Summer is officially here and for most families that means it is travel season. I don’t care how much money you have in your travel budget or what kind of plans you are making, there are always ways to save money and get more out of your travel time. Saving money on a trip allows you to do more, or even plan an additional vacation. Who doesn’t want to be able to squeeze in one more long weekend trip somewhere. Here are 7 vacation budget tips to help you save money on your next trip.
This is a sponsored post for the Visa Clear Prepaid Program. However, all opinions and travel tips for taking a summer vacation on a budget are my own.
How to Take a Summer Vacation on a Budget
Use discount travel sites: Many people want to save money on their trip, but don’t know how to find the best deals. Many of the discount sites can help you find the cheapest car deals, flight deals and hotels.
Save money on plane tickets: Plan in advance. Waiting until the last minute can be costly. Also, book your flight and have a connecting flight, instead of a non-stop. No one really wants to have to worry about using a connecting flight. It can be a hassle to rush from one spot to another or having to sorry about a delay making you miss your flight. The benefits of a connecting flight, it can save a lot of money.
Save money on tickets: Just like there are discount sites to help you find deals on hotels, there are also discount sites to help get tickets for events and activities. While some of these deals only allow you to visit at certain times or let you buy so many tickets, it can still save you a lot of money in your travel budget.
Meals: There are ways to save money on food when you are traveling as well. If at all possible, try to cook for yourself. If it is not possible, there are still ways to save money. If the hotel you are staying out offers breakfast, try to eat a larger breakfast or bring some back with you. Maybe save some fruit from your breakfast. It makes for a great snack later on. If you are buying lunch, eat a larger lunch so that you can buy a smaller dinner later. If you are not getting breakfast at the hotel you are at, ask for extra bread at dinner and use it for breakfast in the morning.
Hotels: In addition to finding the deals on the travel sites, also try to stay in a hotel in a smaller town. If you are staying in a large city, try to get a hotel in a near by smaller town. Many times you can save a large amount of money in these smaller towns. Also, in some of these smaller towns, ask the hotel for upgrades. Often times the upgrades are given complimentary.
Use a prepaid card: There is something that happens to people when they go on vacation. So quickly the budget can go right out the window. An easy way to help keep your budget on track and keep your spending where you want it, is to use a Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card. It allows you to spend only the predetermined amount you have loaded onto the card. As part of the Visa Clear Prepaid program, there is no fear of overdrafts, the fee plans are easy to understand and your funds are still protected by the FDIC and have certain fraud protection, providing added security if your card is lost or stolen.
Using the Green Dot card to help stick to a budget and pay for your summer outing makes it easier to manage your money, so the only thing you have to think about while you’re out is having fun.
It is not advisable to use a prepaid card for hotels or car rentals because a reserve of the charge amount, up to 150%, is held on the card. The Green Dot card has a clearly communicated monthly fee plan, which means confusing fees won’t distract you while you’re enjoying the summer.
If your card is lost or stolen while you’re out having fun, don’t worry. Your Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card funds are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability policy*.
The Green Dot card can conveniently be purchased from a variety of nationwide retailers. I purchased one from my local Dollar General store. There are several simple and convenient ways to load and reload the card, some with a small fee. I loaded my card with cash at the store. It was very easy. I’ll be keeping my summer vacation plans on budget thanks to the Green Dot card.
While prepaid cards can be a helpful tool to make it easier to stay on budget while vacationing, it’s worth noting that they are not ideal to use for hotels or car rentals. Car rental agencies and hotels place a large deposit on the card in order to reserve that is often budget-prohibitive on a prepaid card.
What budget travel tips do you use when you are making your vacation plans? What can you do to make it easier to have one more vacation this year?
* Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions, or any transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Visa Clear Prepaid and Green Dot.