25 ways to SAVE money on VACATION

Vacation season is here! Are you planning a shorter vacation or a stay-cation. No matter what type of vacation, you can plan to save money while vacationing. I was reading a post by Ishan at and loved his tips on ways to save money on vacation. So with my tried and true methods and his suggestions this blog post should get you thinking about planning the next vacation.

1. Don't eat on the "main strip" eat a block or two off of it, at a local place instead of the typical tourist place. The food is often much cheaper and is often much better than the big tourist joints. While shopping or site seeing ask the locals for recommendations.

2. Use public transportation. Subways, buses, trains, etc., are all part of the travel experience. Make it fun. And avoid unnecessary transportation costs all together, and save time too, by grouping your activities by geographical area. Plan activities that are close to your site and instead of renting the car for the entire vacation, rent it only for a few days of the vacation.

3. Before booking a hotel, search online for the best hotel deal. Then phone the hotel and ask them to offer a better price. If they can't, ask for a free room upgrade or include freebies like wi-fi, parking, or breakfast. You'll be amazed right now how many hotels will play ball. We love Embassy Suites, the full breakfast are worth any additional cost. Usually the breakfast is enough for breakfast and lunch or a snack.

4. Look for free or "donations accepted" admission days at museums. There is usually at least one day a month that offers free admission. Planning around a free day, can save a lot of bucks.

5. Look for discounted admission coupons. They're everywhere! Travel magazines, online, from your hotel, in travel guidebooks, in travel literature kiosks, and from AAA. Saving a few bucks here and there adds up!

6. Ask for a refrigerator and microwave in your room. Some hotels provide this free of charge, others have a small surcharge. So, you store some food in refrigerator, and heat it whenever you want. Order pizza for dinner and the leftovers are great for a mid-day snack the next day.

7. Restaurants almost always charge more for their dinner menu while the same food at lunchtime is less expensive. Use this to your advantage and eat your main meal of the day at noon.

8. Be sure to factor in internet access charges into the cost of your hotel room. The hotel rate may be cheap, but internet charges might really pump up the room rate. Usually you can find a coffee shop with free wi-fi close to the hotel. You are on vacation! Minimize the time spent on your computer.

9. Be flexible. While it's nice to have a list of "must-do" things, don't get so stuck to a list that you forget to enjoy the simple things. A beautiful sunset or sunrise, a neighborhood festival, a walk on the beach — these things are all free.

10. Tell the kids that the mini bar is not an option. Buy snacks and beverages from a local market and keep them in the room for snack attacks. Share your tips in Comments section

11. Plan only one night to eat at a fancy restaurants while on vacation. The other evenings, try some places where locals eat. Not only you will get a better taste of that country, you will save S of money doing it

12. If you'll be going to a resort or remote area, set up packing lists for everyone at home, so that necessities don't get left behind. Sunglasses, sun screen, toothpaste, deodorant — you'll pay a premium for these items at a hotel or airport

13. Buy bagels, cereals, milk, or orange juice the night before. Eat a cold breakfast in your room -- save your money for the more interesting meals of the day.

14. Research your destination. Before you leave, make a list of sightseeing priorities. The internet provides information on free and inexpensive attractions.

15. Book hotels on bidding sites such as Priceline. A friend of mine got a 5 star hotel room for $99.00 a night.

16. Borrow travel guides from library, so you don't have to spend any money on them when you reach your destination or use your AAA privileges and get your travel guides for free.

17. Look early for travel deals on the internet. Start planning for vacation well in advance. You will get best rates on everything: hotels, cars, tickets etc.

18. Budget hotels tend to offer free internet and free breakfast. At luxury hotels the room tends to be nicer, but you have to pay for everything.

19. You can save a ton of money by getting drinks from a store instead of at a restaurant. Make a point to purchase your bottled water before starting your daily sightseeing and aAvoid expensively priced water at tourist attractions.

20. When traveling to and from the Airport, use a Shuttle, instead of a Taxi. They are relatively cheap, and on time. Almost all major cities have an airport shuttle and they provide door to door service.

21. Vacation in hotels/ condos that have kitchens. Cook at least one meal each day.

22. When you are going away on vacation, don't waste money in electricity costs. Unplug your TV, computer and other electronics, as all these use energy in standby mode.

23. Travel in the off-season. Hotels and attractions are cheaper and you won't have to stand in long lines (especially in theme parks.)

24. In a new city, make your first stop at the city's visitor center. They have all the literature in one spot and experts to answer all your questions and give advice. And they have lots of local free coupons as well most of the times.

25. Purchase a City Pass when you travel. The public transportation is convenient (no parking fees at hotel) and a City Pass often includes free or discounted entrance to local museums, aquariums, etc

Last tip:

Plan a vacation close to a relative. Spend the first part staying with them and the last part in a hotel. You'll have a nice visit with family, but not wear out your welcome, save some money, and feel like you've taken a real vacation.