You might have heard the phrase “never go to Vegas with a budget”. While this is true in many ways, it is still possible to vacation on a budget. In fact, there are many ways to spend less if you know what to look for.

Most people are afraid to get away from their regular lives and travel for fear that they’ll be unable to afford the trip. You don’t have to worry about that. I have spent most of my life traveling the world, and across all different budget types of vacations.

Working without pleasure makes life pretty boring, doesn’t it? Vacations are a great way to expand your horizons and give your mind a break. A vacation seems like a great idea until you go on Airbnb, find your dream bungalow, and realize that a weekend in it costs $800.

Even a modest vacation at home can cost you thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. As someone who is eager to retire and loves to travel, I know how difficult it is to balance the need for relaxation with saving money.

You can’t get a free vacation, but you can enjoy it if you make the right plans. Learn how to budget your vacation and follow my 8 tips to help you save more money on your vacation.

Budgeting for leave

The average vacation costs nearly $1,200 per person. You can spend thousands of dollars on your dream vacation, but that’s not always the smartest option, especially if you want to save money.

Don’t worry about it. You can budget your vacation with these quick steps:

  • First step: Know your priorities. Are you looking for an exciting adventure or a relaxing holiday? Decide on the type of vacation that suits your needs to set an appropriate budget.
  • Second step: Sets the budget. I’d love to tell you that I take $10,000 vacations to exotic places, but that’s not true. I let my budget dictate where I go and what I do. If you know you can afford a vacation of only $3,000, don’t let the temptation of an expensive trip to Hawaii discourage you.
  • Third step: Set savings targets. If you want to spend $2,000 on a vacation in six months, that means you need to set aside about $335 each month.
  • Fourth step: Reach your savings goal. Review your budget every week. You need to determine if you are on track to reach your savings goal. If not, it’s time to spend less, take a part-time job or plan a smaller vacation.
  • Step 5: Establish a daily recovery budget. Two weeks before you leave, set a maximum amount per day for your vacation expenses. Some people prefer to use an envelope system for this purpose. Go to the bank and withdraw enough money for your daily expenses. If you z. B. want to spend $100 a day on a five-day vacation, withdraw $500 and put it in separate envelopes. This way you avoid overspending and stay within your budget.

At this point, you know how much you need to save, and you have a plan to achieve your goal. But with a few tips, you can reduce your holiday costs and enjoy an even more enjoyable trip. Follow these 8 tips to plan a successful vacation on a budget.

1. Book a cheap holiday

Honestly, some vacations are cheaper than others. This summer, for example, we wanted to go to Mexico, but after calculating the cost of airfare, we decided to go to South Padre Island.

You can go on vacation even if you are on a tight budget. This means that you, for example. B. have to book a less expensive type of holiday:

  • remains: Explore your city like a tourist – without the cost of flights and hotels. Attend the free museum days, visit the main tourist attractions and taste the local cuisine. It may not be as exciting as a weekend in Paris, but a holiday trip is a stress-free and inexpensive way to have fun.
  • Camping: You may exceed the limits of the equipment here, so keep that in mind. But if you love the outdoors and want a cheap holiday close to nature, go hiking! In most state and national parks, you can stay overnight for $5 to $50. You’ll still need to bring food, water and equipment, but camping is still much cheaper than an international flight.
  • Less popular destinations: Do I want to be on a sunny beach in Miami this summer? Yes, of course. But the popular destinations will always be more expensive, which is why my husband and I stayed in South Padre Island instead of Miami or Maui. Look for less popular destinations to enjoy a cheaper holiday with fewer people.

2. Book cheap flights

Airline tickets are an important part of holiday spending. Finding cheap airline tickets is a science, but a few minutes of research can help you quickly find the best deals for your vacation trip. As a general rule, flights are best booked 1 to 3 months in advance to get the best prices. But sometimes you can get good deals at the last minute, so go online before you book your tickets.

I’m a big fan of Google Flights because it’s clearer than other airline ticket calculators. It’s also a great tool if you know when you want to go on vacation, but are open to other destinations. But many people swear by it:

  • Kayak
  • Priceline
  • Expedia

… to help them find the cheapest flights.

I also save money on flights:

  • Travel time on weekdays: Seriously, though. I save $50 to $200 when I travel on days with little traffic. Try to book flights from Monday to Thursday to get lower prices.
  • Pay with airline rewards cards: Many credit cards allow you to earn airline miles for each purchase. If you like to travel and earn free miles throughout the year, consider a credit card with rewards. (Remember to pay off the balance each month to avoid interest charges).
  • Payment with discounted gift vouchers: I once paid for a flight to Denver with discounted Southwest gift cards. Sites like Gift Card Granny allow you to buy gift cards for less than face value. It’s a little complicated, but I saved $200 on our trip that way.
  • Reservation of less desirable flights: The less favorable the flight, the less expensive it is. Look for connecting, very late or very early flights to save more on your holiday.

3. Driving instead of flying

Don’t like high airfares? I don’t blame you. Another option is to go on vacation. For example, my family could have flown to Disneyland, but the $4,000 price tag was too high, so we drove across the country to save money.

The main disadvantage of driving is that it is cumbersome and takes more time. You should also consider expenses, such as. B. :

  • Gas
  • Food and snacks
  • Hotels

… when you’re driving long distances. Do the math to see if it makes sense to do it all the way through. Sometimes it’s a better deal, but sometimes the travel time and cost aren’t worth it.

