Financial Resource Center

Money Management


6 Ways to Save on Vacation

by Rena Crispin, CUDE, CCUFC / March 28th, 2016


Here's one reason to cut costs during your next vacation: You can relax knowing that you won’t be deep in debt when you get home.

Plan ahead to ensure that you get the most vacation for your money (click the infographic, right, to see it in full detail):

  1. Find cheap airfare: Book flights on Tingo or Yapta and be eligible for a voucher if the airfare goes down after you've purchased your tickets. Sign up for alerts from Airfarewatchdog; follow other travel sites on social media as well. Call your airline agent and ask for a deal. Use a regional airport—low-cost airlines often don't service the large international airports.
  2. Get creative with lodging: If you book by phone, ask the desk agent to beat the online rate. Consider an apartment or home rental instead of a hotel—you'll save even more by cooking your own meals. Consider booking a place to stay through airbnb.com.
  3. Save on food: Make lunch your main meal. Lunches often are 30% cheaper than the same entrées on a dinner menu and you'll be less likely to splurge on expensive alcoholic beverages. Stock up on snack foods before you leave home and replenish your supply at local grocery stores rather than convenience marts.
  4. Look for vacation package deals: Package deals often give great discounts. Find them on Expedia and Priceline, or daily deal sites like Groupon Getaways and LivingSocial Escapes.
  5. Investigate travel rewards cards: Look for a card with no foreign transaction fee, a microchip and generous rewards. Credit union credit cards often offer freedom of choice for airlines;
  6. Book by your budget: If budget is more important than destination, search whichbudget.com and get ready to be inspired.
  7. Add a free destination: Find deals under "special offers" or by searching "stopover" on your airline\'s website. You might be able to squeeze in an extra destination at little or even no cost.
  8. Travel off-season: If you\'re flexible, travel in the shoulder seasons—just before or after peak season depending on your destination. Prices are low, the weather could be really nice, shops and restaurants are open, and there are fewer tourists.