How to Spend Wisely on Holiday Trips?

How important it is to spend wisely on holiday trips? As a purchaser, travellers could die to get tips on it.

Let it be long or short duration trips, saving money is always possible.

But for sure, on longer duration trips, potential to save money in more.

These days, in India as well, people have started giving more attention to “vacations”.

So it is only logical  to learn about “how to spend wisely on holiday trips”.

Though vacation-times are not one where people should spend energy bothering about saving money.

That moment is for enjoyment.

If we will think “money” in those times, it may work as a spoiler.

So what’s necessary is to think vacation in advance.

But when you are onboard to your holiday destination, spend and only enjoy.

So here are my takes on, how a thoughtful person can spend wisely on holiday trips.

#1. Always plan holidays before hand

Why it is important?

Because when holiday trips are planned at last moments, it will cost more.

General understanding is to plan holidays at least 3 months in advance.

This will not only allow the family to prepare better for the holidays, but it will also reduce unnecessary costs.

For some people, last minute decision is all that is required to go on a holiday.

In a way this is good, otherwise we generally remain stuck to our mundane daily routine.

To break the jinx, last moment decisions work well.

But this act cannot be repeated for every vacation.

Idea must be to keep the holiday trips going year after year. If there will overspending, trips may cease to happen.

Hence it is necessary to plan holiday trips in advance.

One must always go on long holidays by giving self, 3 months notice.

This way one can cut holiday cost by 25-30%.


#2. Be a traveller, not a tourist

What is the difference between travellers and tourists.

  • Travellers do not draw attention. Tourists draw attention.
  • Tourists are identifiable. Travellers blend with the crowd.
  • Travellers eat local foods. Tourists prefer their regular food.
  • Tourists do sightseeing. Travellers observe and feel the city.
  • Travellers dress casually like locals. Tourists put formal clothing.
  • Tourists buy impulsively. Travellers buy as planned.
  • Travellers move as per pre-decided plan. Tourists rely on last minute advices.

Why I am highlighting these differences?

You will note that, the psychology and behaviour of tourists influence them to spend more.

Whereas travellers, behave in a more aware and controlled manner.

Travellers have thought every holiday activity in advance.

Tourists think what to do after the destination arrives. At least, tourists do not plan their holiday in enough detail.

#3. Budget Holiday Trips

What goes into budgeting a holiday trip is more important than its money part. How?

Suppose you have two options to go on holiday:

  1. Goa (Leisure Trip).
  2. Andaman (Scuba Diving).

Both these destinations will have different budget, right? Why?

Because, though both are holidays trips, but are different in nature.

A leisure trip will have a set of expenses very different than that of Scuba Diving.

A person who has planned like Goa, for Andaman type vacation, will not enjoy the trip. Why?

  1. Unplanned expenses.
  2. Experience not as per expectations.

To make a holiday trip memorable, it is essential to have “accurate expectations”

How to do it?

Do your holiday research.

  • Ask a friend who had similar experience before.
  • Watch youtube videos posted by other travellers.
  • Research hotels.
  • Identify food joints.
  • Pin-down destination points.
  • Estimate cost associated for all activity.

Ideally speaking, if one wants to go to Andaman on a vacation, the budget for it should be known at least 12 months in advance.

Why it is essential?

Suppose the budget for Andaman trip is Rs.1.5 lakhs.

If the person has 12 months in hand, he/she can save Rs.12,500 each month to generate Rs.1.5 lakhs (12.5K x 12 = 1.5L).

Once the required monthly savings starts, the next step is to make the bookings.

To spend wisely on holiday trips, following vacation expenses needs to be budgeted:

  1. Travel Booking.
  2. Hotel Booking.
  3. Local travel booking (for sightseeing etc.).
  4. Lunch & Dinner.
  5. Daily Snacks.
  6. Miscellaneous Shopping.

It is also advisable to keep some emergency fund in place.

The purpose should be, if everything goes well on the trip, this fund will remain untouched.

Let the travel-emergency-fund accumulate year after year. It will be like building-savings for something bigger (like a world tour).

#3.1 Book Hotels wisely

The first step should be to finalise the location of hotel.

The location should be such that, minimum cost is encountered for travel.

