Stretching Your Vacation Dollar

A hand holding two dollars and a phone
Image by TheDigitalWay. Source: Pexels.

In 2015, U.S. travelers collectively spent $2.6 billion a day on trips, which equates to $30,033 a second, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Eating out, accommodations, rental cars, plane tickets and other expenses can make taking a vacation costly. But don’t let the thought of a potentially lofty price tag deter you. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to save without sacrificing your travel experience dream.

Here are some hints that may help:

1. Research free things to do for a memorable and affordable experience. Many nature parks are free to visit and make for a charming place for an outdoor family barbecue. During the summer there are often free concerts and other events to choose from. Museums and zoos also often offer a free admission day during the week.

2. Loyalty programs are a great way to put hard-earned points, dollars and miles to work. Most credit cards have a points program that help members earn cash back or use their points with partnering airlines and rental car companies. Travelers can also save with hotel and lodging companies that offer free loyalty programs, such as Wyndham Rewards. Program members can earn points with a Wyndham hotel stay and redeem a free night for every 15,000 points accumulated. For those interested in a private accommodation stay, Wyndham Rewards recently added 17,000 vacation homes to the already expansive 7,500 hotels available for redemption.

3. Curbing impulse-buying habits is one way to cut down on extra spending. Create a budget for all those small purchases that add up and stick to it. Limit souvenirs and take pictures to remember the trip instead.

4. Food and meals can offer a big opportunity to save money. During the planning stage, look for an accommodation that has a kitchen. Even if you cook only a few meals in, you can save a bundle. In fact, vacationers who stayed in a vacation home with a kitchen reported saving $898 a week. You can also pick up the family’s favorite snacks to bring along during day trips or for a late night refreshment. Not only will it cut costs, it will add convenience as well.

5. Coupons are another way to get experiences on the cheap. Websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial can help you save on some activities that many travelers normally don’t consider. These websites are also great for getting ideas on what to do. Plus, some attractions sell discounted passes to multiple activities, museums or theme parks. Make sure to check their websites before visiting.

For more saving advice, head over to This travel resource offers great tips on family travel, ideas for vacation rental accommodations, and inspiration on how to travel a little bit differently. The articles can help make your next trip exceptional with new experiences, hidden treasures, and authentic places to call home while away.