How to save and splurge on vacation
Trying to save money on your next vacation but also looking to splurge a little bit?
You can have your cake and eat it too.
With some forethought and following my cost reduction techniques on some big ticket travel items like airfare, accommodations and rental cars, you can save money on your next vacation to splurge on experiences. Here are my travel tips to save and enjoy spending on your next vacation.
Looking to save a few hundred bucks on airfare? Check out skyscanner (no affiliate). This site is a metasearch site for all major airline carriers. We recently used this site to get a good deal on our direct flights from Ottawa to Vancouver for our recent vacation. The navigation of this site is great and you can sign-up for automatic email notifications for price changes/drops. Unless you are fond of a particular flight time and route (which we are sometimes), I suggest you look for flight deals about 8 weeks out from your vacation. Try and fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday as well – you’ll get better airfare prices than travel on weekends.
Another great site to save money on airfare?
Try Chris Myden’s suite of sites – YOW Deals for us (no affiliate). Filter “From Other Cities” to find your departure deal.
Although I’m a huge fan of cash back credit cards (I use one in particular consistently), I have in the past signed up for a few rewards cards to earn points for future hotel stays. After signing up and following the minimum spend criteria for this card, I once obtained 50,000 bonus points to go along with my existing rewards balance. We used those points to redeem four free nights at the Fairfield Inn in Kelowna (getting the fifth night free). That effectively saved us about $1,000 in hotel accommodations for our recent trip to BC – money to splurge on great Okanagan Valley wine and food.
We didn’t travel this way…but we did splurge on our rental…more in a bit.
Don’t want to stay in a hotel? Don’t want to mess with hotel rewards cards? Try AirBnB (no affiliate) to save money. Thanks to Christine who rents out her brother’s lovely downtown Vancouver condo, we stayed in an upscale, centrally located 1-bedroom flat within walking distance of shops, restaurants, Granville Island, Stanley Park, great sushi bars and much more for less than $450 for our three nights.
We love Costco not just for their quality meats for our BBQ but also for great deals for car rentals. You didn’t know you could you rent cars through Costco’s site did you? You can use your Costco membership to rent your next luxury vehicle on your next vacation. What did I say? Luxury vehicle? For a personal finance blogger? Yes I did and yes you can too. Here is what we rented after we arrived in Vancouver:
Our 6-day loaded Cadillac used throughout the Okanagan Valley cost us $252 taxes included.
Saving money is good for vacations but saving money to splurge on experiences during vacation is even better. Thanks to some good deals from airfare to accommodations to rental cars, we splurged on fine food, evenings out, a great high-mountain experience on Grouse Mountain and sampled (countless) bottles of fine wine in the Okanagan Valley.
Chairlift ride up Grouse Mountain, Vancouver – 4,100 feet above sea level.
Mission Hill Winery
Vacations are important to us. They deliver some valuable downtime away from the office, time away from day-to-day routines, and we enjoy quality time together. With some forethought and planning into big ticket travel items like airfare, accommodations and rental cars, we can afford to splurge on our vacation and not worry too much about the travel budget. Following my tips above I believe you can do the same – happy travels!
What saving tips did you use for your last vacation? Did you splurge on anything when travelling?