5 Ways to Save on a Fantastic Vacation
A vacation should be a relaxing time for you to enjoy with your family, but sometimes your finances can cause a strain on the fun. With a bit of effort and careful planning, you can still enjoy a fantastic vacation without worrying about money. Here are five ways to save on a fantastic vacation.
When making your vacation budget, make sure it’s realistic and is going to allow you to enjoy yourself, without overspending. If it looks like your dream holiday is going to break the bank, don’t be afraid to scrap it and rethink because you won’t enjoy it if you’re going to come home and eat Ramen for weeks.
To make it easier to stick to your budget, you can use prepaid credit cards when you go on vacation. Unlike normal credits cards, they only let you use what you put on, so you won’t be tempted to overspend.
Avoid planes when possible because flying can be extremely expensive, even for a small family. For long distances, the cheapest way to get around is by bus. The hours can be pretty long but with a bit of effort you can keep the kids entertained and happy. A long road trip by can even be quite memorable. Make sure you pack enough snacks and think about packing a few surprises for the kids.
If you do have to fly, go with a cheap airline, their safety standards have to be up to scratch with even the most expensive airline; it’s just that they skimp on luxuries, which you can live without. It’s vital important to book early, the best time is 11 months in advance, when the flights have just been released and the cheap seats are still available. Look out for extra fees because they can easily add 20 percent extra to your flight costs.
In contrast to your flights, you should book your hotel late. By booking late you can take advantage of other peoples’ cancellations. Hotels would rather knock money off a room to get it filled at short notice than let it go empty. This policy has some risk attached to it, so make sure that you do some research about the hotels in the area to give you a few more options should one or more of the hotels stay fully booked. Also check the main travel websites for good deals on hotel rooms.
You could avoid the cost of hotels altogether and go camping instead. There are many state and national parks with very affordable camping rates.
By staying in the United States, you can save on all sorts of costs. The US is huge and there’s so much to see. Going to a different state can be like going to another country, you’ll be able to experience completely different cultures, meet new people and try new food, it can be just like taking a vacation abroad.
A bit further afield, mainland Europe has a lot to offer. There are lots of countries closely bunched together so you can visit a new one more or less every day, if you don’t mind travelling a bit. It’s easy to get around; there is a great transport infrastructure with cheap night trains and plenty of hostels, most of which are suitable for kids.
Try buying your vacation gear during the off-season, don’t wait until the last minute, it will be cheaper and shops might even be trying to get rid of last season’s goods. If you’re going abroad, keep an eye on the currency exchange rate to give you a good idea of the best rates. Collecting coupons from newspapers and magazines is a good way to get a cheap vacation; they offer some really great deals.
Also check out cruises and all-inclusive resorts to get the best bang for your buck.