During difficult economic times, taking a vacation may seem like an impossible task, especially if you have children. But the truth of the matter is that everyone needs time away to relax and have fun. A vacation does not have to cost a fortune. There are ways to vacation on a small budget.
The following is a list of tips to help save money on a vacation:
1. You don’t have to stay in expensive hotels and resorts. There are plenty of campgrounds that offer very affordable rates. Also, vacationing during off-season cost less. Bed and breakfasts are another idea. The rooms are usually very lovely and the food is great.
2. If you have children, give them a set amount of money they can spend. Tell them they have to budget because that is all the money they will have for the entire trip.
3. Using credit cards while on vacation has its draw backs. Before you travel, plan how much to spend to avoid high credit card debt. You can do the following:
• Contact your credit card company to see if they give any travel discounts on things like accommodations, car rental, insurance or airplane tickets.
• Bring only one credit card with you on the trip so you want be tempted to over spend.
• Keep track of everything you spend; keep all of your receipts.
• Find out the steps involved with reporting lost or stolen credit cards and if you will be held liable for unauthorized use of a card.
• Keep a list of your credit card numbers and important credit card contact information.
4. When it comes to meals, pack homemade lunches and beverages. Try to cut the amount of snacks you buy. Many hotels provide free continental breakfasts. Look for restaurants that offer discounts for children, or “Kids Eat Free” programs. We spend way too much money on eating out. This could be one of your biggest cost savers, plan ahead the internet is a great way to find deals before you leave on vacation.
5. If flying is part of your vacation plans, look for cheap airlines and discounted rates; discount airlines are a good choice. There are online specials available all the time. Comparison shopping online is a great way to buy cheap airline tickets, last-minute tickets are often sold at great discounts.
6. Vacation activities do not have to be expensive. Research your destination before getting there, you can find reasonably priced options such as museums, historical sites, amusement parks, national and state parks and zoos. These types of places will often only charge a small fee. Check on free local festivals that can include walking tours, wine tasting, arts and crafts, as well as historical re-enactments. Doing some research on cheap things to do before your trip could help you save alot.
7. Often, fun events are taking place close to your own home. Visiting local and regional areas is a cheap and fun way to explore your state. Make sure you check the visitor center of each town and city you visit. They will have information on affordable sights and activities, and may have special discount coupons.
8. Buy a cheap long distance phone card before you travel. Hotel phones can be expensive. If you are using a cell phone, check out the cell phone carrier’s roaming fees before using it so your not hit with a surprise bill when you get home..
Everyone needs time away from their busy day-to-day routines. Being on a budget does not mean that you can’t have a fun vacation. By implementing and following a well-planned vacation budget, you and your family will have a great vacation full of lasting memories.