We’re in the final weeks of winter, which means millions of Americans are planning spring break trips. Whether you’re going on a school trip or traveling with your kids, spring break is not cheap!
As Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of The Points Guy, recently put it: “The little things tend to add up fast. Whether it’s researching in advance how you’re going to get from the airport to your hotel or where you want to eat nightly, it’s vital to plan ahead.”
And keep track of these three budget-busters:
Food. The cost of eating accounts for more than 25 percent of total travel expenses, so overspending on food can quickly put you in the red. Going on vacation means you’re more likely to eat out, which is generally more expensive than cooking. One way to cut costs is to avoid snacks and focus exclusively on breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Another way is to cut alcohol, which can set back even the most frugal eaters.
Entertainment. When you’re on a vacation, you’re flooded with temptation—exciting tours, VIP events, and so on. Most of them cost money, and lots of it. But free activities do exist! Go on a hike or explore downtown by yourself. You don’t need a tour guide for everything. In fact, exploring a new locale on your own can be even more fun than following a tour guide all day.
Souvenirs. It makes sense to buy one or two mementos, but do you really need seven or eight? Does grandma really need three gifts? Travelers often bust their budgets by splurging on souvenirs, even if they cut down on food and entertainment costs. Pictures remain our best memento. Take lots of them, and share your photos with family and friends once you’re home. That’s a souvenir in itself!