Summer is here and that means it is almost time for the annual family vacation! But while you may be rejoicing for the time off you get to enjoy your bank account is prepping for the amount of abuse it is about to take.
However, there are some really simple tips that can help keep vacation costs more under control.
Since it is already July chances are good you’ve already booked your room for this year’s summer trip but in case you haven’t or want tips for next year here are some things to keep in mind during your shopping around time.
Amenities Can Make or Break a Vacation
When looking at the different hotels you want to make sure you pick a resort that offers a bit more than the standard pools and arcade with a sticky basement floor. Extra amenities offered by a resort can only help enhance your vacation and give you some more things to do that won’t cost you any more money. Resorts and hotels offer all kinds of amenities, for example there are Myrtle Beach hotels with indoor water parks, bowling alleys, putt-putt courses and more! These are the kind of hotels you want to book to save some money.
Rooms for What You Need, Not What you Want
When you’re looking at the hotel rooms online it can be tempting to say “well it would be nice if the kids didn’t have to share a bedroom” or “this one has a much better view of the ocean.” But when it boils down to it, the actual hotel room is where you will probably spend the least amount of memorable time on your vacation. So get the room you need for your family, not the one with the fancy upgrades.
When you book your vacation and the days you start and end it can make a big difference in the bottom line. The earlier you book in the season the cheaper the room will be. As the season goes on and the hotel begins to fill up for the peak summer months, the higher the prices will go. But even if you’re booking last minute you can still get some wiggle room in the price if you’re able to start your vacation on, say, a Wednesday as opposed to a Monday. Even when hotels are booked up for the summer, they still struggle to fill rooms during the middle of the week and therefore prices for rooms during that time are much lower than on the weekends.
But even if you can’t take advantage of the pre-trip tips there is plenty you can do during your vacation to keep costs from spiraling.
Don’t always eat out . Meals are one of the places where costs add up quickly. Of course you want to sample the local cuisine, but try not to go out for every meal. Packing lunches for the beach or to keep up in the room is a great way to prevent paying $5 for a hot dog. And for dinner why not cook in the room (if you have a kitchen) one night? Or order a pizza? Or grill out somewhere? All of these options can be cheaper than eating out every night.
Coupons are your friend
Some people feel like a cheapskate when they use coupons but when you’re on vacation they can be essential to your wallet’s health. Most vacation destinations have a coupon book floating around that has great deals for vacationers on everything from dinners to attractions. Plus many resorts partner with local businesses to offer discounts to their guests only. With one Myrtle Beach resort group’s card, the Vacation Myrtle Beach discounts card, a family saved more than $350 just by using
their discounts card.
Use the resort
Make sure to check out everything your resort has to offer before venturing out into the city. The cost of all the amenities is something you’ve already paid for with your room so why not take advantage of it all? If you resort has an indoor pool you could take the kids down for a nighttime swimming adventure instead of out to play mini golf. Whatever your resort has to offer, just make sure you at least check it out once.
Give kids their own money to spend
If your kids are known for pestering you to buy them ice creams or souvenirs while you are on vacation, give them a set amount of money for purchases like that during the trip. That way when they ask for something you can tell them that’s what their own money is for and hopefully it will give them an idea of the value of things. But you have to be strong and not give in to any pestering if they spend all their money the first day.
Make sure to pack the essentials (and extras)
Buying things like sunscreen and towels when you’re already at the beach is just asking to pay more for them. Stores will mark up items like this during the season in vacation destinations since they know more people will be coming in to buy it. You’ll be able to get the essentials much cheaper if you make sure to buy them at home. And make sure you have more than you think you’ll need so you won’t have to run out on the last day of the trip and spend $15 on a bottle of sunscreen that you only need a little bit more from.
Keep these tips in mind on your next vacation and you can hopefully save some money to set aside for the one after that!