How Can You Help Clients Save Money on Vacations?

Retirement planning is not your client’s only need when considering financial planning. They take vacations. Employers want people to take time off. It helps recharge their batteries. A relaxing vacation can help alleviate stress. Vacations have become expensive. Can you help your client maximize the value of their dollar when they get away?

Why bother? Does this ring the cash register? A financial advisor might say: “I am not a travel agent.” If you can help them get the most value for their vacation dollar, you are strengthening the advisory relationship. When your client considers you their “go to” person for getting good value, they will likely brag and tell their friends.

Let us look at ten ways you can help clients cut down on vacation spending while still having a great time.

1. The cruise industry still can offer terrific value. Airlines have cut flight frequency and raised fares because they can fill planes. This makes vacations more expensive. The cruise industry has massive capacity and is building even more ships. When a plane leaves with an empty seat, it is not earning money for several hours. When a cruise ship sails with an empty cabin, they are forgoing income for several days. Checkout websites like In addition to featuring a scanner allowing you to search by month, destination and cruise line, they also promote “sailing soon savings.” These can be incredibly cheap.

2. Are you flying? Does Frontier fly there? JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit are other discount airlines. If one of these airlines offers cheap fares to a specific city from your airport, the major carriers often need to get their prices down too. Include this variable in your vacation planning.

3. Absurdly cheap airfares to Europe can exist. There are also low cost carriers crossing the Atlantic. SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Icelandair are ones often offering RT fares from JFK to London or Philadelphia to Lisbon in the $500 to 600 range. You might need to connect somewhere, but the logic might be: “If SAS connects through Stockholm, perhaps you vacation in Sweden? An example of a website prompting you on these deals is

4. Fly in the shoulder season. Airfares will be high in the summer when school is out and families are on vacation. Do some research on temps in the Mediterranean during May/June or September/October. There should be less crowds and prices should be cheaper.

5. Airbnb and similar operations are everywhere. You might choose to stay at a hotel or rent an apartment. You are not restricted to hotels in the high season.

6. Airlines fly to financial capitals. Business hotels are often empty on weekends. You can often get attractive rates at great hotels in big cities if you book on weekends. Hope a convention is not in town. Your favorite hotel chain likely has a search tool you can use. You have also seen sites advertised on TV that consolidate hotel room rates from various sites into one location for comparison.

7. Your firm might have a corporate hotel rate. Check with your HR department to learn if you are allowed to use it. The bookings might need to be done through your travel department. This might be another way to save money.

8. European cities often have great mass transit. They usually offer one and three day passes for tourists like yourself getting around the city. Beware cities like Frankfurt, Germany operate on the honor system. Thery expect you to buy a pass and carry it. They occasionally send inspectors through the cars to check. The fines can be steep. Mass transit is a cheap way to get around, especially in crowded cities.

9. Parking at the airport can be expensive. Cruise ship terminals have this problem too. Can a friend drive you to the pier? Can you take commuter rail from your home into the city with your luggage? If you can get to the ship or airport without a car, you might save hundreds.

10. The channel tunnel train is no longer a novelty. Years ago, Eurostar featured in a James Bond film. Having lunch in Paris and getting back to your hotel in London by bedtime was considered very cool. Today it can be inexpensive to wake up in London, go to Paris for lunch and head back the same day. If you are in London, give it a try.

11. Famous restaurants are a lot cheaper at lunch. If your client likes gourmet food, visiting Michelin starred restaurants is on their bucket list. The meal can cost the same as your round-trip air ticket! These restaurants usually offer lunch on a slightly less grand scale, but at a significantly lower price. Research a couple as examples for your client.

12. Many European and Asian cities run subways or commuter trains out to the airport. London is very proud of the Heathrow Express, connecting the center of London with Heathrow. It can be expensive. The Piccadilly underground line runs out to the airport too. It’s a lot cheaper. Plan out how you will get from the plane to your hotel at a reasonable cost.

Help your client plan their vacations in advance. Showing them how to stretch their dollars is another aspect of financial planning.

Related: How Can You Help Clients Reduce Everyday Expenses?