Traveling is fun until it costs too much! When you’re planning a trip, there’s no telling how much everything will cost, from flights to lodging to food. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by these prices and end up spending more than you’d like to spend.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of ways to keep your expenses under control without sacrificing quality of life. If you follow some simple guidelines, you’ll find yourself taking fewer vacations that don’t leave you feeling resentful when you return home.
Tips To Save Money On Your Outer Banks Vacation
Here are 6 Tips To Save Money On Your Outer Banks Vacation.
1. Use an Airline Flight Deal Search Engine
Most people know they should check airline websites before booking their flight in order to see if there are any last minute discounts available. But many folks overlook other sites offering similar savings. These include airlines such as Southwest Airlines (which has one of the best rewards programs), JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, AllegiantAir, and others.
To take advantage of these types of offers, simply search “last minute” on Google Flights. You’ll discover what kinds of cheap tickets are out there — often better than those offered directly through airlines themselves. And yes even if you book with another carrier, you may still qualify for special rates. This comes down to whether the seats remain open after you’ve booked elsewhere. If you want to make sure you get the lowest fare possible, sign up for a newsletter so you always receive updates on current promotions.
2. Shop Around for Cheaper Hotel Accommodations
Hotels offer great value because they tend to charge less per night compared to other accommodation options. Sometimes though, hotels can also be pretty expensive. For example, I recently stayed in Hawaii over Christmas break and paid almost $200 USD each day for my room!
When searching online for cheaper hotel stays, try using browser extensions which allow users to compare different hotel properties side-by-side within popular search engines including Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge. One extension called Kiwi Browser Price Alerts allows you to set alerts whenever prices drop anywhere near where you searched previously. Other tools include Hotels Near Me [No Longer Available] and TripAdvisor Offers.
Tripadvisor members earn free nights and upgrades when staying at certain hotels and resorts worldwide. The site claims to help travelers save hundreds every year on trips around the world by finding good deals on hotels and attractions. Members vote on reviews submitted for businesses listed on the website. A subscription gives unlimited access to millions of user-generated content items.
3. Buy Non-Refundable Travel Deals
A lot of travel companies will advertise non-refundable reservations due to limited availability. However, most consumers assume they must cancel these plans once they arrive, especially since there aren’t refunds for unused portions of package tours.
However, thanks to new laws and regulations, you now have several choices regarding non-refundable plans. Some credit cards now provide automatic rebookings upon cancellation while others only require proof of purchase. Also, some states actually prohibit companies from charging penalties for cancellations made 60 days prior to arrival. In addition, some banks issue credits based on customer satisfaction surveys rather than actual charges.
Of course, you should research potential refund policies thoroughly before making any purchases.
4. Book Your Vacation at the Last Minute
The last thing anyone wants to do during vacation time is work! That said, there are times when procrastination pays off. While everyone knows getting hit by a bad economy means paying top dollar for plane ticket fares, the same isn’t true for hotels.
Many hotels will slash their advertised prices just before major holidays. Even if you didn’t plan ahead, you can score discounted rates at the very last minute. Just make sure you can afford them first. Otherwise, you’ll need to resort to alternate ways to cut costs.
For instance, consider utilizing hotel reward cards which give back points towards future stays. Or maybe use coupon codes found on discount travel forums. Many hotel chains operate secret sale web pages full of coupons that won’t show up on regular searches.
Finally, ask friends who stay at local hotels frequently for recommendations on places to go. They usually know of hidden gems away from tourist traps. In general, the earlier you book, the lower the final rate you pay. So, why wait?
5. Consider Taking Public Transportation instead of Driving
Sometimes driving long distances on toll roads can really add up. That’s why it makes sense to consider public transportation. Depending on where you live, bus systems, trains, trolleys and light rails can shave hours off journeys. Plus, if you choose wisely, you can find routes that let you visit multiple destinations in one pass.
Also, think twice before renting cars overseas. Unless you’re visiting exotic locations with few rental car stations, chances are you’ll waste tons of gas. Instead, opt for taxis, ride sharing services, scooter rentals, bicycle rentals, or walking.
6. Check Groupon More Often than Expedia or Priceline
While both Expedia and Pricelines offer useful information, neither provides you with exclusive deals unless you buy direct from the source. Groupons and LivingSocial offer loads of bargains outside traditional travel sites. Unfortunately, these deal providers rarely post expired sales.
Instead, stick to well known travel brands like Orbitz, Kayak, CheapOmigosh, etc. Since most of these vendors share their latest deals via social media platforms, you’ll never miss out if you join their fan page(s).
And remember to look into travel blogs and industry newsgroups for bargain hunting ideas. Once you start looking for deals, you’ll probably become addicted. Why stop here though? Try following Twitter hashtags related to your destination plus trending topics and celebrity gossip. Then bookmark relevant links for later viewing. With luck, this list will put you on track to enjoying your next vacation without breaking the bank. After all, you deserve it!
As we age, our finances change naturally. We learn to budget, manage debt, avoid unnecessary expenses, and reduce wasteful habits. As part of becoming financially responsible, savvy shoppers begin researching alternatives to pricey products and services. Thus, smart buyers seek alternative methods to achieve a desired goal.
Similarly, savvy holiday shoppers should apply flexibility to their itineraries. Rather than obsessively committing to specific dates and locations, shoppers should explore various options and ultimately decide what works best for their needs. In doing so, savvy shoppers will enjoy greater peace of mind knowing they spent their hard earned cash wisely.