When you might only have the time or budget for a short break, it’s important to make sure your vacation is as flawless as possible. This simple list of money-saving tips will help you get the best value out of a short vacation.
- Plan meticulously
If you don’t have a lot of time, the worst thing you can do is just show up in a foreign city with no idea of where you are going to go or what you are going to do. What tends to happen in that situation is that you waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to do, and then before you know it, it is time to head home. Proper planning will also help you to budget appropriately for the trip, so you don’t end up with unpleasant surprises and regrets.
- Pre-pay your indulgences
When splashing out for luxury items like Vienna Opera tickets, you can usually save a lot of money if you buy them before you leave home. There are two reasons for this. The first is that some service providers give special prices for international tourists and these discounts may only be available when purchased from outside of the country. The second reason is that prices for some things may tend to increase as special events become closer. You’ll also avoid missed opportunities due to sell-outs.
- When paying by credit card, try to pay in your home currency
It’s not always an option, but when purchasing online (and, sometimes, even offline) you can potentially save a lot by paying in your home currency. This is because most credit cards charge high fees for currency conversion, and even though they are international and shouldn’t do it; they always convert between your home currency and the transaction currency. When you do have to pay in a foreign currency, try to anticipate currency market trends and you could save a few dollars by waiting a day or two before committing to the purchase.
- Consider all-inclusive packages
While they’re often not the best value, all-inclusive vacation packages can take some of the stress and hassle out of vacation planning, and your overall spending will tend to be less. However, do try to align your choices with places and activities that interest you.
- Never pay for restaurant meals with a credit card
Sure, it makes you look like a big shot, but it’s way too easy to get scammed if you let a waiter carry your credit card away from the table. Besides that, many restaurants add a hefty extra percentage when you pay by credit card, and that is just dead money.
- It’s just a short break, so take cash
Carrying large sums of cash around is not usually recommended, but if you’re just taking a short vacation then it’s a waste of money to pay the fees charged by financial institutions for withdrawing cash from foreign ATMs. As long as you carry less than the currency declaration limit, you should be fine (the exception is the UK, where they demand evidence that whatever money you are carrying actually belongs to you, regardless of whether it is below the limit).
The above list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s vital to take the tips that are mentioned here on board if you want to save money when taking your next short vacation.