Saving money while on vacation is a goal for most people as they prepare to travel. If you are planning to travel to San Francisco, you are probably aware that your trip could potentially be expensive, and you may wonder how to save money while you are there. Helping people save money on their vacations is why companies like Hipmunk offer discounts and travel packages for San Francisco hotels. Beyond those types of savings, however, there are many other ways you can save money while you are there. Here are six tips that you can use to save money no matter your destination.
1. Don't Bring Your Own Toiletries
Hotels provide shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other needed toiletry items for their guests. Instead of bringing yours from home, use those that are provided to you. By doing this, you will save money both by not using your own hygiene products, leaving more of them for when you return, as well as saving weight in your suitcase. Airline costs continue to go up, and even small weight savings can help with baggage charges.
2. Use the Power of Your Smart Phone
Using free applications on your cell phone can help you locate discounts and specials on your trip. With apps, you can locate meal discounts, area happy hours and daily specials with your cell phone. Many of these apps simply ask you to input the address of your hotel so you can find nearby specials.
3. Use Public Transportation
Instead of spending money to rent a car, consider using public transportation during your stay. Most travel destinations, including San Francisco, have good transportation systems that can get you to where you want to go at a minimal cost. This can save you on car rental fees, gasoline and parking fees.
4. Research Using Websites
When you research the websites for your destination, you may find that most museums, zoos and parks offer discounted days or free admission at certain times. If you take the time to look this information up prior to even leaving on your trip, you can save a lot of money by simply knowing when to attend.
5. Bring Student or Military Identification Cards
Even if you are no longer a student or military service member, if you still have your ID card, it may be enough to get you additional discounts. Most places offer discounts of 10 percent or even more to people who show these identification cards.
6. Buy some Groceries
Eating every meal out can quickly become expensive, even if you do so using coupons and certificates. If your hotel room has a mini refrigerator, take advantage of it. If you try to eat at least one meal in your hotel room using groceries you purchase, you can save a lot of money. Additionally, if your hotel offers a free continental breakfast, take advantage of that as well. You may then be able to save on the cost of two meals.
There are many other ways you can save money while you are on your vacation. If you are on a budget, planning ahead can help you make your dollars go further so you can get more out of your trip. Make time to research discounts and deals before you head to the airport.
This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a complete travel platform that allows you to do everything from comparing charter flights and train rides, to finding the best resort hotels and Airbnb rentals.