5 Ways to Save for Your Next Vacation

Remember to sign up for daily emails from Groupon for your destination cities well in advance of your trip.

Remember to sign up for daily emails from Groupon for your destination cities well in advance of your trip.

Let’s get real: Unless you win the Price is Right, vacations cost money. Thankfully, there are a few tricks to saving money out there. Here are five we’ve taken advantage of over time.

  1. Coupon codes: Coupon codes aren’t just for shopping at The Gap and Crate and Barrel. RetailMeNotCouponCabin and several other sites also list hotel and even ticket broker (i.e., StubHubRazorgator, etc.) coupon codes that you can use on websites to get great rates. Just Google the name of the hotel or show and phrase “coupon codes,” and you’ll see a slew of deals pop up. Some might be expired deals, but odds are you’ll find at least one valid deal.
  2. Third-party lodging websites: As mentioned in a prior post, Hotwire, I feel, gives you the best bang for your buck. You can get a fancy room or great location for cheap – if you’re willing to not find out your hotel’s name until you’ve already purchased the room. If you work for a larger corporation, don’t forget to take a peak at your company’s employee perks website, which often has deals comparable to AAA discounts on lodging.
  3. Allocating part of your paycheck to the vacation fund: No matter what, I try to set aside at least roughly $200 a month to the vacation fund, which is a separate account from those of my checking or other savings accounts. Just remember to shuffle the money from your vacation account to your credit or checking account once you’ve used that money!
  4. Scout Groupon/Living Social in advance. Don’t be resigned to getting emails only for your hometown; sign up in advance of your trip to get Groupon or Living Social deals for your destination city or cities e-mailed to you, too!  Also, look for other similar websites in your destination city, as many cities have Groupon-like websites you’ve likely never heard of. We actually just scored a Groupon for more than half off a vegetarian restaurant in Toronto we had been eying for weeks.
  5. Research. Much like in public relations (my day job), every good campaign begins with research. I almost always start with Kayak, which lists hotels or flights on all the major airlines in a matrix with prices. From there, I can see what my realistic options are and start to set a budget (and determine if I need to book through Hotwire to save a few bucks).

How do you save money on your trips?

Next post: Exploring Indy: Fountain Square

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