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Planning a Budget-Friendly Vacation in 5 Easy Steps

2526580205_3d28157065_mThe best vacations don’t just happen – they are carefully planned.

You can plan your finances to make sure you have enough spending money. You can plan for the kids to stay with the grandparents. You can plan to travel on the off-season for lower rates. No matter what your approach is, making the most of every dollar trip should be the top priority. Every dollar saved is a dollar you can use to enhance the experience of your trip elsewhere during the journey.

Step 1: Travel during the Off Season

Beaches during the summer in exotic locales are going to be pricey. Peak ski season in the mountains will also add to your travel and lodging prices. Not to mention that the crowds during these times almost always detract from the travel experience. Your best bet is to go slightly before the peak season or slightly after it. That’s when airplane tickets and hotel fares will be discounted.

Step 2: Use Bundle Packages

You can get a better rate if you bundle your hotel and airfare. Since you are buying more volume, you get a discount on both. Look to enhance bundle packages with stays at hotels that offer a free meal, like breakfast, or have a free shuttle to and from the airport, and you can save even more.

Step 3: Choose a Location Closer to Home

It’s nice to travel overseas, but that’s definitely going to cost more than visiting someplace closer. The fun of going on vacation doesn’t have to be leaving for another country. You can have just as much fun visiting someplace in your own country that you’ve always wanted to see, but haven’t.

Step 4: Opt for Mom and Pop Places

If you aren’t bundling your package because you’re not traveling by air, you can always opt to go with a local bed and breakfast over an expensive hotel chain. You can a custom experience and it adds to the flavor of the vacation. Some people even like to camp out at some places or use hostels. These types of lodgings are very inexpensive, but really for the more adventuresome who don’t mind being without modern amenities for too long or having to share them.

Step 5: Plan Your Itinerary

Once you have the location, the travel arrangements, and the lodging settled you want to plan a list of activities. This way you can determine how much you need in your budget to see everything you want to see. Some activities will cost more than others will, and you have to determine if they’re worth the extra cost or not. Don’t forget to include budget-friendly activities that cost little or nothing, but take full advantage of your new location. Visiting scenic parks and beaches costs nothing. Hiking a trail in the mountains also is free. Even visiting local museums can be a fun an inexpensive way to spend time where you plan on vacationing. Not everything you plan to do on vacation has to cost money, but when something does; at least the money you saved will help to pay for it.