How to Unlock Valuable Vacation Savings On Your Next Trip


Piggy bank used under Creative Commons from 401kCalculator on Flickr

We all know that vacations can be expensive, especially if you choose to do a lot of activities or dine out often. Depending on what’s on your itinerary, you may spend a couple thousand on your next trip, but if you follow these tips below, you can get valuable vacation savings on attractions, services and food. If you’re a member of The Vacation Exchange, you already know how to save on accommodations by house swapping, but let’s look at these suggestions too on saving money on your vacation.

Look Local for Savings 

Many highway restaurants such as The Village Inn and local diners will have coupon booklets at the front of their restaurant. Once you’ve picked your destination, if you’re driving to your vacation home, try snagging a few. You can also find these at state visitor centers for free as well as rest stops. You can also try purchasing the Entertainment Book, which is available for many U.S. cities. The book includes coupons on everything from mini golf to meals to spa services. You’ll often find these for sale in local bookstores and newsstands. Don’t be afraid to phone the visitor centers and see if there’s any place you can look for discounts, or if they can send you any either.

Don’t forget AAA

If you’re a member of the AAA, you have access to multiple discounts. AAA offers a long list of savings from thousands of retailers, and you can find it on your local AAA chapter website. For example, some of their discounts include up to $5 off tickets for Sea World and Busch Garden parks, 10% off Hard Rock Cafe meals, and more. You can even locate savings on car rentals, train tickets, and other transportation options.

Save on Gas

Many of our vacation home members who do home swapping may drive or rent a car for their trip, and with that comes the necessary expense of gas. You can save on gas by looking at the cheapest gas destinations with Gasbuddy, which is a mobile app that finds gas stations near you and displays the current prices. The prices are updated by travelers just like you and are often correct. Keep using the app throughout your trip, and the savings will add up.

Visit City Forums

You may be able to get local advice before you even go on a vacation! If you’re staying in one of our available vacation homes in the Bahamas, for example, you can visit an online forum for your vacation destination, and get tips about good deals. You may find out, for example, that a museum will let you enter free after a certain time on Monday or Wednesday, or perhaps places where kids can eat free.

Do you find this post interesting or helpful? Share with your friends at the links below! You can also contact The Vacation Exchange to learn more about house exchange for your next vacation if you own a second home or vacation property. You can travel the world with us!


How to Have the Best Vacation on Any Budget

Vacationing doesn’t have to be expensive, if you’re smart about your financial planning. One of the best ways to save money on a vacation is to leverage your existing home for a vacation home exchange with us, The Vacation Exchange Network. However, there are many other ways to save money on a trip besides house swapping, and we’re going to share a few for when you book your next vacation, whether it be across the country or around the world.

how to save money on a vacation

Original image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user fdecomite

Travel in an Area’s “Off Season”

Every destination you visit will probably have an off season, or a period of time when it’s not as busy. These are the times where you can expect to have a pleasurable vacation, because activities, recreational parks, etc, won’t be as crowded, and you can probably find good rates. By simply searching online for your destination plus the words “off season” in Google, you can determine when’s a good time to go. Now granted, the off season may be a time when the weather isn’t ideal, so be prepared. However, sometimes the off season is just a season where the travel dips because kids are still in school and it’s harder for people to take off work. You can enjoy a less-crowded vacation at a great price, especially when you participate in a house exchange. Our homes are available for vacation home exchange throughout the year, so take a look today if you’re interested in house swapping!

Find Coupons for Attractions, Restaurants and More

Once you’ve decided where you’re visiting, it’s time to start looking for ways to save money! Many locations you may visit will have discounts. You may decide to visit an area where there’s attractions, and most attractions (with the exception of Disney and Universal) have coupons in local travel brochures in the area, or you can find coupons online. Sometimes the official visitors website for a destination, such as Palm Beach, Houston, etc, will have an option for discounts. If you’re visiting a popular destination for families, visit parenting message boards and blogs to find sources for discounts as well, and don’t forget Pinterest!

Keep Food Expenses Down

Food is one of the most priciest purchases you can make on a vacation. Instead of going out for breakfast every day, why not bring your own breakfast food? Once you get to your destination, you can find a nearby grocery or pack your own options for breakfast. Our house exchange properties come with great kitchens, so you can prepare eggs and other breakfast staples. You can’t go wrong with packing muffins, protein or breakfast bars, snack mixes, plus cereal in grab-and-go containers. You’ll save yourself time and money, even if you don’t embark on a vacation home exchange.

Travel On the Right Days

There are certain days that are better to travel on than others, especially in the airline industry. When you’re looking for plane tickets for your next trip, try a variety of different departure days, if possible. It’s better to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, because those are the least popular flight days. You may be able to get a ticket that’s $50-$100 off if you opt for flying on these days rather than Mondays and Sundays. You may also consider picking a very early flight time. Yes, you will be tired but the earlier you get in, the more hours you get to enjoy on your first day of vacation. Instead of departing at 1:00 p.m., consider taking in the early hours of the morning, such as 6 or 7.  Don’t forget to start looking for airline tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and not the weekend!

Pack Smart

Why tote a large suitcase and a carry on on your next trip? If you’re flying, pack smart by making it easy by getting rid of the large cumbersome suitcase, especially if you’re only going to be gone a few days. You may combine all of the family members clothes into one big suitcase, instead of three small ones as well. You’ll save on luggage fees, because which would you rather pay, one suitcase for $25 or 3 suitcases at $25 each? Sams, TJ Max and other discount stores have large size suitcases that are fairly inexpensive. March is known as one of the best times to buy new luggage, because winter is over and summer has started yet, so stores put luggage on big discount. Take the time to snag a good durable large suitcase if you feel like you’ll need one for an upcoming trip or house exchange!

We’re big proponents of one of the best ways to save money on vacation, house swapping. Our properties are located throughout the world, and none of them are rentals. Instead, they’re all second homes owned by travel lovers just like you! If you want to know more about the network, see our properties, or get in contact, please visit our website!