Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Thu November 05 2015

Opinion Home | Every Journey Tells a Story

  • Jackie DiBiase | November 5, 2015 10:00 PM ET

    10 Ways to Stretch Your Vacation Dollar

    10 Ways to Stretch Your Vacation Dollar

    PHOTO: Savings money. (courtesy Thinkstock)

    If you’ve been budgeting to take a vacation, book your flight and your travel arrangements, then you might have a budget in mind when you finally arrive. Sticking to a budget while traveling isn’t always easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. So how do you avoid over-spending and make practical decisions on trip? Dine wisely, look out for affordable experiences and make some practical decisions.

    1. Instead of eating at tourist traps, eat where the locals eat—the food will be higher quality at a lower cost. Lonely Planet has great restaurant recommendations based on destination.

    2. Craving fabulous food at a fabulous price? Make plans to splurge at lunch vs. dinner. The menu items are often offered in smaller portions and/or at significantly reduced costs.

    3. Create a dining experience with a picnic. Buy cheese, bread and produce at a local market and enjoy an impromptu day in the park, at a fountain or on the steps of a museum.

    4. Check out an events calendar for your destination prior to leaving (usually available on tourist board websites). You’ll find local art fairs, parades, festivals and farmers markets that will help you experience your destination’s culture.

    5. Traveling abroad with your significant other? A great romantic evening doesn’t have to cost money. Consider a moonlit walk through the streets of Paris at twilight. Share a crepe on the steps of the Louvre at sunrise. Who doesn’t love a walk on the beach at sunset?

    6. Try a different type of transportation. Rent a bike or rollerblades for a day in your destination to see more for less (plus, get a great workout in the meantime).

    7. Avoid impulse purchases by carrying snacks and water around from place to place. Purchase a bottle of wine from a local wine shop or market to enjoy before or after meals.

    8. Learn about the history of the neighborhoods from the locals. Don’t be afraid to talk to the residents. You’ll learn about the area and gather insight that will make your vacation more memorable.

    9. Itching to see a performance? Many theatres offer last-minute house seats at reduced rates. Buy theater tickets the day of and be flexible when choosing a show or performance date/time.

    10. If available, ask your tour director (or another local) what they do for fun for non-traditional, inexpensive activity suggestions.

    Not every fun activity during your vacation requires a steep fee. Plan your meals wisely, and you’ll find yourself with extra money for other experiences in your destination. It’s easy to get excited about something new and different, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’re less likely to get carried away.


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Jackie DiBiase Every Journey Tells a Story

Jackie DiBiase Growing up in Colorado instilled a longing for adventure in Jackie DiBiase, so it seemed like a natural fit when she found herself with a career in the travel industry. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University where she studied Communications, Public Relations and Journalism, her journey has taken her to a position where she is able to combine her passions: travel, writing and social media.
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