15 Ways To Save Money on Holidays

We are not the geek types… right? Do we work hard and party hard? What’s in a life if you do not get an opportunity to sit back, relax, spend quality time with family, explore nature, take parents at a divine place or chill in hills…. Well at it takes is to open your minds and pack your bags. Well, holidays are an expense and like any other purchase, you have a right to get full benefit of it and also save in case you can. You must be planning something in summer vacation, hence thought sharing some insight on this topic.

My Little Witches holidaying 🙂

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Most people enjoy holidays (also feel more energetic & focused afterward) & on other hand, few people get a heart attack when it comes to spending holidays. Because last time you went for a trip, you came back with a hole in pocket and memories how the travel agent made you his scapegoat? How the bookings that you made using your friend’s reference to a resort turned out to be a nightmare. How you made a balloon out of money and came back exhausted and with a firm mind that – no more holidays from now onwards…

Here is how you can have king-size holidays, relax and save few grand:

15 Ways To Save Money on Holidays

1) Fix a budget: always be sure what you have in your plate. If you keep an open budget than sky is the limit. If you really wish to save some money it all starts from the budget. Fix an amount you are comfortable to spend. If it is a major holiday like a foreign travel or travel with many destinations over a fortnight or more, it is advisable that you plan for it at least 2 years in advance so that you have time to allocate and save funds for this big expense.

2) Fix the destination: the major problem happens when you are not sure of a destination. See this is a blockage as most things like mode of travel, stay, forex requirement, etc can be estimated once the location of the visit is zeroed upon. So first thing first, do thorough research on Google about the places that fit into your budget. Ask family members and friends who will accompany you. Take into consideration the likings and health of the fellow travelers.

3) If possible avoid peak seasons as the rates are at least 25%-50% more of the normal rates. But we all know during peak season only the kids are free. In this case, try to travel on the latter part of the season. If you traveling on a weekend, include weekdays also so that the rates get average out.

4) It is always better to travel in a group. Custom-made tours are costly. Also besides socializing you can avail group discounts, joint transportation cost,s and other group benefits. Also, it gives you comfort and safety when you travel in a group comprising your family members and friends.

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5) You have also to decide between a local agent and a travel company. Often destinations within the state or renowned tourist destinations are well covered by local agents of reputation. So you may get a trip with more frills if you plan it on a local basis.

6) Once the place is finalized, call agents and search on the internet for the relevant package/deals/rates of the requirements. Do not expect customization to the highest degree. A bit of here and there should be flexible.

7) Book early to avail discounts and cheap fare or tariffs. Also when booking early check the refundability clause in case of cancellation. Normally air tickets can be rescheduled by paying a fee.

8) If you are booking international travel, the internet might be very useful. Try to google the names of low-cost airlines. There are lots of low-cost airlines like, Dragon Air, Scoot, Wizz Air, Cambodia Angkor Air, and Jetstar, which are not covered by air ticketing websites/portals. You need to go to their websites and compare the airfare. There is a substantial difference and you can save a good amount of money.

9) For accommodation, try to search for new properties that have recently come up. These properties are struggling to get business and will give you a good deal. Also instead of more number of rooms ask for bigger rooms with extra bed facility. This also saves a lot of money.

10) Try getting accommodation with free facilities like breakfast, happy hour snacks, spa, gym, sightseeing, and wifi.

11) Try to get the place of accommodation near to airport or railway station. This saves a lot of commutation time and money. Also, avoid local cabs if the city has good public transportation. A place looks different when you travel it in metro, tram, rickshaw, or a tonga as the case may be.

12) Always carry a download or list of restaurants and places of entertainment of the place you are visiting. If you are traveling long, food-related issues may play a spoil. If food becomes a problem, stick to basic instead of experimenting and hunting restaurants and the basic is to pay a  visit to the local grocer and get some bread, biscuits, butter, jam, and namkeen.

13) If traveling internationally, keep an eye on the exchange rate. Do consult someone who is a frequent traveler to that country. Sometimes it is better to exchange currencies at the destination. The exchange at reputed merchants only. Also, ask for the currency limits and disclosures required for that particular country. The limit of carrying the INR, local currency, dollars, and bankers’ cheques/traveler’s cheques are different for each country. Be conversant to these rules and regulations to avoid penalties and stress.

14) At a normal rate a call made from the US may cost Rs 150 per minute and RS 75 per minute for roaming. It is advisable to purchase a calling card which will reduce the communication expenses. These are issued by Airtel, Matix, and Reliance Communication. Also if you get internet it is advisable to use chat and Skype for reaching the near and dear ones.

15) Must Carry Essentials: First aid kit, own toiletry, list of emergency contacts, a list of call centers of all the credit/debit cards use, all discount coupons/vouchers that you can avail and printouts/downloads of all travel information.

Well, you have also traveled quite a bit and maybe more than me. Share your personal experience in the comments section, how you saved money on travel. Also share if you made a mistake and took costly holidays, so that many of us can be benefited. Well, summer vacations are ahead of us… let’s enjoy and be happy to save.


  1. Thnks for enlightening Us…
    I was not aware of Low cost airlines, which are not covered by air ticketing websites.
    Little planning can save a lots of hard earned money.
    Thanks Once again Sir..

