Vacation Budgeting Hacks

Even when on a budget, traveling and creating a memorable vacation is very possible with the right budgeting hacks. Planning ahead of time and saving money while on the trip will help curb costs.

Sell Unused Items

A nice way to earn extra money for your vacationing budget is to sell items you don’t need or never used. You can have a yard or garage sale to make a profit off of bigger items while selling your more valuable items online. In addition to the extra money, you’ll have more room for anything you bring back from your travels.

Save Spare Change

Find an empty jar to use to save up change left over from your everyday purchases. It’s also a good idea to start spending with cash so that you’re more likely to keep this habit. Set a jar aside to use specifically for your vacation budget.

Reduce Daily Spending

Most people don’t realize just how much of their disposable income gets used on small purchases each day. Items such as your morning coffee, a pastry to go with it, a newspaper and a pre-packaged sandwich or salad for lunch will eventually add up over a few months. Instead of spending more money each day, decide to go without these items a few days each week. You can even cut some out completely by buying in bulk and making your own coffee, breakfast or lunch at home.

Save On Monthly Expenses

You’ve probably become accustomed to spending a set amount for most of your regular bills, but there’s always a way to cut back on things you pay for on a regular basis. Instead of going out to eat at pricier restaurants, opt for more cost-friendly cuisine, or cook at home and eat leftovers. Instead of having a regular phone bill, switch to a prepaid plan and only pay for what you use. Use your appliances and electronics less often to save on your utility bill. You can even spend time outdoors for exercise, fresh air and less wattage.


Walk or bike short distances instead of driving each trip to save on gas. Go online and compare quotes for insurance to see if you pay too much and switch to a less expensive plan. Switch your cable or satellite plan to reflect how you actually use your TV, or eliminate these services and opt for cheaper web streaming service.

Bring Food Along

One of the most costly vacation expenses is the food you buy. If you’re on an excursion or out sightseeing, eating in these popular high-traffic areas will likely be expensive. You should shop ahead of time for foods that you’ll be able to carry along with you to keep as snacks. Dried fruits, nuts, energy bars and beverages can help keep you satiated throughout the day so you won’t have to spend more on midday meals. You may also be able to eat lighter as restaurants often serve indulgent foods.

Pick a Less Expensive Destination

Everyone has special reasons for going on vacation, but they don’t necessarily have to be tied to a location. Decide the most important priorities for your vacation. If you want more quality family time, you can go on a small camping trip just a short drive from your home. If you want tranquility, find a spot near your area that can provide that in one way or another. It may be a weekend trip on the beach or a day at the spa, but it doesn’t have to be a luxurious getaway with an expensive plane ticket.

Split Your Vacation

It can be difficult to plan vacations with others, but it can also be much more enjoyable. A great way many people see the world these days is by traveling together. If you split the costs, your options for a memorable trip are much wider when on a budget. You can split the bill for eating out, the money spent on grocery shopping, the travel expenses and your hotel or guest house. By traveling this way, you also get the benefit of sharing the experiences and making memories with those closest to you.

Aim for Memories Over Itineraries

One of the biggest mistakes cost-effective travelers make is trying to cram too many activities into their trip. They want to see and do everything out of concern about lost availability the next time they visit. It’s important to consider your most important desires for your vacation, and plan experiences that can meet those desires. You can have some days filled with smaller activities while leaving more significant events for another day. This helps you stay organized while also saving money on activities you don’t really need.

Vacations are usually fun until you come home and realize you spent more than you intended. With the above budgeting hacks, hopefully you can take your mind off of the money and appreciate the fun experiences you gained.


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About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finance. With over 20 years of business experience, Robert is now retired and hopes others can benefit from his writing.

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