Helpful Vacation Money Savers
Summer is in full swing, and everywhere you look, it seems to be vacation, vacation, vacation! While some people cling to the idea that calories, clocks and budgets don’t exist on vacation, it’s always wise to have a plan so that your rest and relaxation time doesn’t end in shock and panic.
Create a budget.
Your budget shouldn’t be a blanket number for the whole vacation. Parse it out the same way you would for your everyday budget. Designate a certain amount for food, shopping, and entertainment. Track each dollar and go over your budget every morning before you start the day. If you notice that you’re over budget in one category but under in another, make adjustments for that day.
Eat locally, drink minimally.
As the saying goes, when in Rome. However, it applies to any place. Instead of seeking out fancy restaurants with familiar food, try the places where the non-tourists eat. Odds are it will be cheaper, and you’ll be more exposed to local flavor—literally. And a great way to save cash is to avoid alcohol when you can; even though it’s vacation.
Use public transportation.
Taxis and rideshares will add up fast, especially from tourist destinations. Take advantage of public transport for both cheap travel and the complete local experience.
Stay smart, stay long.
It’s tempting to stay in luxurious hotels, but if you’re planning on spending most of your time out experiencing the culture or on the beach, you won’t be using your luxury room much—or the luxury amenities that raise the price. Choose a basic place to rest your head and use the money you save on the experiences away from the room.
A tight budget doesn’t mean a lackluster trip. Seek out free attractions, enjoy the sights and sounds of a foreign place, and make the best part of your vacation the experience instead of the material pieces.
Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.