With summer right around the corner, everyone is getting excited to enjoy the warm weather and go on vacation. Here are a few tips on how to plan for your own trip.
Plan early!Set a budget and start saving for the trip or maybe you already have some savings for vacation. Determine a realistic amount you feel comfortable spending (you don't want to undo all that relaxation time by stressing about finances when you return).
Consider the cost of:
Transportation: Gas or airplane ticket
- Local transport: Can you drive? Do you need to take a bus, train, ect.?
- Food (groceries and eating out)
- Daily Activities
- Shopping (souvenirs)
Location & Transportation
Obviously, the first decision should be where you want to go. Staying closer to home is generally a cheaper option because driving can often be a lot more affordable than flying. Consider the cost of other transport during your trip. Do you need to take a bus anywhere or a train? If you’re luckily enough to go somewhere that you can walk most places, then this cost will be minimal.
Do you want to stay in a hotel, apartment, or house? Lodging can be the biggest expense for a vacation (unless you're camping!). If you’re looking for a really cheap option, consider camping with some friends. Some camp sites even have cabins you can rent if you’re not too keen on tent sleeping.
If you choose a hotel, look around at the best prices for places in the area you are staying and make sure to read the reviews as well. Consider going on a trip with friends and renting a place together either through a local rental service or Airbnb! This can cut down on the cost of a trip by a lot.
Do you love to eat out? Plan specific nights you want to eat out and other nights make simple meals that are easy to prepare to save money. Taco night is always a great go-to for vacation, set out ingredients and let everyone make their own! Pack snacks and small sandwiches for day adventures if you don’t want to eat out for lunch.
If you’re not the type to just sit on the beach all day during vacation, consider looking on sites like Groupon or even Airbnb for activity discounts during your vacation. You can find some cool options that you may have not even thought about before and save money.
If you happen to have a credit card that gives you travel points, look into different options and see how many of them you could use for your upcoming trip!
If you don’t want to or can’t take a full week off of work, consider just doing a weekend trip. They can give you the break you need while also being more affordable. Take off one or two days to give yourself some extra time and find a destination not too far away to get the most out of your time.
Going Off Season or “Shoulder” Season
Peak season for summer vacation destinations is mid-June to August. April to mid-June and September through October is known as Shoulder Season. This is when the weather is still warm but there are a lot less people vacationing, and prices are usually cheaper! Look at the prices for hotels and house rentals during these times to compare to what you would pay mid-summer.
Hopefully some of these tips can help you plan the vacation you deserve. Having fun while not breaking the bank is the best kind of relaxation there is!