Who doesn’t need a vacation. No matter what your financial situation is, the benefits of taking time off far outweigh the cost. Not only does it reduce stress, but it will improve your mental health and clarity as well. You will come back feeling more positive and energized and ready to tackle your workload.
Chances are, you aren’t taking enough time off. According to Project Time Off, 55% of American workers surveyed in 2015 left vacation days unused. So what’s stopping you? Well, according to that same survey 30% said they can’t financially afford it. So let’s dive in and find some cost saving solutions to get you that vacation.
Here are some strategies to help you save for that much-needed vacation.
#1 Use airline miles with your credit card
You are most likely using credit cards already. Open one that offers airline miles, and use it for things you already buy, like groceries. Now don’t forget to pay it off every month. We are trying to save money here, not wasting it on interest!
#2 Find Deals on Groupon and Living Social
You can find anything from international travel packages, to tickets for local outings or events for up to 50% off on Groupon and Living Social. Share your purchase on social media and if 3 of your friends use your link and purchase you get it for free! #FreeStuffRocks so share away!
#3 Road trip instead of fly
With gas prices less than $3 a gallon, this is definitely a more economical choice. This will give you a chance to see more of the country while saving money. Stop at the local tourist attractions and restaurants you find on Yelp. Are you worried your kids will drive you crazy? Don’t fret, head over to The Dating Divas to check out some really cool road trip tips and ideas to save your sanity.
#4 Use Kroger fuel points for gas
Save your Kroger points and earn up to $1 off per gallon with a max of 35 gallons. To earn even more points, buy a few gift cards to places to know you will be eating at during your trip. Gift cards are double points and on occasion 4X the fuel points.
#5 Pack your own snacks and water bottle
All the small things really add up quickly. Assuming drinks are $2, and a family of 4 bought 2 drinks per person per day for a week that would be $52. Add another $20 a day in snacks and you just spent $192! That’s equal to another 3 nights in a hotel. Grab a Yeti to keep drinks cold all day long.
#6 Head to the grocery store instead of a restaurant
Eating out is half the fun of vacations but can easily add up to more than half the cost. Consider buying groceries and storing them in the hotel mini fridge and only eating out for one meal a day. This would add up to a savings of over $500 for a family.
#7 Free days at museums
Many museums and art galleries have free days for general admission. Plan ahead so you don’t miss these days. Follow these links to find free days in 3 major parts of the country. Free days in NYC. Free days in SoCal. Free days in Chicago.
#8 Travel mailman
If you are headed overseas check out Grabr before you go. You could earn $250 per trip by delivering goods to shoppers. View requested items from your trip destination and make a delivery offer. Once your offer is accepted, the shopper’s payment is put into escrow and they will no longer be able to cancel the grab. Then buy the item with your own money and you will be reimbursed upon delivery plus your delivery fee. Deliver more than one item and you could easily have your plan ticket paid for.
#9 Open a new savings account
Some banks are offering cash back rewards for opening new accounts. Take advantage of this to kick off your savings plan. Make small deposits each week and watch your savings grow.
#10 Save small amounts
Saving small amounts throughout the year will make less of a dent in your budget. Even just $100 a month in your vacation savings account will add up without leaving you strapped for cash and unable to pay down your debt.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I would only share the best with you, and as a true saver, I would never leave money on the table.