You deserve a vacation. You NEED a break.
But if you’re like most people, you don’t have an unlimited budget!
Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a fortune to vacation like royalty. Using the tips we share in today’s blog post, you can take a vacation that feels expensive on a shoestring budget:
Create a budget now.
If you haven’t already, start setting aside some money for your vacation. Once you know how much you have to spend, make a spreadsheet or use a personal budgeting tool like Mint to plan and track your expenses.
Next, make a prioritized list of splurges for your trip. What matters most to you on vacation: a gorgeous view? Spa services? 5-star dining? Determine what kind of extravagances you want the most. Then, consider in which areas of your vacation you’d be willing to make concessions to afford the luxuries that really matter to you. For example, it may be worth it to you to forego a daily cappuccino and croissant in favor of a massage.
Finally, be sure to budget discretionary dollars for shopping, rental fees, tips and other incidentals that can really add up. When you start your vacation-planning process with a clear idea of the funds you need, you can plan a great vacation without the sticker shock.
Choose your destination wisely.
Travel and lodging are typically two of the biggest line items in any vacation budget. Save money by:
- Traveling to cities that are less expensive to fly to.
- Hitting hot vacation spots before or after their high season.
- Selecting lesser known locations adjacent to popular destinations.
- Picking international destinations with favorable exchange rates.
Put the internet to work for you.
Create a free email account specifically for the purpose of receiving alerts for travel discounts. Sign up for hotel deal alerts. Check out Groupon Getaways and AirfareWatchdog. Create accounts with cruise lines like Disney, Royal Caribbean, or whatever else floats your boat. Then check your email regularly, looking for money-saving options that suit your plans.
Consider a vacation home or condo.
Hotels, resorts and cruise lines aren’t your only vacation options. In fact, vacation homes through sites like Airbnb or VRBO are typically less expensive (especially if you have a large group). Vacation rentals and condos offer the added convenience of a kitchen, so you can save money on meals.
Plan a staycation.
Is a family member’s schedule too hectic to allow a full-blown vacation? Or does the thought of packing and traveling not appeal to you? A “staycation” can be just as fun as travel! In fact, staycations save you travel time, allow you to sleep in the comfort of your own bed, and are much more economical than traditional vacations. If you decide on a staycation this year, this post explains how to get the most out of it.
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