There is no denying that vacations are becoming increasingly expensive and you have to plan carefully if you want to avoid needless spending and save costs. Most countries are passing through difficult economic times and there is no shame in finding money saving ideas for your vacation. To help you achieve this, here are a few worthwhile ideas:

•    As a first step, research the Internet and select the right destination and compile a list of sightseeing priorities. Instead of spending a fortune on guided tours, you can save money doing things on your own.

•    Make your own reservations. Many hotels and airlines offer additional discounts and special offers for booking online. Whether traveling in the U.S. or abroad, try to find a place that suits your budget. Choose hotels farther away from the center of downtown as they are often much cheaper.

•    Decide beforehand the duration of your vacation and where you will be staying. Please know that almost all holiday destinations have plenty of cheap hotel accommodation and you can select the one in keeping with your budget. The best way to find a cheap place to stay is to plan in advance.

•    Make it a point to carry a travel guidebook with you.  The guidebook will provide you information on all tourist attractions, local customs, and cheap places to eat and sleep. They can give you guidance to visit tourist spots using cheap means of transport and also details about free events.

•    Try to understand which money source is best for each situation. For instance, you should know that Visa charges 1% overseas usage fee regardless of whether you’re using debit or credit - whereas some cards waive this fee. Using credit card for most of your transactions and debit cards for cash withdrawals can save you money.

•    You will be well-advised to carry a money belt. This can indeed be a cheap insurance against theft. The thief can easily unzip the purse to steal the cash and they will exploit once they know you are a holidaymaker.

•    Avoid shopping extravagantly. Do not needlessly buy things you may never use – however strong the temptations.

•    You will certainly want to try out some good restaurants when on a vacation. But for many meals, you can save money by picking up food at the grocery store. This way, you will be able to eat light-and-easy meals throughout your trip. When staying at a hotel, take complete advantage of their complimentary breakfast.

•    Eat breakfast where kids eat free and avail split meals. This can mean an enormous saving as children are often too excited or tired to eat much. Restaurants that are kid-friendly or family-friendly will accede to your request for extra plates.

•    If you are planning an overseas vacation, then bestow enough attention to the exchange rate. If you are in a position to leverage the exchange rate, do so. If you go to a destination where the national currency is weak, you can have a whale of a time.

•    As you are paying for hotel accommodation, use the hotel swimming pool. Spend the day at the beach or a nearby museum and take your kids to the children's play areas, providing an inexpensive day of fun for the little ones.

•    Go to theme parks, go to a beach or lake if there is one close by, or just spend sometime at nearby parks. Many museums have free admission one day a week; check the website.

•    As far as possible, use public transportation. Most cities have sites that plan routes for you, so no need to go for taxis. It is wise to take advantage of multi-day passes at the attractions. This is especially a good deal as they can be used anytime.

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