Taking a summer vacation is a great opportunity to get away from work for a week or more and spend time with your family or friends. Whether you choose to head to a new destination or back to a spot that you have visited many times, your summer vacation is likely to be one of the highlights of the year.
Of course, vacations aren’t free. Balancing the planning of a great trip with the costs that come with it can be a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank in order to plan a trip that everyone will enjoy.
# 1 – Stay Close to Home
One of the biggest expenses associated with vacations is the cost of traveling to your destination. If you take a trip across the country, you will have to purchase costly plane tickets in addition to likely renting a car when you arrive.
However, if you pick out a destination that is closer to home and allows you to drive, you can save on both plane tickets and car rental. Take a look on a map and you might be surprised to learn how many great options are close enough for a road trip.
#2 – Avoid Tourist Traps
They are called ‘traps’ for a reason. While the touristy spots might have a few fun things to see and do on a vacation, the added cost usually just isn’t worth it. Instead, try picking a location that is a little less traveled to keep the costs more under control. Not only will you save money by avoiding tourist traps, you’ll also not have to deal with the clutter the cheap junk can create.
#3 – Don’t Go for Quite as Long
With good planning, you might be able to pack everything you would do during a week vacation into 4-5 days. Even cutting two nights off of your trip can save you a significant amount of money in hotel expenses. If you use this idea, make sure to put an itinerary together before you leave to take advantage of the time you have available as efficiently as possible.
#4 – Dine In While on Your Summer Vacation
This is a great way to save money, when possible. If you are able to find lodging with a kitchen, consider doing grocery shopping when you arrive for your trip and eating in as often as possible. One of the big costs of a vacation is dining out for every meal, so you can find some significant savings just by cooking some of your own meals. There are a variety of hotel chains that offer kitchenettes or free breakfasts, though we usually go with Starwood Properties so we can earn points as well.
We do this quite a bit when we go on vacation as it gives us extra time together as a family, not to mention being able to eat healthy as well.
#5 – Free Activities
Try to plan that includes activities which are mostly free or inexpensive. For example, visiting state or national parks is a great way to see some incredible sites on a budget. While you might have to pay small admissions charges to these locations, they will pale in comparison to more commercially-focused options. You might be surprised to learn just how many of these kinds of activities are located all around the country when you start to plan your trip.
What are some of your tips to save money on summer vacation? Where are you planning on going on vacation this year? Do you travel hack so you can travel for cheaper.
Photo courtesy of: Fundable.org
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