Save Money on Your Next Cruise
Enjoy the cruise experience to its fullest while making the best use of your travel budget.
If you'd like to take a cruise, but are hesitant because of the money you'll spend, you should know that there are ways to save money and still enjoy the experience to its fullest. Rethink how you approach some aspects of the trip to feel better about your bank account when it's over.
Shop around for deals before settling on a particular cruise
Just as you would shop around and try to find the best deal for most large purchases, the same treatment should be given to your next cruise. One special offer might catch your eye, but there is always the possibility that a better one is out there, which can offer a similar experience for less money. But don't only look at the price tag.
- Pay close attention to what is included in the package. A more expensive cruise may actually prove to be a better deal if it includes perks that the cheaper one doesn’t.
- Rates change a lot depending on the season. You can save by not going during peak periods.
- The special offer price in an ad can be for a small, inside room without a water view compared to hundreds of dollars more for an outside cabin with a balcony.1
Plan a budget ahead of your trip
It's usually a good idea to plan a budget before any vacation, and a cruise is no exception. Depending on how inclusive your package is, much of the work may already be done for you by simply choosing the right deal. Still, expenses can add up, and if you can stick to a pre-planned budget, your bank account will thank you later.
Be sure to pack well
Before packing, it's a good idea to make out a checklist for everything you need to take with you. Think hard about everything you use every day at home and determine which of those things you will want/need while you're on your trip and which you can do without. Look for travel-sized options when possible to help keep your load light. Some things will be available on the cruise itself, but they will likely cost more, so it's best to bring your necessities with you to save money.
Buy an all-inclusive package
Look for a package that is all inclusive, so you won't have to pay for your food and drinks once you're on the cruise. If you purchase such a package, stick to the restaurants included to avoid spending additional money. If you plan to drink, make sure and see what beverage packages are offered. You may even be able to get your package at a discounted price by booking it online in advance.
If you wish to have internet access while on your cruise, it's likely going to cost you. While Wi-Fi is often provided, it will also cost you a significant amount of money, particularly if your trip lasts for a full week. You may pay into the hundreds of dollars just to stay connected. You'll also want to beware of data roaming charges from your wireless provider.
While you may be eager to share photos of the wonderful time you're having, it's a good idea to wait until you get back home. It's not ideal to let your social networks know that you're out of town anyway, as you're putting your home in a security risk situation. You're paying to get away from it all, so try living without the internet for a few days. You may find it to be all the more relaxing.
Avoid the temptation to buy souvenirs
When you go on any vacation, it's always tempting to buy souvenirs, but by doing so, you may be spending money that would be better used on something else. Think about past vacations and how often you use the souvenirs you bought on those. Will you actually be getting any use out of your purchase, or will it end up in a closet or drawer -- rarely to be seen again until it's time for a yard sale? If you really do want a souvenir, you may be able to save some money by buying something similar online.
Look at what's available at land stops
It's wise to get an idea of the businesses that will be around on land at any stops your cruise will be making. You might be able to pick up items or enjoy similar services to what the cruise has to offer for cheaper prices. Use your favorite search engine to get the lay of the land during your trip planning phase.
Take advantage of banking resources
If you're thinking of going on a cruise, put some money into a savings account specifically for the trip, plan ahead, and stick to your budget the best you can. Another alternative to charging the trip on plastic is to get an advance from a personal line of credit or a home equity credit line. Those rates are usually better than using a credit card.
Because you’ll probably want to use a credit card for purchases on the cruise instead of using cash, make sure to let your bank know in advance that you’ll be away from home.2 Otherwise, you risk getting your transactions flagged as potential fraud.
Then, enjoy your well-deserved vacation!
2. For a Nevada State Bank credit card, log into Online Banking, then Services, then Card Services, then Debit/Credit Card Travel Notification and fill out the simple form. You can also designate a contact person to answer questions in case you’re off the grid.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A. Member FDIC