Book at the right time: this is twofold. First is finding a time for your vacation that is not in the most popular season of the year. Weekends are more popular than weekdays, and hence more expensive. The same goes for school holidays and the Christmas season. If your destination is not dependant on the time of year you will find it cheaper to book in a less popular season. Else, even in popular seasons the weekdays are less expensive than the weekends. And remember that when it comes to airfares some flights are booked for business travel, not by tourists. If you can find a cheaper time to fly you might still find the tourists venues are not that crowded.
In addition to when you actually go on the vacation, booking in advance often helps. There are websites that let you compare deals, and let you estimate the optimum time to book in advance. The disadvantage being that is may not be possible to change your mind.
For accommodation, try look for something other than traditional hotels. Hostels are cheaper. And for longer term accommodation there are rental homes and apartments. Some owners of time share apartments will rent out their one week once-per-year allotment for a reasonable fee. Many are happy to just get something for the apartment when they can’t use it. Also, accommodation not next to major tourist sites tends to be more economical, though transport costs can be an issue.
Live like the locals do. There’s no excuse for not using the internet and researching your destination. The venues designed to attract tourist tend to take advantage of the situation and overcharge. Find the attractions that the locals use, and lesser known beaches, the non-tourist eateries …etc. You may have a better trip for it.
Avoid restaurants and use other options. Cooking you own food is no more expensive than it is back home; treat meals like a picnic Else, delicatessens are more economical. If you do eat out, you may find lunch menus are cheaper than evening meals. It can help to stock up on discount coupons.
For some trips, especially cruises, it pays to use a travel agent. The money saved on making connections, discounted services, members only events and upgraded facilities can more than compensate for the travel agent fees.
Avoid transport hassles by booking a shuttle bus to and from your flight or cruise. Public transport is time consuming, and quickly eats into your holiday time; and it tends to be most expensive when you are traveling to the Airport. Nothing is neater or cleaner that being picked up and dropped off at your own home; and it’s still quite cheap if you have a small to medium group sized group.