Although going on vacation can often be expensive, the benefits of traveling range from learning a language to trying different foods and meeting new people. If you can make time in your schedule, planning for a trip can even be fun and rewarding in itself.
Photo: Simon Migaj on Unsplash
Before you go on vacation, start by making an itinerary.
Research the place you’re traveling to and create a list of activities you want to do and places you want to visit. An itinerary can save you time and money once you’ve reached your destination. After you’ve researched the things you want to do, track down expenses, costs and hours of operation. Will a visit to a certain museum cost you money? Write down the price, the hours that they’re open, and whether they accept student IDs/discounts. With an itinerary, you’ll have an idea of what you want to do and how much it will cost instead of just winging it. Also, keep track of days that are free for certain things. Sometimes, a museum will be free on a certain day—take note of such deals when creating your itinerary.
Have an idea of where you’ll get your food each day will help you have a less stressful traveling experience.
For example, when you book hotels that offer free breakfast, you’ll save the price of breakfast and coffee. These savings can add up! If you decide to rent an Airbnb instead of a hotel, do a little bit of grocery shopping at your destination so that you can cook instead of going out to eat every night. Shopping and cooking for yourself and your party every night will save so much money in the long run.
If everyone in your party agrees on what activities to do on what dates, consider purchasing tickets to those events beforehand.
When you purchase tickets beforehand, you’ll have less stress on the day of. Pre-purchasing tickets will also allow you more spending money when it’s time for your vacation, because everything will already be paid for.
Check Groupon for coupons and discounts on everything from restaurants to entrance fees.
Groupon is the best way to save money, especially if you’re not traveling alone. Once you and your party have a definite itinerary, check Groupon and order tickets there or check their deals of the day. Sometimes, ordering from Groupon can be a lot cheaper than doing so in person. This is another great way to save money on food.
While you’re researching what to do and where to eat, check for “happy hour” discounts, free museum days, and other such options.
Some attractions are less expensive on weekdays or before or after peak hours. Plan your days so that you can hit places at certain times for the least expensive amount possible. For example, if you’re planning on going to a museum, book museum tickets in advance (or go on a day where it’s free) and then plan to make it on time for happy hour at a nearby restaurant. Happy hour usually consists of 50% off appetizers,$1 beer, or similar deals.
Be sure to bring your school ID wherever you go!
Sometimes, tourist sites will offer a student discount.
Finally, if your destination is within walking distance of your hotel, walk or learn how to use public transportation at your vacation spot .
This will save you the price of a rental car and gas. If you choose to rent a car for longer trips, plan your activities in advance so you’ll know exactly when you’ll need the car. Still, keep in mind that walking and taking the bus will save you money in the long run. If you don’t want to rent out a car or take public transportation, you can always Uber or Lyft and split the fare with your party.
Traveling can be expensive, but that shouldn’t stop you from going on vacation. Research and planning can be time-consuming, but the money you save will make it all worthwhile!
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.