Budgeting & Saving

How to Save Money While on Vacation

Vacations can be great—but not necessarily for your bank account. While you may have planned for the expense of getting away, there are always areas where you can cut back—and your wallet will thank you in the long run.

If you're planning a vacation and looking for some ways to save money while still having a great time, check out these three savvy tips to help you cut back on spending on your next trip:

1. Pack Your Own Food and Drink

Food and drink can be a major expense when on vacation, but depending on where you go, you may be able to bring some of it with you. If your accommodation has some sort of kitchen, you can bring or shop for food and stay in a few nights to cook. If you're staying in a hotel, call ahead to see if you can get a room with a refrigerator and microwave so you can bring home leftovers and reheat them the next day. If you plan on drinking alcohol, bring your own booze to help you save on pricey bar bills.

2. Double-Check When Packing

Being away from home can be great—until you realize you forgot something. Vacation destinations always have stores, but typically, you'll pay more for the things you need than you would at home. Double-checking while packing can help you save money by reducing the amount of last-minute expensive purchases you make. Tip: Make a packing list ahead of time and spend a few minutes thinking about all the things you may need while away from home. This will help you cover all your bases and give you a chance to get everything you need before you leave.

3. Research Local Free Activities Ahead of Time

Last-minute decisions can be really expensive when you're on vacation. Researching activities beforehand can be a great way to cut back on costs while also helping you plan your trip. A thorough search will give you an idea of what there is to do in your destination and what it will cost. If you plan on using a lot of transit or going to several museums and attractions at your destination, buying volume discount plans such as city passes and transit passes can save you on entrance fees and individual bus or train fares. Don't forget to search for free activities and attractions, too, such as hikes, museums and local walking tours.

If you're looking for more ways to cut down on the overall cost of your vacation, consider getting a new credit card that offers travel or hotel rewards. Cards often have sign-up bonus offers, which you can use to pay for flights, hotels and much more. Check out Experian CreditMatch™ to be paired with specific credit card offers based on your FICO® Score* .