From Airline Tickets to Gifts to Your Tree, How to Save on All Aspects of Vacation Spending
Xsandra / Getty Images / iStockphoto
The holidays can be financially exhausting, but with just a little effort, consumers can save money and have a less stressful experience. GoBankingRates consulted with retail and savings experts for their top tips for cutting spending during the best time of year.
Read: Where to get unique holiday gifts without leaving your home
Check Out: 29 Ways To Save On Holiday Gifts
The first step in their journey to saving is to start with a detailed list of exactly what they need to buy.
âThere are easy ways to save money on vacation expenses if you create a plan and use multiple strategies to cut costs,â said Laura Adams, MBA, personal finance expert at Finder. âFirst, think about your expenses and make a list that could include photos, cards, gifts, wrapping paper, meals, parties, decorations, clothing, and travel. Make it as detailed as possible by giving a gift to everyone you want to buy, including family, friends, teachers, and service providers.
When writing your list, try to set a target budget for each category and for overall vacation spending.
Shop seasonal sales online
We all know about Black Friday and Cyber ââMonday, but are we all taking advantage of these sales events? Surprisingly, we don’t.
âA recent Finder poll found that it takes an average 58% discount to persuade Americans to shop this year’s Black Friday sale,â Adams said. âEven if you don’t get that much discount, shopping seasonal sales for what you really need can really pay off. Plus, shopping online allows you to quickly compare prices, so you know if you’re getting the best deal.
From there, let’s take a look at how you can save on each category of vacation spending, including travel, food, gifts, decor, and various extras like family photos and vacation clothing.
Learn: 10 stocks that should take your holiday shopping away
How to save while traveling
âTrack airline ticket prices using a site like Hopper.com that will alert you when the price of your desired flight drops,â said Andrea Woroch, budgeting expert. âCreate your own flight itinerary by booking one-way flights to and from surrounding airports to your final destination (or home port), as this could be cheaper and also allow you to redeem miles or points for part of the trip if you don’t. not enough for a full round trip flight.
Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews, noted that consumers should consider flying on less popular travel days and times.
âIt can be difficult, especially during the holidays, but if you can manage it, traveling during off-peak hours can help you save at least a little,â Ramhold said. âFor example, traveling the day before a major vacation will be expensive and crowded, but if you can travel the week before, or even the same day, you may be able to save as fewer people will be traveling during those times. “
If you are driving to your destination, Ramhold recommends carpooling. Also, if you are traveling to visit family or friends, try crashing into their home instead of splurging in a hotel.
See: The highest grossing vacation movies of all time
How to save on food
In addition to baking or making your own treats to take to a party, or hosting a potluck, consumers can save in a number of ways.
âBe sure to check out specials at your local supermarket,â said Erica Seppala, financial analyst, MerchantMaverick.com. âFor example, ShopRite stores offer a free turkey after spending a certain amount of money, with some areas only requiring a $ 250 purchase. This amount can be spent on multiple transactions, so you can easily get a free turkey just by doing your usual household shopping in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. “
Woroch suggests buying wine or beer from a warehouse store like Costco, where you can potentially save up to 30%.
How to save on gifts
To save on gifts, Ramhold suggested exchanging gifts while playing Secret Santa.
âAn easy way to save on freebies is to make sure you only buy one,â Ramhold said. “Try organizing a Secret Santa game with your friends and family and drawing names so you can focus on one person and give them the perfect gift, rather than stressing out about buying several.”
Alternatively, you can host a White Elephant party.
âIt can be even less stressful because all you need to do is choose a really good gift that will interest your group of friends or family,â Ramhold said. “Set the rules for how many times a gift can be ‘stolen’, draw numbers and embrace the competitive spirit of the game.”
Going for a gift card instead of a more tangible gift can also be a great way to save.
âOften in December we see tons offers on gift cards, retailers and restaurants that have bonus cards with certain purchases, so you end up getting what you pay for, âRamhold said. “Gift cards get a bad rap, but honestly, most people would probably prefer to receive a gift card at their favorite store or restaurant rather than something they may or may not use.”
If you want to buy something specific, like a new computer, Woroch suggests going the refurbished route.
âWhether you’re buying a personal gadget, kitchen appliance, or power tool, consider refurbished options to lower your expenses,â Woroch said. âIn some cases, retailers have to sell items that were open but never refurbished, while others have fixed a minor issue and restored the item to like-new condition. You can save 20-60% depending on the model and the store. Just make sure you get a warranty and buy from a reputable retailer like Best Buy, Walmart, or Apple.
Discover: brilliant holiday budget tips from financial advisors
How to save on holiday decor
âOne of the best ways to save on holiday decorating is to think ahead,â Seppala said. âHoliday decorations are significantly cheaper during the low season, with stores like Target and Hobby Lobby offering discounts of 75% or more after the holidays end. Plan ahead and shop the week after the vacation ends this year for big savings on holiday decorating for next year.
Ramhold added that there are concerns this year that holiday decorations may not be available in the quantities we would normally expect due to supply chain disruptions and shipping delays.
âBecause of this, it can be more difficult to find these discounted items, and waiting until after the holidays can lead to a lack of choice,â Ramhold said. âInstead, join loyalty programs and buy with credit cards and cash back apps to save on these types of products when you actually use them. “
How to save on vacation photos
âHave a friend or family member who has a good camera take your photo,â Woroch said. âInstead of printing greeting cards with your photo, email or text a digital version to loved ones with a personalized message, or just print the photo at a photo kiosk at stores like Target or CVS, then send a handwritten note or include in a regular holiday card – it will cost half of what you would pay by ordering personalized cards.
How to save on vacation clothes
âLook for second-hand vacation outfits on sites like Poshmark for women and SwoondleSociety.com for kids,â Woroch said. âYou can actually trade in old vacation outfits that they no longer fit in for credit that you can apply to ‘like new’ looks. “
More from GOBankingTaux
Last updated: October 28, 2021