Avoid These Budget-Busting Traps on Your Next Vacation, Part 2

January 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

You can plan and save, clip coupons, and work on strictest principles, but you’ll almost always go over budget on your vacation.

It happens to all of us; it doesn’t mean you’ve failed at vacation. Chances are, you fell into a budget-busting trap without even realizing it. Last week, we looked at two major budget busters, including eating in restaurants for three meals every day, and booking surprise, spur-of-the-moment activities.

To help you avoid overspending on your next vacation, here are two more budget traps to watch out for.

Vacation souvenirs can really drain your budget if you're not careful.

Vacation souvenirs can really drain your budget if you’re not careful.

3. Buying Souvenirs

Maybe it’s just me and my family cutting down and trying to live minimally, but I don’t quite understand the allure of souvenirs. Sure, it’s nice to have a little knick-knack that reminds you of your trip. But go on enough vacations, and pretty soon you have a full shelf of tchotchkes, and maybe even no idea where they all came from.

Of all the souvenirs we’ve bought over the years, I don’t think we have any over 10 years old. But we’ve kept all the photos we’ve ever taken.

If you really want to remember your vacation, take a lot of pictures, then get a digital picture frame and upload your best photos. Another option: if you’re an Apple TV user, upload your photos to a special iCloud folder, and then set your Apple TV screensaver to play photos from that folder. Leave your Apple TV on while you’re puttering around the house and you can enjoy your photos all the time.

4. Euphoria

This is a big one, especially if you’ve had a wonderful time on your vacation. You’re swept up in the emotion and general delightfulness of your trip, so you want to embrace the feeling. This is when you fall for “just one more” or “just this once” — just one more souvenir; just one more drink; we’ll splurge for dinner just this once. That euphoria can be a real budget killer, because you truly believe everything is going to be perfect and awesome, until you wake up the next morning with a budget hangover.

I believe we all should have a wonderful time on vacation. I hope your vacation is one of the best you’ve ever had, and you remember that feeling for years. But it’s important to recognize when you’re caught in the throes of vacation euphoria and resist its siren call. Take more pictures, shoot a video, embarrass your kids, sing along with the band. Do anything that adds to your joy for the trip, but don’t use it as an excuse to spend money you didn’t plan on.

Have you ever been caught in any budget-busting traps on your vacation? How did you avoid them, or how did they snare you? Share your experiences and memories in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Ximeg (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 3.0)


Erik Deckers is a travel writer, as well as a content marketer and book author. He is the co-author of Branding Yourself, No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine. Erik has been blogging since 1997, and has been a newspaper humor columnist for over 20 years

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