5 Money Mistakes People Make When Planning a Vacation

You’ve been saving up for a big vacation. The last thing you want to do is not make the most of it, yet there are many ways people let some money go to waste and don’t take full advantage of all vacation opportunities. Fortunately, there are ways to both spend money effectively and enjoy a proper vacation, all by making sure you don’t make the following five mistakes during your planning phase.

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Planning To Do Too Much

While it’s completely understandable that you want to make the most of your trip, trying to do everything is a quick way to drain your funds, as World Wild Schooling indicated. Instead, review all the available activities and things to see, and discuss them with anyone traveling with you to determine which things people really have their hearts set on.

Not only will you save money, you’ll have more time to enjoy the important things if you’re not rushing off to try to do seven other activities.

Learn More: 5 Vacation Destinations That Middle-Class Families Can’t Afford Anymore

Not Planning Ahead

You want to avoid planning a vacation at the last minute. An important reason is that ticket prices for flights, resorts and cruises tend to be the least expensive when they’re first made available, per travel expert Laura Quirk (via LinkedIn). By planning and booking several months — even a year — ahead of time, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Going at the Wrong Time of Year, or Going at Peak Times

Different locations are best suited for specific seasons. For example, if you’re planning a trip to Caribbean islands or beaches, you’ll naturally want to avoid late August through October. While it might be cheaper to fly during the offseason and acquire a hotel room, bad weather, like a hurricane, could result in cancellations of fun activities, according to World Wild Schooling. This would be a case of attempting to save money only to waste it entirely.

It might seem paradoxical, but you also want to try to avoid going during the most popular times of the year, as it’ll be much more costly, Quirk suggested. Also, you probably don’t want to be constantly disrupted by large crowds.

It all comes down to carefully considering where you’re going. If it’s a beach resort, you can optimize your savings by going slightly earlier or toward the end of the season, avoiding nasty weather and overspending at the same time.

Not Taking Advantage of Credit Card Rewards

Credit cards commonly offer travel rewards points for flights and hotels. Chase Sapphire allows you to save on flights and hotels, as well as restaurants and car rentals. You’re already spending money with your credit card in your day-to-day life, so why not reward yourself with a cheaper vacation?

Shopping and Dining in the Popular Areas

Unless you benefit from the aforementioned points, or a particular restaurant was simply one of your must-do activities, you’ll want to avoid tourist-centric hotspots. They tend to cost more than “hidden gems” located off the beaten path. These gems won’t necessarily be that far away and might even offer an unforgettable meal or souvenir.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Money Mistakes People Make When Planning a Vacation

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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