To put it simply, taking a vacation is good for you, your body, and your soul. However, taking a vacation isn’t necessarily as good for your wallet. Although, of course, the cost of your vacation will depend entirely on the specifics like the destination, mode of transport, accommodation and what you plan to do when you get there. It is easy to end up paying out thousands, but this isn’t necessarily sustainable or even feasible for a lot of people. This is why we have put together a list of tips to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. Keep reading for our top tips for vacationing on a budget.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
First things first, you should always try to book something for the off-season. Depending on whether you are planning to travel domestically, plan a staycation or travel to a new country entirely, every place or attraction is going to have an off-season when it is less busy. That’s when you’ll find the prices lowered to entice tourists and visitors. If you plan your vacation around off-peak times, then it can really help you to save money, making your vacation more budget-friendly. It also means that you are more likely to have time off approved by your job as well. This is because other staff members are less likely to be off at the same time. Another benefit to traveling during the off-season is enjoying less crowded conditions.
Consider Staying Nearby
A vacation doesn’t have to mean traveling to a distant location. Staycations have become increasingly popular in recent years, and they are much more cost-effective. Even travelling to neighboring or nearby states can still offer you the opportunity to get away without having to spend as much money. There are amazing destinations and travel opportunities for you to take advantage of, while staying pretty local. You could drive, and so you would only need to pay for gas as opposed to looking at flights. If you don’t drive or you don’t have a car, then there are other options. You can search and book bus tickets on Wanderu; trains are also an option.
Bring Your Own Snacks & Food
One of the biggest costs when travelling and even when you reach the destination, is food. Eating out consistently can get pretty expensive, as can buying food on board the transportation itself. This is why it makes sense to pack your own food. Taking snacks with you from home can really help keep the costs down. You could also choose a self-catering accommodation with cooking facilities so that you can make your own meals. You’ll get to eat what you want and avoid having to constantly pay restaurant prices. If you are traveling with children, preparing your own meals will keep them happy as well. They usually prefer to eat foods they are familiar with.
If you choose to travel stateside, you can even pack a cooler of food from home that you can prepare. Groceries are often already accounted for in your budget, so doing this won’t disrupt your cash flow too much. There’s an added plus of using up food that might have spoiled in your refrigerator while you are on your trip!
Plan Your Own Itinerary
Instead of going with the flow and choosing excursions or plans when you reach your destination, you should try to do some research and plan your itinerary in advance. You may be able to afford one or two more expensive activities, but you might want to try to look for budget-friendly options too. For example, amusement parks are great, but they are often expensive when you are paying for an entire family. On the other hand, national parks are often cheaper or even free to visit, and they have just as much potential for fun. You could even choose to camp, which would save you money on accommodation – especially if you already have all the gear you need.
Planning your own itinerary will also save you money over having a travel agent help you. There are plenty of travel blogs and online tips to help you plan a trip nearly anywhere you want to go! Using these top tips for vacationing on a budget will help you make the most of your travel cash.
Think About Mini Breaks
One long vacation often costs more than a few mini breaks scattered throughout the year. You also have the benefit of having multiple vacations in different places, all providing new experiences and allowing you to make more memories. A vacation still counts, even if it is simply a long weekend. Obviously, if you want to leave the country, then you will need to consider the travel time. You might have less time at your destination, but this is not often a problem when travelling domestically.
Discounts & Reward Programs
There are also a number of discount sites or reward programs you can take advantage of to find the best deals out there. It does require a little more research on your part in order to find them, but it is well worth doing. A lot of people save up their airline miles to use for a great vacation. Airline rewards can be used not only for flights, but also for hotels and car rentals. To get the best deals, you may need to be more flexible with your timing or even the destination. Being able to be flexible may open up many more options for savings, and provide more variety than you had imagined.
The Bottom Line
Taking a vacation every so often is incredibly important. It provides your brain with the opportunity to shut off the daily stressors you encounter. Stress can be incredibly detrimental to your health and well-being, which is why taking a break matters. Now, lavish vacations are not always financially possible for everyone, but you can have just as good a vacation on a budget. Remember that variety in your travels is nice. Taking mini trips helps you spread out the travel benefits throughout the year, and planning your trips during off-peak season will save money and chaos. Using these top tips for vacationing on a budget can help you to make the most out of your money. Happy travels!
You might also enjoy reading How to Save Enough Money to Travel.