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Make Your Vacation Cheaper!

Updated on June 2, 2011

Where to go?

 Everyone needs some down time; to relax, de-stress, and just get away from the everyday. The problem is, none of us really have the money needed to go anywhere! WRONG! You too, can enjoy a fun vacation, without eating Ramen noodles for a week to pay for it. The trick is to plan smart.

1. Deciding where to go. No matter where you live, there is a good place to visit nearby. The closer to home you stay, the less gas you have to spend to get there. If you look close, there is always somewhere within reasonable driving distance.

2. Where do I stay? Camping is of course the cheapest route. Campgrounds are all over the place, and usually much cheaper than a hotel. If the outdoors just isn't your thing, look for deals. Weekdays are usually cheaper than weekends, and the off-season is a little less as well. Another hint: If you are headed to a big city or tourist spot, see what the next door city is and stay there. You are still close to everything, without the big cty prices.

3. Food? Guess what? You don't have to eat out for every meal. You don't have to starve either. You could get a hotel room that includes a kitchenette, and then visit the local grocery store for snacks, drinks, and meals. Many rooms come with a microwave and mini fridge, so that would work. Most hotels have a continental breakfast, so that's FREE. Yep, there is actually something free. When you do have to go to a restaurant, find ones with specials, or coupons, or "kids eat free" days. Get a gigantic appetizer sampler platter and share it. You don't have to order the most expensive thing on the menu, I promise.

4. Gas? A, research the gas prices at home, where you are headed, and along the way. Even if you aren't running on empty, fill back up at the cheaper places along the way. If you are going with friends, carpool. It's good for you and the environment!! If you have an Iphone or Android, there are free apps out there that look at nearby gas prices where ever you may roam.

5. What about having fun? No, I'm not going to tell you to sit in the hotel room all day. You can find things to do or see that don't cost an arm and a leg too. Again, we go back to planning and research. Once you find out where you're headed, get online and see what all there is to do there. Major cities have websites dedicated to lodging, restaurants, and activities. There are group prices on museums, water parks, mini-golf, whatever it is you want to do. Most places have senior, military, student, or child discounts too. If you are hitting the beach, take your towels or your own chairs to sit in. Rentals will empty your wallet QUICK. I'm talking 35 bucks a day for a beach chair, and you probably don't spend 8 hours in the sun. Take your camera and stroll through the city. Taking pictures is something you would do anyway, why not explore and get some great ones while saving gas!!

A Good Place to Start

So, before you go searching for your dream vacation on a budget, let me give you just one more tip. Below I have added a link to one of my favorite sites, Book It. You can get package deals, like hotel and car, and flight, and so on. You can find just a hotel. You can see hotels nearby where you requested (like the outskirts of the big city). My favorite thing about this site: Some hotels come with free extras. For example, I will be going on vacation in a month, and the hotel I booked came with a free horse and carriage tour, and a free comedy show. FREE. Some have vouchers for a free drink or appetizer also. If the hotel you choose doesn't have something like this included, they always have a list of activities at the bottom of the page that you can add to your vacation. They partner with nearby restaurants and attractions and get deals on fun stuff to do.

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    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Megan's Thoughts 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      You are right about the view, I love being high up and seeing for miles! Last minute deals are great, if you can be patient enough to wait for them!

    • CondoLux Rentals profile image

      CondoLux Rentals 

      7 years ago from North Myrtle Beach,South Carolina

      Nice post! I know in Myrtle Beach there are always last minute summer deals on oceanfront condos you can jump at. If the rental isn't booked a few weeks ahead, the homeowners/rental company cuts the prices dramatically to get renters in. Some income is better than NO income! Of course, camping is still cheaper. haha. But you can't beat a view from a 16th floor oceanfront condo looking over the Atlantic Ocean!

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Megan's Thoughts 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      That's great ecomama!! I hope it turns out great!

    • ecomama profile image

      Jacquie The Underground Goddess 

      7 years ago from NC

      I like your hub! I live in a tourist town so I am planning a "staycation" this summer.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Megan's Thoughts 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you Thelma!!

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      7 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Enjoyed your post. Good info.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Megan's Thoughts 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Husky!

    • profile image

      Husky1970 

      7 years ago

      Good tips, Megan's Thoughts. Planning and being economical is the key. As a retiree, I have to figure it out well and have managed to do so. Makes life fun!

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