When the subject of frugal vacationing comes up, the focus is understandably on the cost of the actual vacation. You know, the airfare, hotel, car rental, meals and entertainment. But that’s not the only way you’re spending money.
9 Ways To Avoid Extra Costs While You’re on Vacation
There’s one area where you can bring down your vacation costs that most people don’t think about: home! There is plenty of potential to save money on your home expenses while you’re away.
Walk through each room of your home and turn off or unplug anything that won’t be used. This includes your entertainment devices, clocks, microwave, computer router and anything else that draws vampire power while not in use. Make it easier by plugging like items into a single surge protector.
Needless to say, do not unplug your refrigerator. However, you might want to employ this life hack to get an accurate check of things when you return home.
Adjust Your Thermostat
There’s no need to maintain your current thermostat settings if your house or apartment is sitting empty. Although people in warm climates might choose to turn off their furnaces or air conditioning completely, those in colder areas should never set the temperature below 55° in the winter or 90° in the summer.
Not only does it waste money to continue a newspaper subscription while you’re out of town, but it’s also a red light to burglars that your house is sitting empty. Call your newspaper’s subscription department and suspend delivery for the days when you’re out of town.
If you’re going to be gone for a while consider putting any streaming subscriptions on hold while away. Even though you may save just a few dollars per subscription, it’s worth the effort if you’re confident that your extended vacation will be blissfully screen-free.
Hit Up Your Neighbors
Having a close relationship with your neighbors is great when you need to borrow an extra egg for chocolate chip cookies, but can be amazing when you’re away from home. Not only can you make sure that your plants get watered and your cats get fed, but having someone keep an eye on your house is an important safety precaution. Just make sure to offer to return the favor.
Prepay Your Bills
Nothing is more of a bummer than to come home from a relaxing vacation to find that you’ve forgotten a bill. Avoid this situation by either prepaying any bills that would come due while you’re gone or by setting up automatic payments.
Fill Your Prescriptions
If you take daily medications, you might want to fill any prescriptions before leaving town. The headache of contacting your physician and then having to pay for an out-of-network pharmacy is surely not part of your vacation plans.
Ward Off Burglars
It doesn’t matter how frugal your vacation is if your time away from home becomes an invitation to burglars. Protect yourself and your home by following these tips:
- Buy a few timers for your lights and program them for different times so your house doesn’t advertise its empty status.
- Lock all doors, windows, gates and screen doors. You may feel that your house is battened down, but you still need to double-check before you leave.
- Have a neighbor check your porch on a daily basis to make sure there aren’t any packages or flyers sitting there, serving as a red flag that your home is unoccupied.
- Leave a car in the driveway if possible.
Plan Your Return Meal
Anticipate that you’ll be exhausted when you finish traveling home from your vacation, so plan a ready-to-go meal that requires nothing more than pulling it from the freezer. Avoid the temptation to call for a pricey takeout meal.
Rent Out Your Home
This tip is certainly not for everyone, but it’s becoming increasingly common for people to take advantage of websites such as Airbnb or VRBO to rent out their homes. Yes, you take a risk by renting out your personal residence, but many people have had great success using these short-term rental companies. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with your municipality’s laws and regulations before venturing into this endeavor.