Yay, the vacation season is upon us! If it weren't for that suspiciously small number on your vacation account, which somehow doesn't match up at all with the prices on vacation portals and gas pumps.
We show you how to spend a great summer vacation with your family even with a small vacation budget. Because saving money on vacation is a lot more fun than you think!
You haven't booked your vacation yet? This is how you save!
Comparing prices and taking advantage of last-minute bargains has long ceased to be a secret tip. What you can do beyond that to get you and your family a travel bargain under the nail, we tell you here:
Save money on your vacation: choose cheap destinations
All over the world there are true vacation paradises. Many of them are known for their great hotels, beautiful locations and fantastic play facilities for the kids. And for their prices. Because snagging a bargain in such a tourist hotspot is next to impossible.
And also completely unnecessary.
Because there are so many places beyond the top 10, which are even more beautiful. So leave the well-known vacation regions to the left and concentrate on what hardly anyone has on their radar when looking for your summer vacation. This has two advantages: You save a lot of money and you don't have to fight with three other families for the last beach chair on a crowded beach.
Saving on accommodation: hostels are stupid? No way!
Youth hostels are only for school trips? Garbage can open, misconception in, garbage can closed.
The youth hostels of the German Youth Hostel Association DJH become real vacation palaces during the school vacations – for parents and children! They are often close to popular vacation spots and win the price war with hotels by a long way.
You are not convinced yet?
All right, then. Now we give you all the advantages at a glance. But beware: your jaw may drop…
Advantages of hostels
- Youth hostels are full of playmates of the same age, so your kids will make new friends in no time.
- In a youth hostel your kids are welcome – even if they are noisy.
- Parents enjoy time together: In a youth hostel, your kids are on the move with other kids all day long – and you also have time for a good book. And if you're planning a trip for two, there's bound to be another family keeping an eye on your kids.
- Youth hostels are close to popular vacation destinations.
- Youth hostels are cheaper than hotels and vacation apartments.
- Youth hostels have family-friendly rooms – with space without end.
- Youth hostels have good food: So you don't have to go to expensive restaurants. At the same time, chefs specialize in sneaking even fussy eaters a healthy meal.
- Youth hostels have a good connection to exciting leisure activities: You'll usually find endless information about activities nearby. Sometimes even with discount offers.
- Youth hostels are everywhere – in Germany and around the world
Okay, you probably already know: We are real fans of youth hostels.
But we don't want to deprive you of the only catch, which in reality is no catch at all. Because for your vacation in the youth hostel you need a membership in a youth hostel association, in Germany in the DJH.
This can be expensive? Wrong again.
DJH membership currently costs 22.50 euros per year. Yes, you read that right: Membership costs less than a trip to the movies. So what are you waiting for?
Save on air travel: Book flights money-smart
You want to discover the world on your summer vacation? Out of Germany, into the big wide world? Then the classic tip applies here as well: Before you book a flight hastily, you should first compare carefully. Pay attention to all the details:
- Extra costs for luggage
- Discounts for kids
- Airport parking fees, free parking in the area, and airport transfers
- Flight times: Often flights are cheaper during the week than on weekends
Money-smart extra tip: invest in a luggage scale
Avoid surprises at check-in because of sudden high extra charges for the much too heavy suitcases. A luggage scale is smaller than your smartphone and can be bought for less than 15 Euros. You'll recoup your investment after your first vacation if you can save on fees this way.
Flights and hotel nights: don't waste time!
You and your family can sleep almost anywhere? Clear advantage for your vacation: book a flight, where you arrive in the morning at the vacation destination. This is how you save an expensive hotel night and start rested directly into the first day of your vacation. After all, you slept on the plane.
Of course, this also applies to the way back: Enjoy your last day of vacation to the fullest and start your flight home in the evening. In total you have saved two hotel nights.
Saving on insurance: don't get talked into anything
Many tour operators offer you additional insurance for your vacation directly when you book: travel cancellation, health insurance, luggage insurance and everything else that is available. Especially the travel health insurance is without a doubt important. Travel cancellation insurance can also be useful. Often the prices of the organizers are unnecessarily expensive – so don't let yourself be pressured, but compare at your leisure. There are enough offers!
By the way: Many credit cards already include a comprehensive insurance package for the whole family. So before you take out insurance, you should first take a look at the contract details of your card provider.
Good planning is half the saving: This is how you avoid expensive surprises
Book and done? Sure, you can do it that way. But you will not save money. And our little extra tips will only cost you a few minutes – but save you a lot of expensive surprises.
Book the rental car in advance
Rental cars are in particularly short supply at the moment – and therefore also particularly expensive. If you get off the plane at your vacation spot and hope for a bargain on the spot, you're unfortunately out of luck. It can even happen that you go completely empty-handed and have to take an expensive cab with your family.
Research in advance on the popular comparison portals for a suitable rental car, which you then only need to pick up.
Check your documents to avoid extra costs
Are your passports still valid? Is the first aid kit in the car expired? Does your dog have all necessary vaccinations?
These are only a few examples of real mood killers when it comes to a check. So take a few minutes and check all the hard facts again before you start packing your suitcase. This saves time, extra fees and hassle.
Saving on the spot: Save your vacation money
The inexpensive vacation is booked, the suitcases are packed – it can go off! But there is still a chance to save money on your vacations.
Snacks, snacks, snacks!
Save on snacks? This sounds like a "slim-while-you-sleep" promise: somehow too good to be true. But we are serious: Snacks save your vacation budget.
Why? It's that simple:
If you have enough snacks in your luggage, you are not dependent on expensive rest stops, restaurants or roadside stands. You decide yourself what and when you eat. Even the bad mood, if blood sugar level sinks, remains out.
Snacking can be so nice!
Picnic instead of restaurant
We'll stay on the topic of food: Visits to restaurants with the whole family are a worthy opponent for the vacation budget. But what to do if dinner is not included?? Our tip: Try a leisurely picnic.
You buy the drinks in the supermarket, the food to go in the pizzeria around the corner. Of course in the, in which also the locals get their pizza. Because it tastes best and is often also cheaper.
Enjoy your picnic wherever you like: on the beach, in the park or on the lakeshore.
Use what you have already paid for anyway
Have you ever been annoyed by the tourism tax at your vacation destination? This is now an end. Because from now on you take full advantage of this fee. At almost all places this charge is connected with some inclusive achievements. These include, for example:
- Free use of public transport,
- Free or discounted admission to museums, parks, swimming pools etc.,
- Free or discounted use of local features like chairlifts,
- Free participation in city tours.
Your host will be happy to tell you which services are included at your vacation destination. Also on the tourism portals on the Internet there is a lot of information about it.
Withdrawing and paying? Watch out for fees!
Have you ever withdrawn money from an ATM and been annoyed by the high fees afterwards? Admittedly: You are not safe from this even on vacation. But if you go about it the right way, you'll keep the fees as low as possible.
Many credit card providers offer unlimited or at least a certain number of free withdrawals abroad. So first take a look at the current contract conditions of your provider. If you find high fees here, it might be time for a change anyway, or?
By the way: credit card providers often combine these benefits with included insurance services as well. So you kill two savings tips with one stone.
If you are in a vacation country with another currency, further trap doors come along. Both when withdrawing and paying with the card, you will often be offered the option of converting directly into euros on the spot. At a superduper exchange rate of course. Often this supposed bargain is much more expensive than the exchange rate of your bank.