How to Really Save Money with a Vacation Package
If you’re planning your next vacation or family vacation, a vacation package might be a great way to save money. But before you buy up the next vacation package that comes across your Groupon or LivingSocial mobile app, you may want to check out these tips on how to really save money with a vacation package:
1. Look at what it would cost without the package
The first step to really saving money with a package is to price out your vacation first without using package pricing. A recent report in AOL UK says package holiday prices will increase £110 for a family of four. It’s easy to simply make a list of how much your hotel, car rental, airline tickets, meals, event tickets, and other items would cost if you weren’t going to use a package. Having this figure in mind will help you see how much money you’re really saving by purchasing a vacation package, if this is what you decide to do.
2. See what’s included for free
While you often get a discount on the major aspects of your vacation – airfare and hotel fees – by purchasing a vacation package, you should also see what’s included with the package for free. Even just a few meals included for free during your vacation could represent a significant savings, especially if you’re traveling with children.
3. Read the fine print
Before you purchase any vacation package, be sure to read the fine print. See what’s included and what restrictions are placed on the package. A package can be very expensive if you can’t get a refund when your travel plans are unexpectedly cancelled, for instance. Plus, some vacation packages that look too good to be true really are because they require you to travel during inconvenient dates, such as when the weather at your destination isn’t all that great.
4. Check out future vacation discount options
Another way to see how much you can save from a vacation package is to see if the package comes with extra discounts for future vacations. Of course, if you plan to take a family vacation to somewhere different every year, then this won’t be a great option. But if you’re looking into a family vacation location that you plan to visit over and over again, future discounts can definitely be a money-saving option.
5. Do some deeper research
It’s easy to get sucked into a price tag that seems too good to be true when you’re shopping for a vacation package. But before you buy, you should figure out where the package is really coming from. One blog focused on Disney World family vacations, for instance, shows that Costco and AAA offer the same price for a Disney vacation package because they’re both brokering the package for the official Disney travel agency. You can probably save by purchasing the package from the original source, so you don’t pay extra fees to the brokers. Have a look at some of our travel tips here.
6. Talk to a travel agent
Contrary to popular belief, travel agents don’t automatically make a vacation more expensive, and they aren’t just for rich people to use. Working with a travel agent on your vacation plans can actually result in a better package deal because travel agents often have access to travel deals and packages that aren’t available to the general public.
7. Plan for your vacation-side expenses, too
When planning an affordable vacation with a package, it’s easy to get caught up in saving money on the big things, such as hotel fees, and to forget about planning to save on smaller vacation-side expenses, such as food and transportation. One easy way to overspend on your vacation is to take along a credit card with foreign transaction fees if you’re traveling out of the country. Most credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee every time you make a purchase outside the U.K. You can often find yourself spending over the odds with an added transaction cost on top as well. The best way to overcome this is to do proper in depth research about what you want to do and visit before you visit.
The news isn’t any better for Americans. In 2011, the average American vacationer spent about $1,200 USD, roughly £775, per person on two-week vacations or $300 per person on weekend-long vacations. Luckily, by purchasing a vacation package and using these helpful tips, you can spend much less than this on your vacation this year!