When it comes to preserving your travel budget, it’s best not to wing it. Sure, a few impromptu souvenirs or an extra tropical libation may not break the bank. However, if you are truly interested in stretching your travel dollar, it’s best to plan ahead. The more money-saving opportunities you take advantage of, the more cash you can stash for a future trip.
Before you jet-off on your next vacation, consider the following:
Watch where you eat: As much as you are careful about what you eat while on vacation, if you are following a strict budget, it’s as important to be mindful of where you eat. For example, resist the temptation to grab a bite to eat at an airport restaurant, as the food prices are typically astronomical. Rather, pack some affordable and healthy snacks from home. Some top picks include baked chips, nuts and fruit. Another way to save on food costs when traveling is to book accommodations that feature a kitchen. If you have the ability to cook at least a few of your own meals on vacation, you can skip pricey visits to restaurants. In addition, having a kitchen allows you to control the types of food your family consumes.
Ship or check: If you plan to travel with a lot of heavy bags, you might consider shipping your luggage in order to save money. Most airlines charge overage fees for bags that weigh more than 50 pounds. To save some cash, look into shipping your luggage in advance of your trip via FedEx or UPS. Airfarewatchdog.com has an outstanding shipping versus checking chart that offers a side-by-side cost comparison of the options, so you can see which one gets you more bang for your buck. An added perk to shipping is that companies such as FedEx and UPS will track your bags, so there’s less chance of them getting lost or stolen.