Portrait of a young happy family with two children packing for holiday at home.

Isn’t a vacation the perfect time to go-all-out and splurge, and worry about the expense later? Since it isn’t always easy to practice budget-friendly habits on vacation, we tend to ignore them during our escape from reality. Who wants to jump through hoops, and stress over every penny when your well-deserved holiday is supposed to be a time to relax? Fortunately for those of us on a tight budget, a vacation doesn’t have to involve the stress and overplanning of pinching pennies. We found many easy and painless ways of how to save money on vacation.

Yes, it’s possible.

Yes, it’s easy.  

Travel in the Off-Season
October and November are two of our favorite months to travel. Kids are back in school, the weather is still great, and you aren’t paying summer or holiday prices.

Look for Free or Discounted Activities
Before you leave for your trip, do a bit of research on local websites to discover the free activities in your destination. Did you know that most of the museums in Washington DC are free? Also, use your HGV Grand Experiences card for discounts on some of the top experiences and restaurants in your city.

Shop the Farmers’ Market
Since you have the luxury of your own kitchen at HGV, shop local at a farmers’ market on fresh items for breakfast and snacks to enjoy in the room. You’ll eat healthily and save money at the same time!

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Yes, even buying plastic water bottles on vacation can an add unnecessary cost to you trip. Instead, pack an empty reusable water bottle and fill it up when you arrive to your destination. Keep filling it up during your entire stay!

Filling a reusable water bottle will save you money!

Use a Partner Perks Go City Card
You can use your points to purchase a Go City card to save money on vacation. Not only do you avoid crowded tourist lines, but you can also save money by bundling activities together.

Skip the Rental Car!
Do you really need to rent a car at your destination? So many of our HGV resorts are in destinations with amazing public transportation. Going to Honolulu? Public transit here is top notch! Washington DC? The Metro is the way to go! You can save a small fortune by avoiding a rental car. Paying to park a car that is just going to sit in the garage for most of your trip just seems silly.


While traveling to a city, take public transportation to avoid crazy rental car fees.

Food Trucks!
Instead of always finding a sit-down restaurant and paying additional fees and tips on your meal, find out where the food trucks and street vendors hang out. Grab a blanket and enjoy a plate of delicious street food outside. The food can taste just as good (or even better!) and you are saving money at the same time!

Skip the Souvenirs
Is it really necessary to bring home souvenirs from every destination you visit? Your money is better spent on your vacation experiences with your friends and family. Why don’t you take photos instead?  If you have the itch to shop, find a local street vendor or a shop with more affordable prices. If you wait until you’re in the airport terminal, you can kiss your dollars goodbye.

Splurge on What Matters Most to You, and Skimp on the Rest
Make a list of what matters the most to you on vacation. Good food? Family-friendly activities? Broadway shows? Beach? If it isn’t important to be in Hawaii for Christmas, but you still want a sunny, sandy holiday, choose a less popular beach locale.

Plan a Game Night (In)!
Instead of going out every single night on your vacation, plan a game night in your HGV condo. Set up a few platters of farmers’ market appetizers, open a bottle of wine, and play your favorite board games, followed by a complimentary movie rental found in the HGV lobby. This might end up being your favorite night of the whole trip!


How to save money on vacation? Is it actually possible? Of course it is! Make a list of what matters most to you on your next trip, and stick with what’s important. You can certainly still enjoy luxurious accommodations, incredible local cuisine, and plenty of entertainment without sacrificing any memory-making moments on vacation.

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