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7 Ways to Save Money On Your Next Vacation

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Saving up for your dream vacation might seem like a luxury that is out of reach, but you don’t have to spend all of your money to enjoy some time away. People often don’t use their vacation days for actual vacation because they feel they can’t afford it. But not taking the time to plan a getaway could cost you in other ways, like draining your mental health due to exhaustion or high-stress because you haven’t received a proper break. 

Get ready to start planning your next vacation with 7 tips that will be kind to your bank account, and your adventurous spirit.

1. Take the time to plan your vacation

A common mistake in most vacation planning is booking a vacation without a plan at all. Having a plan doesn’t mean you are losing your sense of adventure. Instead, a plan will help sort out the details of where you want to go and what you want to do when you get there. Once you’ve locked down your plan, you can start to see what certain will cost you and adjust as you go to ensure you are getting everything you want at the price you can afford. 

2. Choose the right destination 

The most significant part of your planning is drilling down a location to escape to, but it’s essential to do your research first. There is so much to consider when choosing the right destination. Where you go will depend on the type of vibe you are looking for and who you are travelling with. You should also consider popular travel times (and avoid them to bring down your cost), and how the weather will impact the time you wish to travel. 

Photo Credit: Link Hoang

3. Plan for a vacation during the offseason 

Whether you decide to work with a travel agent or you, book it yourself, research to determine what the offseason is for your chosen destination. You can do your research by digging around online or connecting with other travellers who are experts in the area. Booking during the offseason will provide a lower price point, leaving room for savings in other areas. 

4. Build a budget for expenses and experiences 

It’s essential to identify the difference between the expenses for your trip and the experiences. Your expenses will likely include accommodation, food, additional costs like renting a car, transit or cab fare, and travel insurance. Experiences include the events, landmarks, or other excursions you wish to plan for that will likely cost you extra. Creating a spreadsheet to map out how much you need to save in order to tackle everything on your list will help you stay on track. 

5. Leverage credit card perks where you can 

If you have a credit card with cash back rewards or specific travel-inspired perks, now is the time to cash in. These days, there are many credit cards available that provide opportunities to get back what you spend in the form of credits or other types of monetary value. If you don’t already have a credit card like, it might be the right time to consider switching to a better card for more rewards.  

Photo Credit: Zachary Tan

6. Stop yourself from overspending before you go

When planning a vacation, the urge to go out and buy new clothes for the trip is at an all-time high. The reality is you won’t wear half of the clothes you pack for your vacation, or you will end up buying items in the country you are visiting anyway. Be mindful when it comes to pre-vacation spending, and try to limit the number of things you are buying before you go.

7. Use Wellspent to help you mindfully organize your spending

The Wellspent app can help you determine where your spending is already bringing you value and where you can improve your spending habits for future savings. Understanding how your spending behaviours impact you emotionally, as well as financially, will encourage you to spend differently while you are on vacation. You can also tag your purchases while on vacation to help keep your expenses organized. The more you learn and improve, the more money you will save over time, allowing you to book more vacations in the future potentially. 

Learn more about how you can save money before your next vacation using Wellspent.


This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.