Now that summer’s here, it’s time to jumpstart your summer vacation planning. An important component, of course, is budgeting. You deserve a break, but just make sure you don’t break the bank.
Below are some guidelines and considerations for keeping the cost of your summer vacation low while still having a great time for yourself and for the whole family. You don’t want to feel guilty while on vacation or be thinking about expenses the entire time. So, plan well and follow some practical advice to keep costs low while having fun and making the most of your summer vacation!
Set your budget
The costs of summer vacation can add up quickly if you don’t make a budget and stick to it. With that said, there are many money-saving means of still having an excellent vacation. Start by determining the total amount of money that you can spend, and then begin breaking down that amount into categories.
So, think about costs for travel, lodging, food, activities, and other needs and begin subdividing amounts to fit those categories. While even the best budget is always an estimation, you will have a much better idea of your overall vacation finances.
Look for deals
Summer vacation season can mean increased prices at hotels, for gas, and for other seasonally-dependent expenses. However, that doesn’t mean that deals are nowhere to be found.
Airlines can still have deals for certain destinations, even during peak travel season and summer vacation times. Hotels, Airbnb venues, and other lodging providers might also offer specials if you’re staying a certain number of nights, etc. Such places also include perks, like free breakfast, pool access, and more, that can prevent having to pay for such services. Finally, destination-area restaurants and activity centers might have deals or specials available. Check their websites or scour sites like Groupon for discounts at your destination.
Vacation close to home
Not every summer vacation has to begin with choosing some far-away island destination. By vacationing within a few hours’ drive or a short flight away, you’ll save on travel costs. Plus, it’s a great way to figure out what’s to do and see not so far from home.
And staycations are a just-as-valid form of summer vacation. There are bound to be places you haven’t seen, restaurants you haven’t tried, and similar such places in your area. Come up with a plan to visit different museums, tourist attractions, parks, and other places each day. Then head out to a new destination each day just as you would when far away. You’ll save costs on travel and lodging, affording you the ability to do and see more close to home!
Plan meals and pack snacks
Food and meals are some of the biggest expenses on any vacation. And while enjoying some good meals is part of vacation, bring your own snacks from home and even plan on having some meals that you prepare yourself. When looking for lodging, you can find hotel rooms, house rentals, and Airbnb accommodations that include small kitchens. This way, you can make a few meals even while away from home.
Going out to eat for every meal can get expensive and even a little too filling if you’re trying to eat light before, say, a long hike and exploring a new park! So, plan on some meals made at “home” even while on vacation.
City center costs
When you’re choosing a place to stay, be it a hotel, rented room, or another type of accommodation, try and avoid staying right in the middle of a city or right in the most touristy areas. Prices tend to be high at such locations. Instead, it’s best to look for places located outside of the center of the city, where prices will often be more affordable.
Most cities and destinations have plenty of travel options to get into cities and places with attractions. If you didn’t drive, buses, trains, rideshares, taxis, and your own two feet can take you right where you need to go. Yes, staying outside or on the edges of your destination location can add commute time, but a little careful planning can make the cost-savings well worth it.
Going on vacation will always cost money, but there’s a smart way to budget and to make vacation cost less without having to give up on fun, family time or seeing and doing everything that you want to!