Suppose you want to visit Goa to enjoy the beach.

Better is to finalize a beach hotel.

Even though beach hotels are costlier, but over the period of stay, it will prove economical.

Idea is to avoid local travel expenses and time spent in commuting to-and-fro.

Generally at tourist destinations, local conveyance provided to outside people are very costly.

One must try to avoid spending on local travelling charges as far as possible.

Other than travel, the hotel must also ensure the following in package:

  1. Complimentary Breakfast.
  2. Complimentary Tea/Coffee all day.
  3. Free Wi-fi.
  4. In-room Microwave.
  5. Complimentary Fruit Basket.
  6. One day city tour (if possible).

Regular travellers also avoid staying in 5/7 Star Hotels.

Though experience in such hotels are great, but they charge a hefty premium.

Five/Seven star hotels seldom prove value for money. But if one can afford, must go for it.

For others, the best compromise will be to opt for 3/4 star hotels.

If one is travelling with a large group, staying in a villa (all together) will prove more economical.

#3.2 Book Hotel & Air Tickets for Free

Wow! But how to do it?

Yes it is possible. Many people use offers to fund their travel plans.

Such offers are provided by Credit Cards. They provides Air Miles.


Everytime the user swap this card, Air Miles gets credited into the account.

Over a period of time (10-12 months), enough Air Miles get credited.

This amount can be good enough to fund hotel & travel bookings for the whole family.

Such cards are very useful for people who use credit cards more frequently.

This is one of the nicest ways to spend wisely on vacation trips.

Other ideas that can save money on air travel are as below:

  1. If you travel by air, pick night flights. They are 10-15% cheaper.
  2. Confirm Bookings 3-4 months in advance.
  3. Travel in Economy Class.
  4. Carry cabin food with yourself. Avoid paid foods served on flights.
  5. Avoid shopping on flights.
  6. Always book to-and-fro tickets as a package.

Take care not to book tickets too early.

In such a case, flight cancellation and rescheduling is common.

This eventually leads to last minute expenses, which prove very costly.

#3.3 Avoid Travel on Peak Seasons

On an average, it costs 30-35% less when people travel on off-seasons.

Travelling in peak seasons has several disadvantages:

  1. Hotel charge premium rates.
  2. Airline tickets rates are sky high.
  3. Local travel also becomes very expensive.
  4. Shopping in holiday destinations in peak seasons are also costly.
  5. The place is too crowded. It lowers one’s travel experience.

Hotel accommodation, air travel, food & local travel is almost 80-85% of the total cost of vacation.

Traveling off-season can substantially lower these costs.

#3.4 Try to Visit one place at a time

If you are travelling within your country, best will be to see one destination in one trip.

This kind of planning can drastically reduce the cost of vacation trips.

Moreover, as less time is spent on travel, people tend to take full experience of the holiday destination.

Otherwise, if people are in a mood to travel to next destination, they tend to experience things only superficially.

Final thoughts…

Once you are done with finalising the location, begin to look for a reliable person.

The best will be, someone local who natively belong to your travel destination.

Call him/her for a dinner on weekends. Declare your plan for travel.

Seek advice. Take notes. Plan accordingly.

Next, you can invite a friend who has already been to that place.

Repeat the same exercise.

Seek advice. Take notes. Modify your plan.

Read as much as possible about the travel destination.

Make sure to show youtube videos of the travel destinations to your family.

This will tune their expectations as well.

Jointly prepare a list of activities you will like to accomplish on your holiday. Reverify your budget.

No matter what may come (except emergency) stick to your budget.

Idea is to make the vacation so memorable that, next year you are all geared up to enjoy the same kind of experience, in a new destination.

This is how the travellers travel all over the world.

Be a traveller and not a tourist.

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Manish Choudhary (Mani), a mechanical engineer turned finance blogger and investor, founded to empower individuals on their journeys to financial independence. With over 16+ years of experience as a financial blogger, value investor, and developer of stock analysis algorithm, Manish leverages his knowledge and real-world experience (including building a stock analysis algorithm) to create insightful content and tools to help readers navigate the complexities of the financial more about Mani

Disclaimer: The information provided in my articles and products are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or investment advice. Read more.

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