If you’re avoiding planning a vacation because you can’t afford it, think again. With the right destination and the right vacation plan, your family can have a memorable experience without blowing your budget. Here are 4 vacation budgeting secrets to use for your next vacation.
Choose the Best Destination for Your Budget
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Expensive cities like New York and San Francisco will quickly deplete your budget. Consider some of America’s equally appealing, but less expensive destinations like Austin, Savannah, Charlotte, and Nashville. Also look into cheaper alternatives to staying in hotels, like renting an apartment or camping.
You can also save a bundle by planning to visit during a city’s off-season. Not only will there be less tourists, but many hotels, amusement parks, and restaurants offer big discounts outside of their peak months.
Choose the Cheapest Transportation
It’s no secret that flying is expensive, especially for an entire family. Consider other modes of transportation which can get you there for a cheaper price.
Trains may take longer to get you to your destination, but they will save you a lot of money if you’re not really in a hurry. Road trips have long been a favorite budget-friendly vacation, but soaring gas prices have changed this in recent years. A fuel-efficient rental car may be a cheaper option for a road trip if your car is a gas guzzler.
If flying is necessary, consider waiting until the last minute to book your flight. Prices are often cheapest about 21 days before the departure date. Most airlines also announce sales on Tuesdays, which is rumored to be the best day to lock in low airfare prices.
Find New Income Sources
If your travel fund is near zero, look for ways to make money that will go toward your vacation. Hold a yard sale to make some extra cash, and clean out your house in the process. You can also sell your unwanted items virtually through Craigslist or eBay.
Taking on an extra part-time job can also help you save towards a vacation. Temp or seasonal work are good options since they don’t require a long-term commitment. Working for a travel company often comes with the perk of big discounts on trip packages, so you might want to look into vacation-related work.
Don’t Buy Meaningless Souvenirs
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If you’re going to buy souvenirs, you might as well buy things that are practical versus decorative items. A T-shirt will actually be worn, but a snow globe will only collect dust. Also consider free destination-specific keepsakes, like matchbooks, maps, and brochures.
More importantly, focus on spending your money on experiences rather than material items. And of course, the best — and cheapest — souvenirs of all are photos!
Planning a vacation should never be a hassle. With proper planning and financial management, you will reach your goals with ease. Doing research on the places you want to go, taking cheap transportation, starting a travel fund, and minimizing purchases during your trip will ensure your next vacation doesn’t break the bank.