Will Your Wallet Sink or Swim on Vacation?

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Now is the time of year where most people are planning to get away to see something different, gain new experiences, or just get away for rest and relaxation.  Whatever that is it will probably cost money. Hopefully, you have set aside money to ensure your vacation is the experience of a lifetime.  Here are some money-saving tips to help you keep your wallet afloat while on vacation.

Have a vacation budget

Don’t let your vacation break the bank.  Just like you have a household budget, a vacation budget helps you identify how you will spend money for your wants and needs while away.  It should include expected expenses, and unexpected ones, like forgotten toiletries or extra costs for tours and theme parks.  If you plan to travel abroad, use a travel reward credit card to reduce or eliminate exchange rate fees.

Dine on a Dime

Dining is an essential expense.  Food can eat up a good portion your budget.  To prevent spending all your money on food, consider staying at a hotel that has a kitchen so you can cook one meal a day and pack meals.  If you can’t cook, find inexpensive diners, purchase travel packages that include food and reduce the number of “fine dining” restaurants you frequent.

See sites for free

When selecting your destination research if there are any local free attractions such as museums and national parks.  If there are none go to Groupon or Living Social , download the site app or visit the website to see what discounts you might find to reduce the cost.

Skip the Souvenirs

How many more T-shirts, mugs or magnets do you need?  A good way to save money on vacation is to just say “no” to souvenirs.  If you promised someone you would bring them a gift, send them a picture of you having the best time of your life. Vacations are about memories. Take plenty of pictures -- you don’t even need to buy an expensive camera, your phone will do.

Don’t let your wallet sink on vacation.  Visit www.aarp.org/travel to learn how to travel on a budget and www.aarp.org/financialfreedom to get free online tools and resources sheets to keep your finances on track.

AARP helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities , strengthens communities and fights for and equips Americans 50 and older to live their best lives. Discover all the ways AARP can help you, your family and your community at AARP Black Community and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo: AARP

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