Saving Money on Travel: What to Pack for Your Summer Vacation

May 31, 2019

Summer and vacation are an iconic duo. Over 100 million Americans will take a vacation this year according to With so many of these being families, nearly everyone is looking for a way to save money, while still having a vacation that provides memories that last a lifetime.

There a several options for having a vacation on a budget, such as using flight alerts, exploring vacation rental sites, and more. Another option is packing smart and with your budget in mind. Check out a few of our recommendations on must-pack items to save some money this summer.


1.    Pack Snacks

Packing snacks—both for the destination and the airport or car ride—is a great way to cut costs that can otherwise quickly build up.

For the airport, it’s a common misconception that you cannot fly with food, however this is actually a great way to avoid marked up meal and snack costs at the airport. Granola bars, sandwiches, and more are all great options perfectly fine for going through airport security. Be sure to avoid any liquids, however, as this where you may run into issues.

Once you’ve reached your destination, in general, a good rule of thumb is to have at least one meal at the hotel or on your own, not at a restaurant or café. For instance, bring along a few granola bars for your breakfast and take advantage of the in-room coffeemaker. Or run to the grocery store and grab a few things for lunch. This savings can either be kept or allocated to a nicer dinner option later in the day!


2.    Bring the Odds & Ends

It’s happened to us all: we think we’ve packed everything we need, but when we get to the destination, we realize we forgot an umbrella and need to buy one from the souvenir shop. These unexpected costs can quickly add up and we normally have a perfectly good version, hundreds of miles away at home. It’s good to think about items that we use all the time, but are often overlooked in favor of clothes, shoes, or our tablet. A few common ones are included below:

  • umbrella
  • water bottle
  • a small day pack or bag
  • electrical outlet convertor
  • common medicine such as pain reliever
  • headphones


3.    Currency

If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to pick up money in the currency of your destination before leaving. Often, many banks will provide a currency exchange service at no charge, they just need a few days to procure the money for you. This is a great way to save on costs abroad, as most places abroad will charge a fee for exchange your money.


4.  Map

Bringing either a physical map or downloading a map to your phone is a great way to avoid the exorbitant costs associated with cellular data usage abroad. A bonus benefit is that by having a map handy, you may be less likely to resort to costly taxis or shared car services. All of these costs can quickly add up!


Pack these items and you’ll be well on your way to saving money on your upcoming summer vacation. Need a little help with financing your vacation? Illinois Lending offers an easier way to borrow with in-store and online personal loans. Learn more today.

Share on

Complete our secure online form in minutes and get a quick decision!

Get Started