Are you looking for a great vacation, but don’t want to break the bank? With so many people taking trips in order to relax and unwind, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to have be concerned about your budget while seeking a little rest and relaxation. If you’re interested in saving money on your next trip, here are some tips and tricks to help you have a great time while staying within your budget.
Think about budget; not place and time
Often when considering a vacation, you’ll pick a destination first and then try and book travel that fits your budget. However, by reversing this process and thinking of your budget first, it’s possible to find some real steals on vacation destinations. By being flexible on location and when you plan on taking your trip, you can find some excellent deals that fit your budget. This may also take you to places you’d never initially considered, an added benefit when it comes to planning a truly memorable trip.
Go off the beaten path
Avoiding major tourist destinations is another way to save some money by considering activities and locations off the beaten path. For example, instead of several extended days in Savannah, GA, consider dedicating part of your trip and taking time to explore Henry County, Georgia. Even when you’re visiting a more popular destination, avoiding the typical tourist traps can be a way to avoid crowds and save money at the same time. For example, when traveling to Lansing, MI, consider looking at resources such as the LAN150 bucket list, which gives you numerous options for activities that help you experience the city like a local.
Split costs with friends or family members
Another easy way to save money on your trip is to split costs by traveling with friends or family members. A double occupancy hotel room is often only nominally more expensive than a single occupancy room of similar size, and splitting the cost of such accomodations can be a quick way to decrease the cost of your lodging. Sharing gas costs and splitting meals is another way to cut down on your vacation costs without cutting out necessary aspects of your trip.
Consider budget airlines
Airfare is one of the costliest aspects of travel, but it doesn’t have to set you back hundreds of dollars. Consider flying on budget airlines if you’re willing to trade comfort for financial savings. Since budget flights frequently offer amenities a la carte, by traveling light or foregoing inflight meals, you’ll often avoid excessive baggage fees and other unnecessary costs.
Pack your own food
While foodies may scoff at this tip, packing your own food is another tried-and-true way to save on vacations. Especially in larger cities like New York, where the average price per person is a whopping $48, meals can quickly add up to make a major dent in your vacation budget. Even picking up some groceries when you arrive to cover meals like breakfast and lunch can keep your costs low without sacrificing a few visits to local hot spots.
Reach out to friends and family
If you’re traveling to a city where you already know a few people, asking to stay with them for a night or two can be another way to save money on hotel fees. Especially if one reason you’re visiting the city is to reconnect with them, it may make sense to stay a night anyway. Make sure to offer to take them to dinner or buy them a thank you gift, both of which can be much less than a night at a hotel. Even shaving off one night can make your trip come in under budget, and will give you some time to catch up with friends or family.
Taking a vacation doesn’t have to be costly. With smart planning and a little flexibility, it’s easy to stick to your financial goals while still having a great trip. Consider implementing some of these tips the next time you’re planning a getaway, and you’re sure to have a blast on a budget!