We've all been there.
You go on a vacation. You're living your best life, without a care in the world. Then you get a bank alert. Or even worse, you wait until you get your bank statement and are shocked at your overspending. *cue deep eye roll*
If you haven't seen our TikTok on how to vacation without breaking the bank, STOP and take a look now before we dive into the money saving details.
Let's Dive In
1. Have an itinerary or plan
- Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This applies to money too! Consider the types of things you like to do, such as outdoor activities, indoor activities, group activities, etc., and plan them! Having a plan ahead of time can allow you to divvy your money based on the activities. For example, with the purpose of the trip being a birthday celebration, we knew we would like to go to a special restaurant. In advance, we were able to choose a restaurant, view the menu, and allocate money accordingly. We knew we wouldn't eat at fancy places like this the whole trip, so our food budget (if you cringe at the word budget, read as "money plan") was less on the other days. The more you can plan for, the fewer surprise expenses you'll have.
2. Get insurance on your excursions
- If you're into nature or group activities, you may include excursions on your itinerary. Most excursions have a flat fee and optional insurance. Various factors can go into the decision to get insurance, such as group personality, the difficulty of the activity, and the price to replace the equipment, to name a few. For example, ATV riding was about $40. Insurance was $10, with replacements/repairs ranging from $300 and up. Additionally, a few riders in our group struggled a bit with maturity, so we chose to pay for insurance in case we, or anybody else, caused a wreck. When it comes to insurance, especially on vacation, it's best to be safe rather than sorry.
3. Go grocery shopping
- This mainly applies to longer trips, but it's not only cost-effective but eco-friendly! Bonus points if you can use paper instead of plastic. Some may think it's a bummer to cook on vacation, but it gives you a chance to engage in the culture like a local, bond with those you're traveling with, and potentially learn a new recipe. Of course, it helps the bottom line! For a 7 day trip, we spent about $80 on groceries, the cost of 1.5-2 meals when eating out in Tulum. Of course, be careful when cooking. If you saw our TikTok on this topic, you saw we may or may not have caught the bread on fire. Nevertheless, we lived (and saved) enough to tell the story.
4. Consider the times
- As of November 2021, we're in a pandemic! COVID-19 is still among us. Most countries and states require you to at least have a negative COVID test to leave and enter. In Tulum, this ran $30 for the antigen test. Other COVID-related expenses may be masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. Stock up before you leave, because the airport & tourist areas will rack up these prices for sure!
5. Use your phone - but don't be glued to your phone
- 9 times out of 10, you don't need to hire a photographer. 10 times out of 10, you should be enjoying the moment. If you have a phone that's been purchased within the last 5 years, you probably have great camera quality. When you see something beautiful that would prompt you to take a photo, first, take in the scene. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but your five senses are waiting and ready for you to use them! Second, use your phone to grab a good picture. If doing excursions, purchase a waterproof case for under $20. You'll be able to get cool content, have a case for the future, and not have to pay $10 for a photo you may lose before you return home.
Not overspending on vacation isn't just about your money as a resource, it's about you as a resource as well! Vacationing should bring rest, not stress. Before your next vacation, use these tips to decrease your stress 🙇🏾♀️ and your unplanned expenses.
P.S. I found out about this trip only 2 weeks beforehand. How was I able to afford to go on the drop of a dime? Holistic personal finance knowledge and skills. Good news - I'm sharing these details with you all starting next month! Be the first to reshape how you view & interact with money. Get a copy of the Holistic Money Mindset: Mental Preparation for Abundance to start raising the bar for your mind and money!
Have a friend that's going on vacation soon? Share this blog with them! Have something to add to the conversation? Comment below!