Is a tight budget keeping you from planning a much-needed getaway for yourself or your family? While a vacation certainly isn’t a necessity, it can offer some great benefits that make it a splurge worth saving for. To lower the overall price tag and get you out of town even faster, keep these tips in mind.
1. Consider a Local Destination
When it comes to traveling, one of your largest expenses will most likely be the plane or car ride it takes to get you there. You can certainly find some great airfare deals between major cities. Planning a road trip could save you even more, depending on where you’re going.
However, you can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars when you opt to vacation at a local destination instead. Try to keep your options within two hours of your home. Not only will you save more money, but you’ll also make better use of your time off.
2. Plan Your Meals Wisely
Eating out is another budget breaker when you’re traveling. When you can, purchase your food from a grocery store and prepare your meals yourself. This is also one of many excellent family health travel tips that can help you avoid overeating or poor nutrition while you’re away. If you do eat out, opt for less expensive restaurants and visit them during breakfast or lunch hours, when the menu prices are often cheaper.
3. Travel During the Off-Season
Sometimes, schedules are tight and you have limited flexibility about when you can travel. However, if you are able to pick the time frame of your choice, plan to visit your destination during the off-season. Prices will be lower, you’ll probably score some great deals, and you’re also more likely to enjoy smaller crowds and more peace and quiet (if that’s what you’re into). Keep in mind that while summer tends to be the peak season for most locations, this isn’t always the case; do your research ahead of time to be sure.
4. Pass on the Souvenirs
Shopping can be a fun activity when you’re on vacation, but souvenirs aren’t a necessity. In fact, most shopping options in touristy areas can be ridiculously overpriced. Instead, focus on making memories by taking plenty of photos and videos throughout your trip. There’s a good chance you’ll enjoy these mementos much more than pricey purchases.
5. Use Public Transportation When You Can
Renting a car or driving your own can drain your vacation fund in a heartbeat, especially when you have to pay for gas and parking. Instead, use public transportation to get you where you need to go. Better yet, plan your trip in an area where you can easily walk to most or all of your excursions. Not only is this approach more economical, but it’s better for the environment as well.
6. Expand Your Lodging Options
A recent travel survey found that over 70% of Americans prefer to stay in a hotel when they’re vacationing. However, that same survey reported that more people have had negative experiences at a hotel compared to staying in a vacation rental. When you opt for a rental, you can save a lot of money, especially when you choose a room instead of an entire home or property. This travel alternative is increasing in popularity, and many websites make it easy for you to find reputable options with money-back guarantees.
Even so, it’s worth doing your research and crunching the numbers at your particular destination. Some hotels offer amazing deals when you stay during the week or book a last-minute room. They can also offer some amenities that may save you more in the long run, such as free breakfast or free local shuttle services. Commit to looking at no less than three lodging options to help you find the best deals.
You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a great vacation. With a little planning and a budget-friendly mindset, you can plan the perfect getaway while keeping a lot more cash in your pocket.