Five Tips for a Budget-Friendly Vacation

Posted on: 01/22/2020 at 11:42 a.m.

  1. Consider a “Staycation.” Typically, when people think about going on vacation, they think of visiting exotic places or traveling far from home. But you can enjoy a nice break right in your town — and never leave home. Plan to take in the local sights — act like a tourist in your own community. Or find some of the “less explored” spots in your area. Visit a fun attraction or theme park near you. You may even splurge and spend one night at a local hotel and enjoy its amenities.
  2. Travel at off-peak times. One of the best ways to stay within your budget is to vacation during off-peak times. Usually, pricing for airlines, rental cars, theme parks, hotels, and other popular locations is higher during times when most people have off from school or work, such as major holidays or during the summer. You may also consider booking travel during the middle of the week instead of the weekend. Additionally, it may be cheaper to take flights with multiple stops — saving $50 per ticket may be well worth a few layovers.
  3. Visit friends and family. Not only will you be able to enjoy the company of those you love, but lodging will often be free (if you’re invited to stay in their home). Beyond that, you’ll have your very own tour guide, taking in the sights and sounds you may miss otherwise. Plus, you’ll likely save on meals by eating with your hosts.
  4. Drive instead of fly. If you have the time, you will likely save money by driving to your vacation destination instead of flying. Sometimes you can find a cheap flight; however, when you calculate in a rental car or other transportation fees (taxi, Uber, etc.), it may still be cheaper to drive. Another bonus of driving is you’ll be able to travel at your own pace, stopping to see sights along the way, and spending quality time with your family.
  5. Plan ahead. Typically, the earlier you plan (at least six weeks in advance), the better deals you’ll get on airfare, hotels, and car rentals — and the longer you’ll have to pay for any accommodations or activities.

The whole purpose of a vacation is to take time away from the rigors of life and relax. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make memories that last. In fact, sometimes the simplest things you do are those you’ll remember the most.