Ways We Willingly Waste Money on Vacation (And How to Stop)

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—We might think we're financially savvy travelers, but a new study by Capital One says that isn't true – given that the majority of us aren't willing to let up on vacation luxuries to save a little cash. In fact, a whopping 82% of those surveyed weren't willing to give up precious leg space for a cheaper ticket, and 70% would rather pay more for a direct flight than save money on an indirect one.

So what about vacationing makes us so dumb with money, and how can we get smarter?

Travel expert Thea Klapwald thinks our expensive alter egos might be to blame. During the course of our normal lives, we worry about money. We budget. We work work hard to earn our lving, and we're not good at unplugging when we get home. When vacation time comes around, we want to take advantage.

"We want to feel 'free' or like we are 'living it up,'" says Klapwald. "We have alter egos on vacation, and they are not always the healthiest ones for us." Those alter egos, perhaps pent up for too long, tell us we need to put frugality aside and unwind.

But then, some of us might overspend on vacations simply, because we don't know better.

According to Laura Michonski, site director for Newyork.com, people turn into willy-nilly spenders on vacation because of "a lack of understanding of just how much a little research can save you money."

Michonski says people are more likely to think about the big stuff, like airplane tickets and hotel prices, but neglect to research elements like food, attractions and transportation. Those things can add up fast and send you over budget.

So whether you're just not sure how to save money on vacation, or you're letting your alter ego buy the leg-roomy airfare this year, you don't have to spend a ton of money through your whole vacation. There are ways to splurge and still save: