Tips to Avoid Spending Extra Money on Vacation

I am one person that loves a good budget. I plan and budget for almost everything because I like to be prepared, I do not like surprises, and I hate the feeling of not having enough money to do the things I enjoy doing, after I arrive at a destination because I didn’t properly prepare.

Sometimes, it is just enough to pull together all your travel points and money just to take a vacation and then there are extra travel fees that sometimes you do not prepare for, but you can avoid. 

Here are a few costs that can sting during your travels if you are not properly prepared:

Checked Bag Fees

If you are not flying Southwest Airlines, then paying luggage fees is inevitable unless you learn to pack light.

If you want to avoid paying for your baggage to fly with you, you need to get into packing light.

Some airlines will allow up to two carry-on bags, and that’s more than enough to fit all your essentials. 

By simply taking some detergent, you can pack extra light and just wash your clothes more regularly while you’re on your vacation.

Save money on food at the airport

I once spent $50, at the airport, on breakfast during a layover from Nashville to Mexico. Before arriving on vacation, I had already spent $50.

If you’re trying to save money, buying food and drinks in the airports while waiting for your flight is probably not the most economical way to travel on a budget.

  • Pack your own food and snacks. Although there is a TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule on liquids through security, there is not a food rule. 
  • Carry a reusable cup so that you can fill it with water once you’re through security. A lot of airports have water fountains. I recently bought a Brita Water Bottle with Filter so that I can get water from anywhere, including a faucet, and be able to drink filtered water.

Save Money on Alcohol

Liquor can be the biggest expense while traveling. 

I do not travel without my Jack Daniel’s! I even travel with Jack Daniel’s miniatures in my carry-on so that I don’t have to pay high airport prices for cocktails.

If you’re going to a hotel that isn’t all-inclusive, you might want to pack your own liquor in your suitcase or stop at a liquor store once you reach your destination. Alcohol bills can add up if you pay for each drink at the hotel.

At all-inclusive resorts, the alcohol is included. However, if you want a cocktail or a nightcap in your room, you cannot have it delivered without ordering a bottle for your room. It is costly to buy a bottle while at a resort. I solve this obstacle by going to duty-free stores at the airport and getting a bottle of Jack Daniel’s before arriving at the resort. Viola! I have a bottle for my room at a third of the cost.

Cut Cost on Food

If you’re not staying at an all-inclusive resort, try booking a room with a kitchen, purchasing a few ingredients, and cooking up your own meals.

If you absolutely can’t get a room with a whole kitchen, try booking a room with a microwave and a refrigerator. Those can go a long way if you want to be able to reheat or store food that you’ve purchased at a restaurant.  You can turn one meal into two meals.

Say No to Souvenirs

I do not buy souvenirs for anyone during my travels. And you don’t have too either.

Why do other people need souvenirs from your travels? They didn’t experience this destination.  They have no connection to the destination. Therefore, a keychain or a refrigerator magnet is not going to mean anything to that person.

If you don’t have the money to spare for souvenirs, don’t go out of your way to purchase them.  Do not stress yourself over a souvenir for someone that it has no meaning to them.

Tours, Excursions and Activities

It is possible to go on vacation and have an enjoyable time without paying for tours, activities and excursions.  Trust me, my mother has done this multiple times. 

Cruises and all-inclusive resorts make this money saving strategy amazingly easy!

Many activities on cruise ships and at all-inclusive resorts are included in your vacation. If you take part in the very activities, entertainment and water sports, you are sure to have an amazing time on vacation with blowing your budget.


If you don’t have extra money to spend while you’re on vacation, let me tell you that you do not have to feel bad. You just need to plan, be strategic, and find ways to maximise your stay without maximising your expenses.

Remember, your responsibilities are waiting for you when you get back from vacation, so don’t get yourself into financial trouble just because you tried to do some things that your budget couldn’t handle.

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