Summer vacation is a well-deserved break. Many work and save all year long to afford time away and off the grid. Saving and budgeting are good ways to plan for a vacation to make sure you don’t break the bank. Costs can add up quickly for meals, entertainment and little extras, so planning is important. Here are six tips on how you can save money and still have fun on your summer vacation:
1. Budget – Plan your spending before you peel out of the driveway. Look into excursions, entertainment, and restaurants before you go so you can better plan how you’ll keep expenses in control. Using an online travel budget calculator is a good way to estimate costs and balance against what you’ve saved.
2. Free Events – Check out the town’s website prior to traveling to see if there’s anything on the events calendar. Many areas have free summer entertainment, like festivals, music and movies in the park. These can make for fun additions to the itinerary for free.
3. Hotel Amenities – Check your hotel’s website and speak to the concierge for free guest amenities. On a recent trip to Florida, my hotel offered a free beach kit for guests. The kit came complete with chairs, towels, an umbrella and a cooler; everything you need for a day trip to the beach. They placed a hold on my credit card on file, and when I returned the beach kit, they removed the hold. This was easy and saved us a lot of money if we had to rent those items elsewhere. Other common items hotels offer behind the check-in counter include socks, toothpaste and sewing kits. Don’t forget to check the free breakfast options too. Many hotels, including Marriott, have re-started this pre-pandemic staple.
4. Gas Apps – With fuel prices at historic heights, gas price tracker apps are making a comeback in 2022. An extra app download could prove to save you some serious dough on a road trip. With state gas tax and other location variables, you can save by checking gas prices along the journey with apps like Gas Buddy.
5. Choose Accommodations with a Kitchen – Whether you’re renting an Air BNB or just getting a hotel room, check out the kitchen situation. A mini-fridge versus a full size could make a huge impact on your food budget. A kitchen allows the option to make some meals on your own and also preserve leftovers and perishable items, as opposed to buying all meals out.
6. Kids Eat and Stay Free Hotel Deals – Vacationing with the kids? Search for hotels or resorts that offer specials for kids. Even some big-name hotels like Marriott and Holiday Inn offer free meals and stays for kids within a certain age range. These offers will really cut costs to help your vacation stay in budget.
Vacations and travel cost add up quickly, so be prepared. We hope these tips will help you trim your spending and enjoy your hard earned time away.
We offer savings accounts and more to help you maximize your money. If you don’t have a savings account, now’s the time. Check out our savings account options on our website here.
Carolyn Watson is the Marketing Officer at Ambler Savings Bank.