How to Save for a Vacation: My Top Tips


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
Going on vacation should be a time to relax and recharge. I say “should be” because I know planning for a vacation can be pretty stressful – which is pretty ironic, since most of us go on vacation to unwind! Plus, there’s the financial stress, which is also pretty significant. If you’re a freelancer like me, you don’t have vacation leaves. And that means each day spent away from the computer is a day without earnings.

Each of us will face our own challenges when planning a vacation. But below are some tips on how to save money for a trip that are applicable to pretty much everyone, no matter what your unique circumstances are. These tips have helped me and my wife plan a few family holidays with minimal stress.

Want to know how to save money for a vacation? Read on!

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Cut Down on Luxuries

This one is a no-brainer, but I need to include it on my list. If you have an average income like myself and my family, you need to accept that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. That means you will definitely have to sacrifice on a few luxuries while saving up for your vacation. Maybe that means fewer pizza nites, or deciding not to get that new pair of sneakers. You have to be willing to give stuff up… but you won’t be depriving yourself for long. Once you go on that vacation, the sacrifice will be more than worth it!

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Avoid Using Your Car

I know, I know. To a lot of us, driving our cars isn’t considered a luxury. But gas and parking can really add up. One of the best ways to save for vacation is to simply avoid using your car. With ride-sharing a thing, not using your car won’t be that big a deal. And while you’re at it, you can even rent your car out through sites like Turo and JustShareIt.

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Get a Side Hustle

Among the different ways of saving for a trip, this is my favorite. After all, the only thing that saving money is actually making money. So whenever we decide to go on a vacation, I start looking for a few side hustles I could to raise some extra funds. These methods have to be easy to do, since I still have my main jobs to juggle.

I like to look at sites like PeoplePerHour and Amazon Mechanical Turk for any odd jobs that might be available in my area. The jobs I get usually include simple tasks like data entry and tagging photos.

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Use a Rewards Site

If the above side hustles require too much time and effort, you can try using rewards sites instead. Your earnings won’t be as big as if you took a part-time job, but the earnings will be steady. The key is to use a rewards site that is legit – there are simply too many scam sites out there. The best rewards site I’ve used is GrabPoints. Payment processing on GrabPoints is super-fast: I can rely on getting my earnings within 48 hours of requesting a payout.

The earning methods on GrabPoints are really simple. You earn points whenever you complete a series of simple tasks, like answering surveys, watching videos, and completing tasks. Watching videos is a favorite of mine, since it’s easy to do while I’m waiting on my kids, or standing in line at the grocery, dentist, or doctor's office. You can then trade these points for cash or gift cards.

I always prefer cash, but GrabPoints has lots of gift card options – which you can definitely use when you’re out on vacation!

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Sell Your Unused Stuff

Decluttering is pretty trendy these days. But I’ve always decluttered regularly – especially when planning a family vacation. What better incentive to sell off old or unused stuff than a super sweet vacation?

And no matter how spartan your lifestyle is, chances are you’ve accumulated junk that isn’t needed anymore. Instead of having them take up space, why not convert them to cash, which you could use on your vacation? You can try sites like Decluttr, Facebook Marketplace, or even good old eBay.

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Rent out Your Home on Airbnb

Once you’ve ironed-out your vacation plans, it’s time to think about renting out your place when you’re gone. That’s right, you should rent out your home when you and your family are out on vacation! Think about it: when you’re out on vacation, you’re still paying for your home in the form of rent or mortgage or real estate tax. So why not have your house pay for itself while you’re gone?

You can rent out your house on Airbnb. The rate you can charge will depend on your location and the size of your house. But at the very least, you’re looking at offsetting some of the costs of your vacation. If you live in a location frequented by travelers, you’re in luck: these places can charge more. And who knows? You might even come out ahead when you rent your place out on Airbnb!

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Rent out Your Garage or Driveway

I get it: renting out one’s house isn’t for everyone. For sure, it took me a while to warm up to the idea of total strangers renting out my place. If you’re not quite ready for that sort of commitment, you can try renting out your garage or driveway instead. Sites like Parking Cupid, SpotHero, and Spacer will connect you to people in need of garage or parking spaces. Renters are usually office goers who can’t get parking in their office buildings. So if you live close to a business area, you should definitely look into this.

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Get Paid for Your Vacation!

I discovered an app called GigWalk, and it’s the closest thing there is to getting paid to go on vacation! On GigWalk, you look for “gigs” in the area you’re going to. Many of these gigs are pretty fun, and they include tasks like photographing storefronts or specific sites.

If you like taking walks or hikes, you should also try an app called SweatCoin. SweatCoin tracks the number of steps you take each day, and rewards you when you hit certain milestones. It’s like GrabPoints, but for walking!

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