Spring break is a time to celebrate the end of winter by taking a vacation, having fun, and letting your hair down. One thing you don’t want to let loose on is your money: the more you have, the more you can enjoy yourself. Here are a few tips to avoid overspending during your vacation:
Plan a budget:
Divide the amount that you want to spend into spending categories, such as airfare, hotels, dining, and entertainment. This enables you to determine, even before the vacation starts, whether you have enough to cover expenses, and whether you’re spending too much or too little in one category. Review and adjust accordingly – and stick to it!
You won’t know if you’re overspending unless you track expenses and compare them against your budget. Do this accounting daily so you can make adjustments as you go along. If you find using pencil and paper too cumbersome for this task, several tracking expenses are available for your smartphone. Just go on either the App store for Apple or Google Play for Android devices and type “expense tracking” in the search box.
Take advantage of discounts:
Are you a student, senior, or member of an organization like the Auto Club/AAA? Then it’s possible that you qualify for a discount! The websites of the places you intend to patronize most likely list any discounts, but it never hurts to ask just before you pay. Don’t forget to bring whatever is necessary to prove that you’re entitled to a deal. For example, even if you don’t bring your car, you’ll still need your AAA card for Auto Club discounts. Also, check out websites like Groupon before booking as they may have a hotel in an area you were eyeing for a discounted fee.
Use apps and email to get local deals:
A month or two before your vacation, sign up online at the hotels, restaurants, clubs, and venues you intend to visit during your break. They’ll then start sending you coupons that you can use to save money when you get there. Look for free apps to help you with local deals. Examples include Groupon, Scoutmob and Foursquare.
Get off the main drag:
The most expensive rooms, restaurants, and clubs are typically on the main drag where all the tourists hang out. If you want to save a few bucks, look for places a few blocks away. If good public transportation is available, consider staying in a suburb or small city next to the one you want to be in for even lower prices. Safety is key, though. Never stay somewhere that feels unsafe.
Happy spring break! We hope you enjoy your vacation or “staycation,” wherever it might take you.