Everyone is looking for a few ways to save money on their vacations. That extra cash saved is more money you have for shopping or additional activities. Sometimes that extra cash saved puts a typically too expensive vacation become a reality. If you are willing to put in the extra work to drop the price of your getaway, there are options available.
Jumping online and booking your hotel and flights is usually the most expensive part of your trip. Use the travel websites such as Kayak or Expedia to find the cheapest deals. Often they have discounts and deals not offered directly by the hotels. There are people that only pay half of a traditional room cost through the travel sites. This can push that elaborate suite or ocean-view hotel room into your price range a lot easier than haggling with the hotel receptionist.
The same applies for airline tickets. You can find heavily discounted tickets, as well as see what the cheapest flights are for your departure and arrival dates. If you are going to be getting a rental car, be sure to check out nearby airports for their prices as well. If it will save you hundreds of dollars by flying into a nearby airport instead, you can save that money as long as you do not rent a gas guzzling vehicle.
Many of the travel sites now offer deals on rental cars as well. You can get a hybrid or an electric car to save you extra gas costs while you are driving around.
Five Star hotels offer excellent customer service and elaborate rooms, more so than any other hotels correct? While they may offer more to their guests you must consider how many of those extra amenities you will be utilizing during your stay. Can you afford to not sleep on the Tempurpedic mattresses they offer? Can you do away with the elaborate breakfast and room service?
If so than you may want to reconsider booking an elaborate hotel. Trip Advisor is a website (and their newly released app for smartphones) that rates hotels within a city. They offer customer reviews and you can use these to pick out your hotel. Some of the highest ranking hotels are only two or three star hotels. They rank high in the Trip Advisor rankings for their customer service, their accessibility to the nearby attractions, and the price.
If you are traveling with a group that is trying to travel on a budget, you should consider renting an apartment for the length of your stay. This is a growing way to travel outside of hotels, and has a lot of attraction. They are often much cheaper, as a three bedroom apartment could cost the equivalent of one hotel room that can sleep four people (rather uncomfortably).
On top of that you are likely to have a kitchen to cook meals yourselves rather than being forced to eat out every night. A washer and dryer are likely to be available to wash your clothes before leaving rather than having multiple loads of laundry to do when you get home.
The apartment route gives you more options than a traditional hotel room. While there are nights that you will venture out into the city and enjoy a romantic dinner, there are nights where you want to stay in and rest after a long day.
While many of the major attractions can cost you an arm and a leg for admittance, there are others that are free, or at a discounted price. Consider taking a day or two and check out all of the local attractions that will not cost you anything to view. A lot of museums only ask for donations to the museum, but do not charge an admission fee. For a few dollars (it is always best to donate a few dollars) you can engulf yourself in beautiful art pieces or see some of the local history at a museum.
Depending on the location of your vacation, you can spend a few days enjoying the outdoors instead of other costly options. Many national and state parks charge a small fee (if any) for a day pass to their park. Pack a few sandwiches and snacks and you can spend your entire day hiking, swimming, and sightseeing natural beauty.
It is often quite relaxing and inspirational to be immersed in nature, if only for a day. If you are an outdoorsman or woman, consider opting out of the hotel rooms and into a tent. Camp sites are much cheaper than hotel rooms, and if you have the equipment, it could save you thousands of dollars on your vacation. Many of the favorite beaches have camp sites as well for those who want to enjoy the beach.
Search the website Groupon for available deals. They offer surreal discounts on some of the local attractions. There have been seventy-five percent off spa treatments or attractions that will cost you a fraction of the asking price. They offer restaurant coupons as well. There are lucky people that have gotten an entire meal, drinks included, for the price of an appetizer. There are only limited coupons for each discount, so check often and purchase them as soon as you can, for they may be gone within a matter of minutes.
This is one of the aspects of a vacation that gets lost between airfare and the cost of hotels. It may seem like a small amount, but eating a few meals every day adds up quickly. If you have the option for a refrigerator, pack snacks and eat lightly throughout the day. Make sandwiches or microwaveable dinners for lunch and save your money for the expensive elaborate dinners.
This is more of a dieting trick, but it can help you when you are out on vacations as well. Be sure to drink water throughout your day. The body can have a hard time distinguishing between when you are hungry and when you are becoming dehydrated. Drink a glass of water when you start to feel hungry instead of pulling off to the nearest restaurant for a meal. If you are still hungry after fifteen minutes than it is truly hunger and you should stop for some food.
George Smith is a freelance writer who is passionate about traveling, hotel hunting and finding great Connecticut accommodation. He also writes for Foxwoods Resort; follow them on Twitter and Facebook.