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  • Writer's pictureLauren LaBar

How-To: Maximize Your Vacation Budget

1. Visit in the "Off" Season

For instance, going to New Orleans during March-April is the busiest time there but if you can endure warmer temperatures in the summer, rates are less expensive across the board, and there will be far fewer people in popular areas.

Photo by Kaique Rocha

2. Plan Less, Live Local

Chat with bartenders, restaurant servers, taxi drivers, and locals to find incredible spots without the "tourist" markup.

Photo by Taha Samet Arslan

3. Expand Your Accommodation Options

Corporate hotels are convenient and familiar but you can save money and have more genuine experiences by branching out. Homeshares, B&Bs, farm stays, hostels,

and even camping (or glamping!) will help you avoid resort fees and are significantly less expensive than typical hotels.

Photo by Bazil Elias

4. Know Your Phone Plan to Avoid Hidden Fees

Before signing up for international service with your provider, do some research (or ask Upaway!) about the local cost of cell service. In most countries abroad, you can purchase a local sim card upon arrival for pennies on the dollar of international service charges from your home provider. For example, you can get 16GB of data for just 10 euros in Spain!

Photo by cottonbro studio

5. Strech Your Dollar(s) – Get The Best Exchange Rate

Never (unless in emergencies) exchange money at the airport upon arrival, their exchange rates are notoriously high. If you like to have cash on hand when you arrive, exchange it with your bank prior to departure. However, you’ll find the best exchange rates at local exchange vendors in your destination.

Photo by Jack Sparrow

Maximize Stopovers with Long Layovers

By choosing longer layovers in destinations of interest, you can hit multiple destinations without the expense of an extra flight! TAP Portugal offers complimentary 1 or 2-day layovers in Lisbon and other airlines have followed suit for destinations like London, Tokyo, Iceland, and Seoul. We recommend utilizing these airports' affordable luggage lockers, so you can enjoy the city for 12+ hours without the hassle.

Photo by Shutterstock

Price Match OTA Prices with Suppliers for Maximum Flexibility

If you find a deal online through a third party, call the airline or hotel and ask them to match it since they’re incentivized to get customers to book directly.

In booking direct, you'll also avoid having the additional third parties set terms and conditions for more flexible changes and cancellations. Often, direct sellers (airlines, hotels, activities) offer unique incentives for booking direct – sweetening the deal.

Photo by Antoni Shkraba

Looking for more tips – or want help maximizing your vacation budget?

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