4. Stay in cheaper accommodation

I’m a big fan of Holiday Inn Express, but it’s not always the cheapest option. In fact, standard chain hotels are more expensive than other accommodation options. Depending on your penchant for adventure, you may also want to consider cheaper hotel alternatives, such as. B. :

  • Bed and breakfast : You won’t always find guesthouses on Airbnb, but local guesthouses and breakfasts are great. They are smaller and have a more homely feel, but are usually quiet and comfortable. Bed and breakfasts usually include food, snacks, drinks and social activities, making them a good alternative to hotels.
  • Lodging with friends or family: Do you know anyone in that town? Call them! Most people will be happy to let you stay in their home for free. Don’t forget to be a polite guest: clean up after yourself, be fairly quiet, and perhaps invite your host for a nice dinner.
  • Couchsurfing: Couchsurfing.com connects travelers with local hosts. You can stay for free in the guest room or on someone else’s couch. This is a great option for meeting new people and having a little cultural exchange with the locals, but it’s definitely more for the adventurous traveler.
  • Inns: If you’re on the road all day and only need a place to sleep, consider a hostel. They are not clean or private, but at $20 to $60 a night, they are well priced.
  • Voluntary work: Are you looking for a working holiday? Habitat for Humanity, WWOFF and other charities offer subsidized vacations for those who want to volunteer. If you want to spend an entire vacation in a foreign country, this is a great way to travel cheaply.

When booking accommodation, it is also important to compare the facilities. A hostel might cost $50 a night, but if a $100 hotel includes parking, food and privacy, it might be worth spending the extra money.

5. Book in a club for members only

Did you know that member organisations and Warehouse Clubs can give you a great discount on your next holiday? Organizations such as :

  • Costco
  • AARP
  • AAA

… offer discounted vacation packages to their members. I booked my Disney World honeymoon through AAA and my Mexico vacation through Costco, so I can say from experience that this is a great option! I easily saved $500 on my vacation by booking it through the member portal.

Clubs that operate for members only will give you access to group rates with discounts they negotiate with suppliers. However, this is not always a good deal. To make sure you save money, buy everything separately.

6. Traveling at unloved times

Some times of the year are more favorable for travel than others. Because do you really want to travel to Alaska in the middle of a harsh winter? Or a trip to Italy under the hot summer sun?

If you’re willing to endure bad weather or miss popular events, you can save money by traveling off-peak. For example, I saved hundreds of dollars by traveling to South Korea during monsoon season.

Most vacations are more expensive in the summer because that’s when people want to travel, but off-season travel depends on your destination. You’ll pay more for a trip to Washington, D.C., when the cherry trees are in bloom in the spring, while the cost of a trip to Mexico is higher from May to July. A quick Google search will tell you the best time to visit the destination of your choice.

7. Use of local transport

Don’t waste your money on taxis. Many states also don’t have services like Lyft or Uber, so those options aren’t always available. So if you can’t use a car or a taxi, how do you make ends meet?

The cheapest way to travel around the resort is by local transport. For example, when we were in Italy, my mom and I used the Rome bus system to get around. If you don’t speak the local language, I highly recommend downloading an app like Google Translate to help you navigate the city with confidence.

8. Minimise travel costs

Want to save more money on your holiday? You can make a few small changes to your daily holiday spending to save more money:

  • Prepare your own meals: Cooking your own food is 5 times cheaper. For this reason, I like to book Airbnb’s with fully equipped kitchens. Cook your own breakfast, lunch and snacks and spend the money on a nice dinner. As a bonus, you can shop for groceries at the local grocery store, which is always a fun adventure!
  • Book accommodation with meals: Know what you’re getting for your money when you stay at a bed and breakfast or hotel. It’s convenient to stay at places that include meals, so don’t miss out on this benefit.
  • Bring your own snacks on the plane: Bring M&M’s, dried fruit and gum instead of buying them at the airport or gas station. Airports don’t usually allow liquids through, but you can bring a duck bag to fill with water while you wait for your flight.
  • Find free courses: I like to do one paid activity each day in between several free activities. It could be visiting a local park, going for a walk, people-watching at the mall or attending free cultural events. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent walking the streets of Rome for nothing. Ask the hotel for a list of nearby attractions and activities to see what you can do for free.

Baseline

Of course, vacation is a luxury. You’ll be fine without a vacation. But there is more to life than working, cleaning and sleeping. It is important to have resources for relaxation from time to time to reduce burnout and stress.

But even a modest vacation requires a certain budget. Whether you are planning a vacation or an international trip, you should prepare your trip well in advance. Take the time to create a budget for your vacation so you don’t run into financial problems.

If you want to create more wiggle room in your holiday budget, you can try :

  • Book a cheaper holiday.
  • Search for cheap airline tickets.
  • Driving instead of flying.
  • Stay in cheaper hotels.
  • Reservations via the member portal.
  • Travel during low traffic hours.
  • Use of local transport.
  • Minimize daily expenses.

The cheapest option is of course to cancel the holiday altogether. But life isn’t all work and discipline, you have to have a budget for fun too! Follow these tips to plan a fun vacation where you can relax instead of worrying about the bills.

Read more:

  • Best credit cards for travel
  • How we save thousands of pounds each year on travel
  • How to plan the honeymoon of your dreams on a limited budget

The post How to spend a vacation on a budget appeared first on Minority Mindset.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I vacation on a tight budget?

There are many ways to vacation on a tight budget. You can stay in a hostel, camp, or couch surf. You can also take public transportation and stay in cheap hotels.

How much should I budget for a vacation?

The average cost of a vacation is $1,000.

What can you do on vacation with no money?

You can go to the beach, or you can go on a hike.

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