The sound of waves crashing; the warmth of the sun on your skin; the sweet smell of tanning lotion. These are the things that tropical vacations are made of, and they can be some of the most relaxing, enjoyable experiences of your life. However, they can also get expensive pretty quickly if you aren’t careful. Avoiding tourist traps is one way to lower the cost, but saving money on your trip begins before you even leave. Here are five ways you can cut costs when packing your bags:
1. Make your own travel-sized toiletries – At around only $0.99 each, those miniature shampoo and conditioner bottles may seem like a good deal, but they’re much more expensive per ounce. Get some empty travel-sized plastic containers instead and fill them with your own hair products, body wash, etc.
2. Plan to re-wear clothing – Pants and shirts can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits so you can cut down on bag weight while still looking great. Find a local Laundromat or use the hotel’s laundry services to have them cleaned. Going on a cruise? Take advantage of the on-board laundry facilities if they have them, or even better, their laundry service, which lets you have your clothes cleaned, folded, and delivered right to your cabin all while you’re enjoying some fun in the sun.
3. Always, always, always leave extra room – It’s tempting to fill your bag to the brim when packing for a vacation, but always be sure to leave a little extra space and weight for souvenirs acquired on your trip. Otherwise, you may face expensive overweight bag fees.
4. Take advantage of carry-on luggage – Most airlines don’t yet charge for carry-on luggage, but the fees for checked luggage can be outrageous. Avoid these extra costs by bringing a carry-on instead of a second (or even first) checked bag. If you’re pushing the weight limits on your checked baggage, then put some of the heavier items in your carry-on. However, there are carry-on bag weight and size limits, so be sure not to exceed those.
5. Ask yourself, “Do I really need it?” – If you can buy it cheaply at your destination, or if you really don’t need it, then don’t bring it. For example, cruise ships provide fresh towels at no cost, so you can save space and weight by leaving yours at home. Cruise cabins, along with most hotel rooms, also have hair dryers. Don’t forget that some cruises offer duty-free shopping, which can offer much lower prices than you would find on land.
Once you’re at your destination, there are countless more ways to cut costs without compromising on fun, and with a well-packed bag, you’ll be all set up to have the time of your life, without blowing your life savings.
Karolina Shenton works with The Cruise Web, Inc., a travel agency that solely focuses on cruise vacations. Whether you want to depart for your cruise from Baltimore or you’re seeking an Alaskan adventure, the cruise consultants can find you an affordable cruise vacation option.