How To Have Vacation Fun On A Budget
How to have an inexpensive and enjoyable vacation
Having a memorable vacation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you’re willing to make some concessions along the way, these budget friendly vacation tips will keep you happy.
Know Your Vacation Budget
The first step in a successful vacation is not where to go, but how much money will you allot yourself to spend. Know who is going to be vacationing-you, you and your spouse, or the whole family. Multiply your budget for one by the number in your party. It is better to allocate each child twelve years old and older as ‘adult’. Those under age 12 can be counted at half the cost…but, far better you over calculate for the unplanned surprises, than under guess your expenses.
Decide on a destination. For vacations that exceeds your vacation allowance, forego the immediate vacation and take one later in the year after saving. Remember, the fun is often in the journey, not the destination.
Determine Your Vacation Destination
Know what you want to do. Some people don’t care where they go-they just want to visit someplace new. Other families don’t want any fuss; they just want to get to a place that meets their criteria for relaxed family fun, with plenty of activities for the kids.
Hobbies or activities of interest, like skiing or wine tasting, may be a third factor to consider. Or, perhaps there is a particular exhibit or event that you wish to attend and you’ll be travelling to that location to participate in it, such as a special art exhibit in another city or state.
Plan ahead to beat the crowd
Travel and Transportation Bargains
Once you have decided on your vacation plans, explore your options for the best deals. If it requires air fare know which dates and times are the cheapest, such as early morning or the ‘red eye’ flight. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are often cheaper because most business people need to fly out on Monday. Likewise, know which airlines will charge hidden or additional costs, such as baggage fees and, all things being equal, go with the airlines who offer those freebies.
When planning a trip, do your own research online and through reliable recommendations. Triple A Road Service offers free trip planning services for the cost of an annual road service membership. However, don’t join for the convenience of one service. Many of the travel agent services are available at your finger tips via online searches. All it costs is time and perseverance maneuvering the websites.
When considering whether to fly, drive, or use other transportation, such as a travel bus or train, weigh everything out carefully: the amount of time you have; the cost of gas for your trip, should you drive, vs. the need for a rental car, should you fly.
Finding Cheap Motels
When you’re vacationing away from home you will need to plan a place to rest your head at night. The cheapest accommodations could be a borrowed cottage or a swapped home in another location. There are endless possibilities depending on your budget and how much you intend to spend on where you sleep vs. what you do. Here are a few other sleep accommodations: a tent and sleeping bag; a log cabin or teepee in a state park; a hostel; a Super 6 or 8 motel room; a reasonably priced room in a hotel chain; or a bed and breakfast inn. Bargain hunters who become savvy to off season dates win in two ways: discounts and crowds.
How to save money while dining out
Budgeting for meals may take some strategy in the overall planning of your vacation. If you will spend time at a motel/hotel chain, rent a suite with a kitchenette, or at least a room with a microwave and refrigerator.
Save money eating out by planning to catch a continental breakfast at your hotel; then eat your largest meal midday when the prices are cheaper; followed by a simpler, lighter supper. Investigate local ‘early bird specials’. Utilize discounts appropriate for age groups: senior specials or children’s menu prices.
Bargains for vacation activities
Before starting out on your venture, purchase discounts for theme parks through your place of employment or a local travel agent. Know what items you can bring with you, such as your own ski gear for a ski trip, which will save you the cost of rental equipment. Educate yourself about cost saving special days and times that a particular place of entertainment may have, such as midday half off specials. A well planned vacation can incorporate fun and savings.
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