Traveling can be an amazing experience, but planning can be stressful, both financially and mentally. There are always those exhausting thoughts of – how do I save money for travel, how do I know what I can afford, and where do I even start planning? If you take a vacation or go on holiday without proper planning, not enough cash or no budget, then the adventure becomes stressful and overwhelming, when it should be exciting and rewarding.
Saving money for your vacation doesn’t have to be hard and neither does planning. All it takes is following a few tips and some simple organization to help you build up enough travel savings. You can take the vacation of your dreams once or even twice a year without stress.
So let’s get started with some great ideas to save enough money to help you travel more and stress less while making your dreams a reality.
1. Start planning in advance
The best way to spare yourself from the stress is to start planning your trip to Croatia well in advance. We suggest you first decide on 2 major things: the time you would love to visit Croatia, and the place you would love to visit first. Why? – Well, let’s say Croatia is no longer a budget destination, and the prices are substantially higher in the main season. This Mediterranean beauty has established its position on the European travel map and became one of its hottest destinations. The travel industry has become an inevitable part of the Croatian economy and huge governmental and private sector investments were made which all resulted in higher quality standards and prices accordingly. It is worth to mention that Croatia is now serving midrange and higher class travelers respectfully, so you are more likely to run into affordable rather than cheap deal. This is why it is important to keep in mind that the prices of accommodation and travel-related service could be twice, sometimes three times higher in main season (June, July, August) compared to the off-peak period.
2. Try to visit in shoulder season
The number of travelers starting to notice perks of visiting Croatia in shoulder season is rising rapidly. The fact does not surprise much, since the lower prices, less crowd, nice weather and more travel flexibility is something you easily get used to. If you’re a person who looks forward to details and enjoys traveling based on emotion, then this is the perfect season for you to start. If interested in more detailed feedback on visiting Croatia in the off-season, feel free to read our blog post on 5 reasons you should visit Croatia in Autumn. It does not need to be autumn precisely, but arguments are still valid.
3. Take advantage of early bird and last minute deals
It is interesting to note that there are various travel discounts offered, with special regards to accommodation, that could help you make substantial savings. With up to 10% lower price, which is very rewarding, especially for those looking for the dates in the peak summer season! By picking the first, you get the opportunity to choose the dates that suit you the most, and at the same time save you money. Earlier you start to look for a perfect holiday home, the more options are on the table. You can also save money when you opt for last-minute booking, but keep in mind there are fewer opportunities on offer, especially when having a luxurious villa or beachfront accommodation in mind. In this case, the more you wait, the less travel flexibility and choice there is, but discounts do get solid. In case you would like to take advantage of special accommodation offers, sign up for Adriagate newsletter and keep up with the hottest deals.
4. Join Travel Loyalty Programs
Just like in any other aspect of life, loyalty should be, and in many cases truly is rewarded. The case with Adriagate is no different. The company program was adopted in 2011 and rewards its most loyal guests ever since. Loyal Adriagate guests are treated to various booking perks, such as gift vouchers that could rise up to 150€. More on the Adriagate Loyalty program, click here.
5. Take your time when visiting
Before you are all set and done with destination investigation and just one click away from confirming your final choice, we advise you double-check all things to do in the destination you would like to visit. It often happens that people miss to read on or learn about certain possibilities on offer and calculate shorter vacation stay than they would if they were familiar with all the possibilities of their interest. At a certain point, it will most certainly happen that you would want to extend your stay, but keep in mind that it would rarely be doable if visiting during the peak summer period. This is pretty much the case when travelers decide to visit several destinations in Croatia, so sometimes overestimate or underestimate their desired stay. In case you question your decision, feel free to consult with one of the travel agents who are more than happy to assist you in travel planning.
6. Duration of your stay does matter
Trying to squeeze in as many places as possible is not always the smartest thing to do. Many hotels and private apartments offer a long stay discount (long stay is usually considered any stay longer than 3 nights in the shoulder seasons, or stays longer than 5 nights in high season).
A long stays discount can save you up to 30% off an accommodation price. If you’d like to visit lots of sites during your travel to Croatia, consider choosing a centrally located place, and then do the daily excursions.
7. Choose your location wisely
As we all know, Dubrovnik is probably the most famous town in Croatia, so naturally, there are always tons of tourists and sky-high prices. While in a smaller city you can enjoy the same beauty, yet spend less. The same applies to other famous cities such as Split, Zadar, Pula, Zagreb, etc. If you would like to spend less, then avoiding the centrally positioned accommodation and touristy cities and choosing the smaller neighboring towns instead is an excellent money-saving alternative.
8. Rent a car if you want to get off the beaten path
There are numerous bus lines that connect thousands of Croatian destinations, as well as the destinations throughout the rest of Europe. The coaches in Croatia are modern, with most having free wi-fi services and electric plug-ins so you can stay connected while on the road. On the other hand, this means of transport, unfortunately, does not offer much travel flexibility.
Car is definitely the best way to explore Croatia. And if you don’t travel by your own car, don’t shy away from renting a car in Croatia. You’ll be able to take in the sights; travel off the beaten path; see more in less time, and have the freedom to stop wherever and whenever you feel.
Sometimes you’ll want to stay at one centrally-located place and make day trips to popular sights in the region. In this case, having your very own vehicle is the best way to capture as many as possible sights and to explore the neighboring areas at your own pace.
You also need to bear in mind that prices change dynamically with a demand. This means that the earlier you book your car, the less you will pay (even for the high season). The earlier you book your vehicle, the better rate you will secure. This is especially true for the periods of high demands (June through September). The rates go up as the demand increases and as the inventory gets fewer.
Another way to save money is a private transfer – especially when coming in a group or family, a private transfer can work out the same or cheaper than the bus.
9. Currency advice – Take kuna with you
Nothing can spoil your budget more than not having the proper currency. Croatia currency is Kuna, but some places will accept Euros. While the kuna is the best currency to have in Croatia as the only legal tender, the best foreign currency undoubtedly by far is the euro, followed by US dollars and British pounds. You can withdraw money from an ATM to have Kunas on hand, but keep in mind that you will have a flat fee as well as a five percent withdrawal fee incurred every time you go to the ATM. Your other option to try and keep on budget is to use your Visa or Mastercard for purchases. Just make sure that you have one that is not charging you an international fee every time you use it. In general, credit cards are widely accepted in Croatia, but not as widespread as one might think for such major tourist destinations, and some restaurants even in top destinations do not accept credit cards, so it is wise to check before you sit and order.
Traveling is a deeply personal experience. Two people can visit the same place, at the same time, see the same things, and partake in the same activities – and come away with two radically different conclusions about what they experienced.
You might feel these tips and ideas don’t really apply to your situation – though, we’d love to hear more about your favorite tricks to save money on travel and how well in advance you start planning your vacation! 🙂