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Staying On Budget While on a Vacation

Posted on June 11, 2019

Whether it’s a trip across the state to visit your grandma, heading to the beach for a week, or spending a month backpacking across Europe, vacations are a great opportunity to relax, recharge, and do something fun!

The downside to going on a vacation is how expensive it can get. Staying in a hotel, eating out for every meal, airfare, and more can really put a dent in your wallet. While there are always some costs with vacationing, with some smart planning and extra research, you can really stick to a budget. We’ve come up with some tips to make your next trip one you’ll remember without draining your savings.

Make a Money Limit, Budget Around It

young man writing in a notebook while researching on a laptopThe first trick to not overspending while on vacation is to put a limit or goal on how much you’ll spend. Take a look at your savings/available money for the trip and decide how much of that you are willing to spend on your trip. This limit will impact every choice you make concerning your vacation.

Once you’ve made your goal amount, create a budget spreadsheet and start filling it out. Common expenses you need to consider are:

  • Where you’ll stay
  • Food
  • Travel expenses
  • Souvenirs
  • Money for activities

Then, as you start researching your vacation, you can fill out your budget and know which areas you need to spend less for larger expenses. Things like a place to stay and food are more important than taking back overpriced souvenirs.

Don’t forget to look into any bills you might need to pay for back home while on vacation and make sure you can cover all costs necessary. It would be a shame that your cell phone bill come due while on vacation and suddenly you have no money. A great way to prevent this is to sign up for Pioneer's free Bill Pay service in myPioneer to make sure you automatically pay your bills on time, even when you are on vacation.

Start Shopping Around Early

young woman looking out an airplane windowThe earlier you can start planning your vacation and make plans, the better rates will be. The closer you get to the date of the vacation, rooms and tickets start getting scarce and prices go up. By getting a jump start on it, you can find good deals on places to stay or tickets for flights.

You should also look into 3rd party companies that can help you find the best price. For example, websites like Kayak, Expedia, and Trivago can help you get cheap flights and hotels. Using these services early on can result in even better prices.

Alongside shopping early, set up alerts for flights and hotels online so you can know when prices drop. Often, special deals for rock bottom prices only last a few hours, but if you are quick, you can save a huge chunk of cash. Especially if you are planning on flying somewhere outside of the country, getting a heavily discounted ticket could save you hundreds.

Using Cheaper Alternatives

You don’t have to stay at a hotel, and depending on your destination, don’t have to fly. There are tons of alternatives to help keep costs low that you should explore.

Instead of getting a hotel room, it might be cheaper and nicer to rent an Airbnb. If you are vacationing with a group, it might be better to rent a vacation home and split the costs. Skip the bed and stay in the great outdoors in a tent and save big. Ask around to see if you know somebody in the area that will let you stay with them for free.

Similarly, flying is not always the cheapest travel solution. Driving your own car, taking a bus, or even taking a train are all options to getting around, though they will take longer than flying.

Save on Food by Not Eating Out

young woman holding a sushi roll in chopsticks in a cityEating the local fare is an essential part of every vacation, but that doesn’t mean every meal needs to be at a restaurant. If you can manage it, take a trip to a local grocery store and pick up some stuff for breakfast and lunch. Give yourself a few meals to try out local dishes or specialties, but skip the lunch at the fast food chain and pack yourself a sandwich.

Many attractions make a huge profit off of selling food. If your vacation involves a stop at the local amusement park, casino, or sports game, consider bringing food with you or plan on eating before and after being there. Some places will have ridiculous pricing on food and drink, such as $15 for a bucket of popcorn.

Keep the Activities Fun and Affordable

Expect to have to pay for activities to keep you busy and entertained while on vacation. But, before you get there, plan out what you want to experience. Then, hunt down deals on those activities. 

Look into using coupons or discount codes, buying it through Groupon, or just shop around to find what’s cheapest. There might even be businesses both in your area and where you are going that might offer discounts. For example, Pioneer sells day passes to Lagoon at a discounted rate to our members. 

Pioneer members can also check out full vacation packages that include hotel and local attractions through Get Away Today. As a member, you can get special deals on trips to Disney, Legoland, beach resorts, and more!

Using Credit Card Rewards

woman with back towards camera sitting and relaxing with a coconut drink next to herCredit card reward programs can help you with the costs of nearly every part of your vacation. Flights, hotels, attractions, event tickets, and more can all be free or discounted by using your rewards points. If you want to take advantage of these programs

Pioneer’s credit card Rewards! program is no different. You can redeem points for nearly every aspect of your vacation. Hotels, flights, theme parks, concerts, cruises, even full vacation packages all available to redeem with your points. Every time you make qualified purchases with a Pioneer credit or debit card, you earn points and redeeming them is easy to do online.

Check out Rewards Now!


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