Vacation Tips: Saving Money on Vacation
Vacations are supposed to be enjoyable. We save and eagerly wait all year for our long-awaited getaway. For some, spending more during vacation is definitely not a problem but for the majority of family vacationers, saving money while on vacation is a must. However, as much as people want to save money, they often just don't know how to do it. This means that most families have a pre-conceived perception that going on vacation means shelling out a ton of cash. However, a little pre-vacation planning will help you save money while on your trip so that you can have the relaxed Outer Banks vacation that you deserve. Here are some budget-friendly tips that may help you save money while still getting the chance to recharge, enjoy new experiences, connect with family, and let the stress melt away.
Be Flexible Regarding Your Travel DatesThis is a potentially HUGE money saver! If possible, try to vacation during the off (non-peak) season. Although most people crave a summer vacation at the beach, the off season on the Outer Banks is one of our best kept secrets.* Not only will you save money on a rental, you’ll also avoid the crowds and get more time to enjoy the local attractions. Plus, there are dozens of fun Fall and Winter events to attend. Still not convinced? Here are the top 10 reasons to visit the Outer Banks during the off season and the reason why you'll love spending Spring on the Outer Banks.
*No matter what time of the year you want to hit the beach, Seaside Vacations has exclusive offers and hot deals on vacation homes so you may be able to get an awesome home at a lower price!
Choose A Rental Home Over A HotelAn oceanfront hotel room can cost as much as $299/night during the summer. The average cost per night, per person in an oceanfront Outer Banks vacation rental home? As low as $45 a night! And the hotel room can’t boast a private gourmet kitchen, expansive multi-level decks, private pools, hot tubs and other features you get with having your private space. Not to mention, many of Seaside Vacations rental homes offer Any Day Stays meaning you don't have to book a full week if you prefer to just stay a few days - just like you would in a hotel.
Make A List Of ExpendituresOf course, your planning starts with where you are going. How long is your travel time and how are you getting there? Are you sharing the cost with another family? Does your Outer Banks vacation rental come with linens and towels and other standard amenities? How much can you pack in your vehicle? What grocery stores are available at your destination? Brainstorm all of the expenditures that you will have, make a list, and then make a budget.
Take It On The RoadKeep in mind that driving can significantly cut your vacation transportation costs. To save money and to avoid fast food while traveling, try packing a lunch, snacks and drinks for your road trip. Don't be intimidated by the idea of entertaining your kids while you drive. With a fun road trip game, you just might find that those hours you share in the car together are some of the best memories of all. Don't forget to plan for gas and tolls.
There's An App For ThatUse smart phone apps to your advantage while traveling. GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas near you and ATMHunter allows you to avoid fees when withdrawing money. If you stop along the way, restaurants may have an app or coupons you can find with a quick search online.
Save On MealsIt can be tempting to ignore the cost of food while you're on vacation. After all, you would spend money on food at home anyway. However, if you don't plan ahead, you can end up spending a lot more on vacation meals than you would at home.
- Once you arrive, hit the local grocery store to stock the kitchen in your vacation rental home.
- Create a vacation meal plan. Think about the number of meals you'll eat and decide how many will be at home and how often you'll dine out. Be sure to include breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks in your planning. A good idea is to plan for one night to be "clean out the fridge" night to help get rid of food before checking out. (However, if you do have unopened non-perishable food left, please bring it by our Kitty Hawk office so we may donate it to the local food pantry.)
- It also helps if breakfasts and dinners are eaten in since many restaurants offer the same dinner menu at lunch - but with cheaper prices.
- Many of our Outer Banks vacation rentals include a grill which helps with planning meals at home.
- If you are traveling with other families, splitting the menu planning will save you money and also give you a night off when it is someone else's turn in the kitchen.