Prevent hefty vacation bills with these budget tips | Travel Smart

Sara Rathner with NerdWallet shares tips with FOX43 on how to budget before and during your vacation.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — With more people getting back to traveling in 2022, going on their dream vacation is at the top of their bucket list.

However, trips like that can cost a pretty penny.

“Nothing eliminates that post vacation high like the reality of that bill coming in the mail,” Sara Rathner with NerdWallet said.

Rathner shared some tips with FOX43 on how to budget before and during your vacation.

“It’s so easy to spend more than you’re comfortable spending when it comes to booking a vacation, you know you want to treat yourself, you want to give yourself those once in a lifetime experiences, but the last thing you want to do is pay the consequences for that experience months and maybe even years after the vacation is over,” Rathner said.

To help keep the bills to a minimum, she shares three tips on how to save money when traveling.

Tip number one, take advantage of travel credit card rewards and perks to travel more luxuriously without the extra cost.

“Things like free checked bags, that saves you $60 per person per round trip ticket right off the bat,” she said. “You might also be eligible for priority boarding, airport lounge access, some hotel cards will give you things like late checkout or free room upgrades.”

Tip number two, pass on the rental car and take public transportation instead.

“Lots of cities are very walkable or have reliable public transportation and it’s a much more inexpensive way to get around and it can be a very fun way to get around,” she said. “Lots of cities have things like ferries and gondolas and cable cars that are a part of the public transit system that can be part of the tourist experience.”

And lastly, tip number three, skip the souvenirs.

“It’s really tempting to spend as much as possible to try and capture a piece of the feeling of your vacation, but it does cost a lot of money and a lot of times those trinkets just come in and collect dust,” Rathner said.” Grocery stores are great sources of local snacks and foods that you can bring home to your loved ones. I always buy bags of locally roasted coffee when I travel, it doesn’t cost much and it reminds me of my trip for a couple weeks while I drink the coffee every morning.”

Rathner also reminds us that just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful and relaxing trip.

“If you want to go out for a fancy dinner or book a really expensive guided tour, you can do all of those things,” she said. “You just need to save up for them so once you’re there spending that money, you can relax and enjoy it.”

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