Saving for Your Next Vacation

Saving for a vacation can be easier than you think.

Jan 5, 2011

To help you start planning for your next getaway, we’ve included ideas on how to save on airfare, find free entertainment, and how to utilize budgeting tools to your advantage.

Look for Deals on Airfare

Peter Breenberg of CBS’s MoneyWatch has some great ways to get the best deal on airfare:

  • Know when to buy: Airlines often announce airfare sales on Friday night, so all the matching/cross-cutting happens over the weekend, Greenberg says. But this is actually the worst time to buy tickets, because everybody else is looking then as well. Instead, he suggests, try booking after midnight on Monday night/Tuesday morning: “All the tickets that were booked but not purchased on Monday come flooding back into the airlines computer system at the discount fare.” Find the best deal, and then…
  • Book by phone, not online: “The biggest myth is that the entire available inventory is on the Internet,” he says. Not true: “Agents have access to a larger inventory – some, at cheaper prices – than what’s available online.” The same goes for hotels and cruise lines, too.
  • Ask for positioning flights: While you’re on the phone, ask the agent if a so-called positioning flight is available. These flights are done for logistical purposes — to transport an airplane from Airport A to Airport B — and often come with better airfares.
  • Try indirect routing: If you want to go from Los Angeles to Hawaii, your plane tickets will probably be very expensive, says Greenberg. But you can probably save by getting a little creative. Instead of going the direct route, try booking Los Angeles to Phoenix to Hawaii, or L.A. to Las Vegas Hawaii. “Although it may seem counterintuitive, there may be [cheaper] seats on those [indirect] flights.”
  • Fly into alternate airports: The popular crowd prefers JFK — which is a good reason to try flying into Islip, Long Island, instead. 

Cut Back on Monthly Expenses

Cut $50 out of your monthly expenditures and transfer it into a savings account, and watch your vacation budget grow! 

Change Your Vacation Style

We all want to make it to Hawaii, but sometimes “staycations” are just as fun and don’t involve the stress of airports, rental cars and busy resorts. Other options are to look at what is driving distance away. Have you been to Bryce recently or seen some of the beautiful narrows at Zions? What about taking the family on a trip to the Grand Canyon?

Do Your Due Dilligence

Research locations and the hidden costs that might be associated with each trip. There are budgeting websites that can help you estimate what your travel costs might be depending on the city or country you plan to visit. Even better, they break out your expenditures, estimating what you can anticipate paying for accommodation, food, entertainment, local transportation, tips, etc.

Find Free Entertainment

Take some time to search for free concerts or events that might be going on at your destination during the time you will be there. Do any of the local museums offer free admission one night of the week? Contemplate picnicking in a local park instead of dining out. All of these tactics will help you save money while you’re there and lower travel costs.

Having to be creative to save cash often makes the experience all the more rewarding in the end.

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