I’m lucky that we don’t have to be too rigid with our vacation budget. We only vacation a short time each year and it often involves high-interest low-cost adventuring. I know lots of the tricks to save money on dull stuff so we have more to spend on the good stuff. However, I always make some mistakes and waste some money that I could have used better elsewhere. Here are five mistakes I made this summer that cost me money.
Five Rules I Should Remember to Save Money on My Vacation
- Do not say you will drive “just one more hour” before you stop for a meal. After hitting the unexpected construction zone, rush hour traffic or accident tailback, you will be so tired and hungry when you finally do stop, you will forget your plans and buy $20 worth of pop, chips, candy, meat jerky, or other space fillers when you could have had a nutritious good tasting meal and driven on replenished and refreshed.
- Beware of hotels located in close proximity to big box stores, shopping centres, or movie theatres. Be very wary of hotels with onsite casinos or arcades. (There is a startling similarity between what happens in an arcade and in a casino with the only noticeable difference the age of the players shedding money.)
- Remember government-regulated gasoline prices are usually not lower prices. Tank up immediately before or after borders depending on which side has the best price.
- Do not allow your children in to a store full of handicrafts, art, jewellery and other great souvenirs if they have “left their money in the car.” This is code for the old “I’ll pay you back later” gambit in which they hope you will forget you paid and they will get their loot for free. They are right: it usually does work.
- Do not enter any store with any sign that says “Fudge.”
Do you find you fall into the same financial pitfalls each time you go on vacation? Care to share a rule with the rest of us? Please share your experiences with a comment.