As we roll into May, it’s easy to start looking forward to summer and thinking of all the fun that lies ahead. Of course, all this fun can cost money, and for some, the thought of spending a bunch of money on summer is stressful. In order to ease your stress, we have some great ideas on how you can save money this summer, and still have a great time!

Bring on the summer fun!

Tip 1: Use your library card!

We all know the library has books, but did you know about all the other great stuff you have access to through the library? You can sign out passes for all kinds of attractions around Victoria! Here are the attractions that the Victoria Public Library currently signs out passes for:

A free trip to Victoria Butterfly Gardens sounds like a great family time!

Make your stay-cation that much more fun this summer and take advantage of the free access the library provides to these awesome attractions.

Tip 2: Swap houses!

You can swap houses with people all over the world.

Have you ever heard of home swap? It’s a very cool program that people sign up for from all over the world. Members then have the opportunity to swap houses, and there is minimal cost involved. Most of the “cost” is simply the fact that someone will use your home while you use theirs. People often include their vehicles as part of this arrangement, which means you have everything you need when you get there! The great part is you get accommodations wherever you are going, and a minimal amount of money has to come out of pocket. If you’re a family, not only can this save you money, you can probably bring less with you, as the host family will likely have everything you need (think toys, cribs, entertainment, etc.). Whether you want to travel to Singapore or Saanich, home swap can be a great way to find your accommodations. Accommodations can be a huge expense, and with a home swap, you both can take advantage of this great opportunity to save.

Tip 3: Plan ahead!

You can personally negotiate with car rental agencies and hotels. Call and speak to the manager to see how good a deal you can get.

Planning and paying ahead are great ways to save money. Car rentals can be much cheaper if you pay ahead of time, and accommodations will often offer a discount for paying ahead. As well, car rentals and accommodations are businesses you can negotiate costs with directly. When negotiating, ask to speak with a manager.  Use the internet to find the least expensive quote. Use this cheap rate as a starting point in your negotiations.

Speaking of online… research and book everything while in “private” browsing mode (incognito in Google Chrome) as “cookies” aren’t stored in private mode.  As a result, travel sites won’t be able to raise the price knowing your searching habits. Although this is not foolproof, it’s still better than browsing in your regular browser, and offers the chance to save a few bucks.

Tip 4: Don’t use other ATM’s!

Avoid “other” ATM’s, and save those fees!

Saving a few bucks here and there can add up on these summer trips, and another easy way to plan ahead and save is to only use your own bank’s ATMs. Avoiding those ATM fee’s (especially anywhere “touristy”) can be an easy way to save, and it doesn’t take anything more than a quick trip to your own ATM before leaving on vacation.

What recommendations do you have to save money and still have a great time this summer? What are your favourite ways to save money on vacation? We love knowing what works for you and we would love if you shared those great ideas with us all!