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What are the best ways to save money while on your vacation?

You have the perfect vacation planned, but the last thing that you want to do is break the bank while you are on your trip. Understandably, you want to save your money for great excursions and experiences. There are several ways that you can save money on the small things.

Be Mindful of Baggage Fees : Most airlines charge baggage fees nowadays. These fees can vary from paying for checked baggage to oversized (and overweight) luggage fees. While it might seem like each fee is small, they add up after a while. To avoid, or minimize, these fees make sure to understand the baggage policy of the airline that you are flying. If you are allowed a free checked bag that is great. Make sure to monitor what you are packing to stay within that limit. If you do not have any free checked bags, but cannot pack everything into a carry-on bag, try to pack everything in one checked bag. The one piece of caution is to also understand the weight limit of the airline and stay at least 5 – 10 lbs under the limit. Staying under the limit gives you wiggle room in case the airport’s scale is calibrated differently from yours and have space to buy a few souvenirs to bring back home.

Wash your clothes : Washing clothes while on vacation might not sound fun, but strategic washing of key items can help save luggage space and costs, especially on a long trip. Items like socks, underwear and swimsuits are easy to wash in a hotel sink and hang dry overnight in the shower. If you are smart and pack lightweight shirts (depending on the destination) these can also be easily washed in the sink and hung dry. Additionally, many cruise ships and some hotels have a laundry room that can easily and inexpensively be used as well. Washing clothes can become particularly important with small children who you know might need at least two outfits a day. This is a great way to pack light and save on baggage fees.

Dress wisely: Larger items like pants and skirts can be easily worn a couple of days. Couple wearing items a few times with washing and you can stretch a few key clothing items for quite a while. However, you might be concerned about looking the same in all your photos – especially if you are a lady. The best way to address this issue is to accessorize. Scarves and jewelry are great light and cheap items to throw in a bag that can easily change up your look on a daily basis.

Bring an empty reusable water bottle : While you cannot take water through airport security, you can take an empty bottle with you. You can then avoid the costs of bottled water throughout your trip by filling up your bottle in water fountains.This is also great for avoiding that $5 bottle of water that hotels like to put on your dresser. If you are concerned about luggage space, get a carabiner and clip the bottle onto your shoulder bag or carry-on and now it doesn’t eat up valuable luggage space.

Bring snacks or buy regular size snacks at a store : The mini bar is always tempting. You or your children are hungry, it is late at night and no one feels like going back out for any food. The solution is room service and the mini bar. Both of these options will cost your a pretty penny. Instead either throw a few snacks into your suitcase for late night munchies or find a local grocery store and buy a bag of chips or box of your favorite granola bars for the evening.

Consider city passes : Many cities now have city passes where you can gain access to a host of attractions for a set number of days. These passes are a great way to see the things you want to and many places you didn’t know you wanted to see in an economical fashion. If you plan well you can get double or triple the value out of one of these passes.

Travel like a local : One way to save on transportation on a trip is to use public transportation. Many cities will have multiple day passes for their transit system. Purchasing one of these will help you save costs compared to taxis or renting a car. Of course this is not an option in every city, but where it is an option, it is a great way to see the city like a local.

Eat like a local : Do a little research and try an off the beaten path local restaurant. The main line restaurants are going to be targeting tourists and will tend to have higher prices. Going to local spots will provide you with some great local cuisine and options at a lower price point.

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