Been dreaming of a nice, relaxing vacation where you can get away from it all, but felt like it just wasn’t affordable? Fear not. Having a quality vacation without going broke can be done!
Create a Vacation Budget
First, take a good look at the household budget. Then decide how much it will be possible to budget for a vacation. Approach saving for a vacation as if budgeting for any other bill; view it as a necessity. If the temptation to spend the money on other things is a concern, set up a separate savings account specifically for the trip.
Make a conscious decision to set aside to 0 or more each month. This can be achieved by eliminating unnecessary expenses like dining out frequently. When shopping, try using coupons, buying generic, and taking advantage of sales. Look into car-pooling or taking the bus to work. Go through old items lying around the house and have a yard sale. Put every dollar earned or saved toward the vacation goal.
Research Low Cost Fares and Lodging
While the vacation fund is building, decide on a destination. Will this vacation be done by driving, flying, or traveling by train or boat? Research travel prices, including off-season travel, promotions, and advanced ticket purchases. Traveling midweek and avoiding peak travel times can save a bundle. Save even more money by traveling with a friend and splitting the costs.
Decide ahead of time how much money to set aside for souvenirs, admissions to attractions, on-the-go dining, and lodging. Skip the expensive hotel and aim for a less expensive one. Most of the vacation will be filled with sightseeing and entertainment away from the hotel, so the room shouldn’t be a major factor.
Camping at state and national parks can save money as well. Most parks have electricity and water hookups right at the camp site. Freshening up after a long day of exploring the sights is just a short walk to the showers, and some parks even provide laundry rooms!
Make Every Penny Count Towards the Vacation
Getting around doesn’t have to be expensive if one takes advantage of public transportation. Take a cycling or walking tour and really experience the sights. While exploring, don’t forget to stop off at the local visitor’s center and pick up a few discount coupon books. The valuable coupons in these books can really save big money.
Stumped on ideas for inexpensive souvenirs? Check the local thrift stores and flea markets for discarded souvenirs. The people back home don’t have to know where their souvenir, just that it was picked up while on vacation. And don’t forget the camera. After the trip those photos can be turned into an iron-on for a T-shirt and then it will be a very unique keepsake.
While checking out the thrift stores, look for used luggage. People usually wind up with more stuff than they brought, and an extra bag is perfect for carrying all that loot home. With a little planning a successful vacation is possible and no one will go broke trying to make it happen. So go ahead, take that vacation and enjoy it.
*copyright Beverly Hill; originally published on Suite101.com
Written by BeverlyHill