room to save.
The truth is, if you really want to go on a trip, you’ll find a way to make it happen by prioritizing your spending.
The longer you have before your departure date, the more money you’ll be able to save. However, don’t worry if you’re trip is less than a few weeks away as there is still many ways to accumulate some extra dough.
Just the thought of saving money can seem like a daunting task when our budget already appears tight. It doesn’t have to be this way though since there are plenty of ways to stash some extra money without using much effort on your part.
The small sacrifices you make now will soon add up and go towards your upcoming trip. You may already be doing a few of these money-saving tips, but it’s always good to keep them in mind and discover new ways to trim your expenses.
Here are ten simple ways to save money for your next vacation.
Automate your bank account so part of your paycheck goes directly into your savings account.
This is an easy way to save money without even trying and helps you live within your means.
Related: How to be rich in your 20s
2. Eat out less
Eating out is a huge expense if it becomes part of your regular routine. If you have a trip coming up in a couple or months or even a couple of weeks, stop eating out altogether now.
Chances are you’ll be eating out a lot while you’re on vacation so for the time being, make healthy meals at home.
You’ll notice a difference in your health and be amazed how affordable it is to eat at home. Here are some of my go-to cookbooks to help you get inspired:
- Oh She Glow by Angela Liddon
- Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli
- Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero
If you must eat out, I recommend checking for restaurant deals on Groupon. This is a great way to save 50% or more at local establishments. (I just recently scored a deal for $30 worth of food at my favorite Indian restaurant for only $5)!
Another way I like to save money when eating out is to use coupons from the Entertainment Book. Many of their restaurant coupons are Buy 1, Get 1 Free on entrees, so it’s a great way to enjoy a nice meal out while staying on budget.
3. Ditch your morning Starbucks drink
Whether you frequent Starbucks or another coffee shop, the cost of your morning cup of jo quickly adds up. $2 per day become $10 per week and $40 per month.
If your morning drink costs you $5 per day, that’s $25 per week and $100 per month. Let’s say you visit the local coffee twice per day, that $2 or $5 coffee adds up to $960 – $2,400 per year!
If you brought your own coffee from home to work, all that money saved could go towards a nice vacation.
Related: How to save money at the coffee shop
4. Socialize at home
Many people associate socializing over a nice lunch or out for drinks with friends. While this is a convenient way to catch up and relax with friends, it costs money.
A better idea that won’t break the bank is to invite friends over for a pot luck or have a picnic in the park. If you must eat out, choose affordable places and drink only during happy hour.
Related: Free ways to have fun at home
5. Avoid buying new clothing, shoes and accessories specifically for your trip
I know it’s tempting to buy new clothing, shoes or accessories for an upcoming trip, but take a look through your closet and access what you already own.
Chances are you already have a cute dress for a night out or a nice scarf for chilly nights.
Check to see if you can borrow an item from a family member or friend. Consider hosting a clothing swap before your trip or visit your local thrift store for deals.
Save your money for shopping while you’re on vacation.
6. Get to know your local library
I’ve said this many times before, but the public library is truly a wonderful thing! Not only can you borrow books, movies or music for free, but you can also pick up travel guides for your chosen destination.
I made the mistake of buying travel guides and maps in the past, but now I borrow them for free from the library.
Many libraries also offer free passes to local city attractions. This is a great idea if you’re looking for a frugal way to socialize with friends or family.
7. Consider using a travel reward or cash-back credit card
I know that one of the first rules about saving money is to avoid using credit cards and use cash only.
However, if you are good at paying off your credit card bill on time, this is one of the best ways to collect points that can be redeemed towards the cost of your airfare or hotel.
Alternatively, you can opt for a cash-back credit card that will allow you to earn money each time you use it on groceries, gas, etc.
8. Trim your non-essential bills
This includes canceling subscriptions you don’t really need, cutting out cable or choosing an affordable mobile plan.
Use apps like Whatsapp to make calls and texts for free. This also works wells when traveling abroad, as long as there is WiFi available.
I rarely watch cable anymore and can view my favourite shows online or via Netflix.
Instead of paying for a magazine subscription, I can read them for free at the library.
Use a water-flow restrictor on your shower head which can help trim the cost of your water bill.
There are many ways to cut down your non-essential bills, be creative and access what you really need and what you can live without.
Related: 24 ways being lazy costs you money
9. Get your hair done at a beauty school
Before leaving for your vacation, I know many people like to get their hair done, but this can be quite expensive at a regular salon.
A better alternative is to visit a beauty school for a cut, color or style. Search for one in your area and ask for one of their senior stylist.
Their instructor will be close by to ensure that you are happy with the results. I do recommend though that you don’t ask for something too different from your normal cut or color, since it will cost a lot to get it fixed if you’re unhappy.
10. Take care of your things
Something that can have a negative effect on our savings is having to replace broken or worn out items.
This can easily be prevented by taking proper care of items we own which help to lengthen their life.
Plan your meals ahead of time to prevent food going to waste, perverse your clothing, schedule your car for regular maintenance, keep your home clean, etc.
Easy ways I recommend to earn extra cash:
Ebates: Want to earn cash back when you shop online? Ebates acts as a shopping portal offering coupons and cashback from over 2,000 online stores. I always check on Ebates first whenever I shop online!
You can join Ebates for free and get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up through this link.
American Consumer Opinion: American Consumer Opinion is free to join and they pay you each time you complete a survey. Surveys take about 10 minutes to answer.
You can sign up for American Consumer Opinion here.
Swagbucks: I have been a member of Swagbucks for a while now, however I don’t use them as much as I used to, but it’s a simple way to earn gift cards for things you do online. There are many ways to earn points on Swagbucks including filling out surveys, playing games and watching videos.
You can sign up for Swagbucks here.Simple ways to save money for your next vacationClick To Tweet
Over to you — what are your tips for saving money to travel?
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