U.S. travelers collectively spent $2.6 billion a day on trips in 2015, which equates to $30,033 a second, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Eating out, accommodations, rental cars, plane tickets and other expenses can make taking a vacation costly. But don’t let the thought of a potentially lofty price tag deter you!
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to save without sacrificing your travel experience dream. Here’s five ways to stretch your vacation dollar:
Tip 1: Research free to-dos for a memorable and affordable experience
Many nature parks are free to visit and make for a charming place for an outdoor family barbecue. During the summer there are often free concerts and local events to choose from. Museums and zoos also often offer free admission day during the week.
Tip 2: Take advantage of loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to put hard earned points, dollars and miles to work. Most credit cards have a points program that help members earn cash back or use their points with partnering airlines and rental car companies, which can make vacationing much more affordable. Travelers can also save with hotel and lodging companies that offer free loyalty programs, like Wyndham Rewards. Program members can earn points with a Wyndham hotel stay and redeem a free night for every 15,000 points accumulated. For those interested in a private accommodation stay, Wyndham Rewards recently added 27,000 vacation homes to the already expansive 7,500 hotels available for redemption.
Tip 3: Curb impulse buying habits
One of the biggest ways you can save on vacation is by cutting down on extra spending. Create a budget for all those small purchases that add up and stick to it. Limit souvenirs and take pictures to remember the trip instead!
Tip 4: Save on food and meals
Eating in can offer a big opportunity to save money during your next vacation. During the planning stage, look for an accommodation that has a kitchen. Even if you only cook a few meals in you can save a bundle. In fact, according to a study, vacationers who stayed in a vacation home with a kitchen reported saving $898 a week. You can also pick up the family’s favorite snacks to bring along during day trips or for a late night refreshment. Not only will it cut costs but it will add convenience as well.
Tip 5: Take advantage of coupons
Coupons are another way to vacation on the cheap. Websites like Groupon and Living Social can help you save on some local activities that many travelers normally don’t consider. These websites are also great to get ideas on what to do. Some attractions also sell discounted passes to multiple activities, like museums or theme parks. Make sure to check their websites before visiting.
Check out these vacation rental deals to start planning your next getaway at the best rate.