First and foremost in planning a cheap vacation is planning your airfare in advance. The sooner you can secure an air ticket, the more you are going to save. Last minute fare booking, especially around the holidays, can cost you up to six times the original price!
Once you secure your air travel, you should go right into researching a cheap hotel. Check out websites that offer reviews from other travelers, and look to travel in the off-peak seasons.
Lastly, if you are traveling out of the country, you should exchange your currency at a bank or certified currency exchange center. Exchanging at the hotel or local businesses will usually result in an average of 20% less in your exchange rate.