Seven Ways to Save on Vacation
by Dolores Hoffman
Planning a vacation is always exciting and everyone seems to have different tricks to saving for it. Here are some helpful tips:
1. HOTEL ALTERNATIVE - Talking to friends and family about ways they saved while on vacation can be very valuable. For instance, renting a house just outside Disney World helped my family save approximately $900.00 a week. By renting, we didnít have to eat each meal out or pay the surcharges hotels usually attach to the bill. Also, by renting, you have access to a kitchen, which can come in handy for those late night snacks.
2. KIDS EAT FREE- If cooking meals is not on your list of things to do on vacation, scope out the restaurants where kids eat free and you will be able to save big, especially if you have several little ones. It makes sense to explore all options.
3. CHOOSE YOUR SHOPPING SPREE - You can save quite a bit by picking and choosing what youíll spend money on before you travel. Last year, while on vacation in South Carolina, I decided to forgo the usual clothes shopping in favor of unique souvenirs and gifts for the family. I saved money and didnít have to pack all those extra clothes for the trip home.
4. MAXIMIZE YOUR CARDS - Credit cards can offer savings through points you accumulate. Stockpile and use them for airline tickets, restaurant gift cards and even phone cards if traveling overseas. Most credit cards offer points with no expiration date which makes it easier to plan ahead of time.
5. USE THE INTERNET Ė E-Bay can offer valuable savings in the way of parking passes for venues such as Nascar races, ballparks and museums. I once won a Disney parking pass for six dollars because my trip was the 1st week of December and the pass was set to expire that year, so I was able to reap the benefits. It saved me a bundle in preferred parking, which meant I didnít have to walk a mile or wait for the tram to get to my car. A little planning will yield savings you never thought possible.
6.SHARE THE EXPENSES - Another great approach is to divide the expenses with others. My sisterís family rented a cabin for a few weeks last summer and saved big. If money is tight, you may want to consider a long weekend trip or even cut your stay to five days instead of a full week.
7.PACK AND SAVE Ė Packing items like sunscreen, disposable cameras and Band-Aids can prevent price gouging later on. The mark up on these items can be very high in resort towns and theme parks.
In these difficult economic times, planning ahead takes more effort but will be worth it when you arrive home and still have money left in your pocket.
Dolores Hoffman has been writing for many years and is currently working on her first book of poetry. She grew up in Lakehurst and Millville and resides in Vineland where she and her husband own and operate Pancoast Funeral Home.