A summer vacation can be a lot of fun – and it can also be really expensive. Vacations are rarely cheap, and traveling during the busy summer season when everyone else is also trying to take their trips can only add to the cost.
A summer vacation for a family of four or five can easily run thousands of dollars, so saving even small amounts of money here or there will go a long way in the end. Before planning your next big trip, consider the following four tips on how to save money on your summer vacation this year.
Avoid the Traps
There are certain locations which can be considered tourist traps, meaning everything they offer is expensive (read: overpriced).
Pick a destination for your family that is more reasonably priced, while still offering plenty to do and see. Do a little bit of online research prior to booking your trip so you can find out about the prices in any areas you are thinking of visiting. Specifically, check food and lodging prices, as these will be two of your largest expenses. A great way to save money on many of these areas is using Expedia as you can search by price, area and reviews.
Miss the High Season
Can you take a summer vacation when it isn’t actually summer? Everything is more expensive in terms of travel in the summer months, including gas prices.
So, if your schedule allows you to take a trip when it isn’t actually summer, you should be able to avoid some of these price increases. This might be difficult (or impossible) if you have kids who are in school, but those without school-aged children could take advantage of the lower off-season prices. Even waiting until the last minutes of summer can sometimes result in saving money on your vacation.
Free (or Cheap) Activities
Taking part in activities is a great part of vacationing, but many of those activities can get rather expensive. Before you plan your trip, think about what you want to do while you are gone, and tailor your choices to make sure you can afford the trip as a whole.
For example, going to a theme park will require that you pay high prices for tickets, where as visiting a National Park will only require that you pay a modest entry fee to get into the park. Carefully plan an itinerary before you leave so that you know exactly how much you are going to be spending before the vacation actually arrives.
Stay Closer to Home
You don’t have to travel thousands of miles away from your home in order to have fun on vacation. Sometimes even a weekend away will do.
Traveling in any form costs money, whether you are purchasing gas to put in your car or tickets to ride on an airplane. Reducing the total number of miles travelled is a sure way to reduce the overall cost of the trip, so take a good look at a map and try to pick out a destination that is relatively close to home.
A good vacation is about spending time with family and friends, in addition to getting away from work, so it shouldn’t matter how far you have physically travelled. You might even consider a staycation instead.
Are you going on a summer vacation this year? How are you going to save money on your summer vacation?
Photo courtesy of: Stevebidmead