5 Things to Do to Save Money on Weekend Trip

Trying to book a weekend away and save money while doing it? Forget the tips that tell you how to save a few cents on gas or earn rewards on your credit card. If you want tips that will save you real money on your weekend getaway, this list is for you.

1. Protect Your Home

It doesn't matter how many pennies you pinch on your getaway if your home gets burglarized or a pipe bursts while you're away. Before you leave for the weekend, take steps to protect your home from catastrophe. Pick up any keys you have hidden around the home's exterior, lock the doors and windows, and use light timers to discourage a break-in.

To guard against floods, fires, and power surges, unplug appliances, shut off the water supply, and ensure your smoke detectors are in working order. For more tips on protecting your home while traveling, read Redfin's guide.

2. Shop Flash Deals

A sense of adventure can score you big travel savings. You can find cheap vacation packages on popular booking sites like Travelocity and Kayak, or even purchase a vacation through Groupon. You can also get notified of flash deals on airfare when you sign up for airline email newsletters. Many of these deals come at steep discounts, but you might not get your first-pick destination or travel dates. That makes this tip best for travelers who want to get away but aren't too picky about where or when.

3. Don't Check Luggage

With prices running $25-50 per bag each way, checking luggage adds a hefty sum to the cost of your trip — and that's assuming your luggage makes it to your destination! If your luggage gets lost in transit, you'll be stuck buying new clothes and toiletries to get you through the weekend. For short weekend trips, skip the checked baggage and stick to a carry-on. NBC explains how to make the most of limited packing space when traveling with a carry-on. Remember, there are certain things you can't bring in your carry-on bag.

4. Don't Eat Every Meal Out

Eating out doesn't seem that expensive on first glance, but if you're a couple spending $10-20 per person for every meal, you could easily lose $100 a day on dining out.

You don't have to skip meals on the town entirely — exploring local cuisines is one of the best parts of traveling to a new city, after all — but if you limit yourself to one restaurant meal per day and make your other meals with supplies from the local grocer, you'll drastically cut the cost of your weekend away. Remember to book lodging with a kitchen (or at least a microwave) so you can prep meals in your room!

5. Stay in a Walkable Neighborhood

Whether you rent a car, ride public transit, or use cabs and ride-shares to get around, dealing with transportation in a new city is both expensive and frustrating. Rather than booking a cheaper hotel on the fringe of the city, book your lodging in a centralized, walkable area.

You might pay a little more for your room, but the higher cost will be offset by the money you save walking instead of paying for rides and parking. After all, according to Kayak, an average car rental (which is more convenient than relying on public transportation but cheaper than relying on cabs for every trip) costs around $47 per day, and that’s money you could put toward exploring your locale.

Can't afford a downtown hotel? Book a stay near a transit line that has a direct route downtown to minimize time and money spent on travel. Just make sure you have a good map for getting around!

There are lots of ways you can save money on weekend travel. You can skip the souvenir shops, find discounts to popular attractions, or book your travel midweek for slightly lower prices. While those tips might save you a few dollars per person, following our five tips is the best way to save some major funds in your travel budget.

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