summer trip

Saving Money During Summer Travel

Summer has arrived early this year, and the world couldn’t be more ready! June sunshine has brought bright days and warm nights.

International borders are opening, and vaccination rates are going up every day. Many people are taking advantage of the inviting weather with much-needed summer vacations, resulting in steadily rising travel rates!

According to current TSA statistics, travel is almost in full swing in towns and cities all over America. Airports are reporting activity levels that are quickly approaching pre-pandemic travel numbers.

But with rising travel statistics come some other statistics- a new survey by Experian found that 68% of people admit to overspending on vacation.

Here are a few tips to keep you from overspending on your next summer vacay.

Creating A Budget

Make a trip budget and stick to it. While this is easier said than done when traveling, it is one of the most important things you can do to adhere to your financial goals.

Make an overall budget outlining the amount of money you are okay with spending on your trip. Do your research and find the average cost of meals, lodging, and activities in the area you will be traveling. Try to eliminate surprise fees by planning out what you will spend before swiping your credit card.

If lodging is more expensive than you were expecting, make reservations at slightly more affordable restaurants. If there are activities you want to prioritize, maybe cut out a restaurant meal.

Creating a budget is all about being strategic with your money and planning in advance.

Don’t Fall for Tourist Traps or Tacky Souvenirs.

If you are buying gifts while traveling, make sure they are exciting and unique.

If you are going to New Orleans, rather than buying Mardi Gras beads for your friends, consider Cajun spices or sauces local to the area.

If you are heading to Arizona, try the local delicacies, like scorpion lollipops or cactus candy.

The best gifts are necessary luxuries. Thoughtful gifts are things someone will be able to use or consume that are slightly more exciting than something they would buy for themselves.

Most of the souvenirs you find at tourist attractions around America and the rest of the world are poor-quality products meant to lure in impulse buyers. The products are typically made cheaply and without ties, or benefit to the people in the area.

Find items exclusive to the location you are in. Only purchase products you are excited about gifting and look for things that support the local community you are visiting.

If you are one of the millions of people taking a holiday this summer, opt for souvenirs that won’t break the bank.

Avoiding Impulse Purchases

A Slickdeals survey has found that the average American will impulsively spend more than $2,100 in a year. That includes your menial gas station gummy worms, destination fridge magnets, and random kiosk magazines.

Avoid impulse buying by making lists and sticking to them. Know what you need before entering a store, and do not stray from your list.

Be strategic. You can preplan items you will need for your trip and make sure you have everything days before departure to avoid impulse buying.

Does your child usually ask for a new toy when at the airport or walking around town? Prepare by buying them something in advance to bring along. Impulse items receive major markups at airports and other tourist hot spots, where people are likely to pay more because they’re on vacation.

Shop smart, and use sites like before your trip to pick up children’s toys, backpacks, shoes, hats, and other travel necessities at free or heavily discounted rates. It is a great place to find items travelers typically overspend on during their summer adventures.

When you pre plan your savings, you don’t have to worry about overspending.

Bottled Water Is How Old?!

If you were to guess how long bottled water has been around, I bet you would not guess 254 years! Bottled water has been around for an entire decade longer than America has been a country.

In 1767 bottled water was sold by Jacksons Spa in Boston. The water was marketed for its therapeutic properties and remained a luxury purchase until 1947- with the introduction of high-density polyethylene. This durable and affordable alternative to standard plastic allowed water bottles to be distributed at a lower price to consumers.

While bottled waters are cheaper today, the prices can still add up quickly when traveling. Not to mention, they produce an abundance of unnecessary waste.

Bringing a reusable bottle is a great travel hack. Stop at the same places you would stop at to buy a water bottle, but instead fill up your water bottle. Most airports have water bottle filling stations. Plus, there are all sorts of insulated water bottles on the market to keep your beverages cold for hours.

Refraining from buying water bottles will save time and money that you can put towards more exciting travel expenses.

Protein Sandwiches

Whether you are driving, flying, taking a boat, or even a train, remember to pack a snack.

Eating out is one of the most costly expenses while traveling. Not to mention the less than healthy options available to travelers trying to eat on the road. To keep both your wallet and your body healthy, opt-out of eating out. Try packing homemade meals and snacks.

An easy addition to any travel bag is nutrient-rich fruit. Fruit usually comes packaged by nature (think peels) and provides vitamins and energy. Throw your apples, oranges, and bananas into a bag for later consumption.

Canned soups are also great foods to bring on the road, as they don’t require refrigeration.

Then there’s the classic, suitable for all occasions peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If you want to make it a bit more filling, try this protein-packed trick: Mix the peanut butter, or nut butter of your choice, with some maple syrup or agave, a few drops of water, and some protein powder. Vanilla or chocolate protein powder works best. Protein powder can transform a typical PB&J into a complete meal.

While it is fun to eat out for some meals, don’t eat out every meal. It’s fun to try new things, but it is good to maintain some stability while traveling. Your body and your wallet will thank you!

About the Author

Dylan Roberge

Dylan Roberge is a San Francisco-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering money saving and deal hunting. Before going freelance, he got his start as an editor at Yahoo Finance. These days he writes about mobile, tech gadgets, and lifestyle subjects for a variety of publications.