    • Hi Pushp,
      This is really important in case of long distance international travel. Recently I lost Rs 250 as I booked my ticket from yatra . com – I am not counting Rs 5 that I donated to Salman Khan 🙁

  2. Very informative and useful post at a right time . I love to read all your articles. All of them are very enlighting and useful. Thanks for sharing..

  3. Really nice article..

    Going through it gave me a good moral booster :), as I managed to do most of the things listed by Hemant on my trip last month.
    Article worth sharing with friends

    Thanks Hemant.

  4. A very useful post.

    Couple of things which I tried and got benefit:

    1. check for hotels which might be little away from the tourist attraction but could be very economical. If plan to multiple places, can set your base in a less costly city and visit all near by attractions from there.
    Also if it is not a peak period you can book Hotel for only the first day and then decide for the rest of your stay there itself, this way you would be able to check the hotel, location and rent yourself and would be able to make an informed decision. Not suggestted for the peak period as you might face availability issues if not booked in advance.

    2. some time there are additional discounts if you book round trip travel from the same airline.

    • Hi Alok,
      Thanks for sharing this – some time we can get hotels at 40-50% of the price mentioned on websites. “if it is not a peak period you can book Hotel for only the first day and then decide for the rest of your stay there itself, this way you would be able to check the hotel, location and rent yourself and would be able to make an informed decision.”

  5. My personal exp is that ,it is always better to plan a trip thro highly reputed touring agency or govt tourist dept.This works out a lot economical and you can cover more places in a safe and secure manner.
    I toured Badrinath and Kedharnath/Rothagapass circuit thro DelhiTourism Dev Corpn. Kerala thro World Travels.
    I travelled Rajasthan thro RTDC.,Tamilnadu thro TTDC.The trips were excellent ,comfortable and economical.I went on my own to tour Simla and manali.I found it more expensive.
    Now I have in mind to goto either J&K or Darjeeling ,Sikkim ,Bhutan.
    If any of you have suggestions / advise ,pl add

    • Hi YPRao,
      Good part with traveling through state tourist units is that they are having hotels at best possible locations.
      Budget travelers & people who would like to go for adventure trips/tracks can also check Youth Hostels.

  6. Hi Hemanth
    Have been following your post for sometime now. Your tips are so useful always . Will try now to return a bit of the favour

    While travelling here are some things I try to do

    1. Carry ready to eat food . Ready to eat noodles..just add hot water , packed foods from good brands like Aashirvad ..just dip in hot water and eat
    This way you dont have to eat all three meals outside .
    Saves a bunch of money and also less risky on the tummy!

    2. Carry enough fruit , snacks , mithai for the quick snack

    3. try to eat the local food . e.g when in chennai try dosa sambar . Paneer and gobi can wait till you are back at home
    Local food will be healthier . Lesser risk of leftovers being served .

    There is so much to eat …why bother eating the same things again !

    4. When there is dip tea and instant coffee available does it really make sense to pay 25 rs . for every cup of tea ? Try it.

    Hope these help…

    • Hi Indu,
      Thanks for sharing your tips on food – my additional tip, no tip if you don’t like food or service 😉

  7. I had two contrasting holidays. First was kerala(Munnar/Thekkady/Alleppey), which was very well planned by the tour operator. Albeit no reference, I just tried out a operator who I felt was good. So not much of planning from my side but the operator really left us with a memorable experience lasting for 5 days.
    Second was a terrible one. It was on my first marriage anniversary and I left from Hyd to Bangalore for Mysore/Ooty. I just fell for an operator just outside the b’lore railway station. He charged deluxe and provided ordinary room. I cut short my tour to just 2 days (originally planned for 4 days) and faced all kinds of troubles. Only after threatening the operator with lodging a complaint with consumer forum, I could get a small compensation in the form of refund.

    Just wanted to educate readers that adhoc planning might turn out to be a nightmare if we fall prey to those ‘cheaters’. First one(Kerala) cost approx 25k in 2009 and second tour(Mysore/Ooty) cost me around 5k+other self expenses. For 5k I left myself with some horrible experiences!! Hence, it’s not just about saving money on Holidays, but also saving ourselves from horrible, embarrassing and nightmarish experiences !!!

  8. Dear Hemanth,
    All your articles are quite informative, thanks for that.
    I was wondering if you could share some details on luxury tax(LT) and service tax (ST)charged by the hotels.
    As I understand LT would be 12 % on original tariff & ST (7.4% in TN) would be charged on discounted prices. Is it correct?
    Could you throw some light on this topic and share details about restaurants charging service tax for the food that they serve. Does it vary from state to state? Thanks.

  9. Thank you for the article. I’d like to share a thought that while travelling abroad, it is best to avoid Indian Restaurants. It would be more costly than the local / continental fare, the taste would be a poor excuse for the dish being served, and the portions would be pickle-sized.
    If you cannot do without Indian Food, I suggest you carry packets of MTS or other “Heat & Eat” food along with rice grains, and put the hotel rooms electric kettle to good use. Potatoes and eggs you can get locally anywhere.

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