It’s vacation time, but your wallet is looking a bit thin. Don’t worry! There are lots of tips to take a budget vacation without missing out on the fun! Here is a guide for planning a vacation on a budget.
Before You Leave – Tips for a Budget Vacation
You’ve decided where you want to go on your budget vacation. Now you just need to figure out how to get there! If you’re flying, it’s always good practice to book as far in advance as possible. As a general rule, the closer you are to your flight date, the more expensive the flights will be. But that’s not all. You should check out a few different websites to compare prices. Kayak is a popular one, as are Skyscanner and Expedia.
When choosing a flight, watch out for those extra fees, which can quickly add up. A few airlines still don’t charge extra for baggage or for things like children’s car seats, but many do. In addition, sometimes you might notice that a flight is cheaper if you also book a hotel. Don’t worry! You can book that package deal and just not stay at the hotel.
1. Booking a Rental Car for Your Budget Vacation
As with flights, it pays to book your rental car as soon as you’ve fixed your destination and dates. Doing that can save you a bundle on your budget vacation. Besides, if you’ve waited too long to reserve over a big holiday, you might get some bad news. During Thanksgiving or Christmas, you might find there are no more cars to be had. And, if you’re traveling to an out-of-the-way place, there might not be too many cars to go around in the first place.
Another way you can save money is by having a credit card that covers insurance. There will be some restrictions in place, so be sure to read the fine print. But by using the insurance that goes along with your card you can avoid the hefty rental car insurance charges. And make sure you’re not talked into all the fancy extras when you get to the counter. Do you really need a navigation device when you have a cell phone with maps you can use offline? Refraining from that allows you to spend a little more elsewhere on your budget vacation.
2. Picking the Right Accommodation for a Budget Vacation
There are several ways to save big on accommodations. Here again, it pays to take a look at various websites for hotels. But does it need to be a hotel? Especially for families, it can really pay off to rent a private apartment for your budget vacation. You can find these over websites such as Airbnb or VBRO. These accommodations are not only often less expensive than a hotel, but they provide other benefits as well. For one, you’re able to cook your own food instead of having to eat at restaurants. Also, you’ll have more room to stretch out and find a quiet corner if the kids are too loud. On some websites like homeexchange.com you can even find free exchanges after registering and paying a yearly fee.
3. When You Arrive at Your Budget Vacation Destination
If you haven’t arrived at your destination by car, you can save oodles of money by using public transportation. There’s no need to take taxis or use a rental car in big cities. Public transport will often save you a lot of time too, especially in congested cities like Paris or Tokyo. And be sure to check for sightseeing passes before you leave. They often offer discounted admission to a variety of tourist stops. Another popular way of making sure you see all the highlights while sticking to your budget is to use a hop-on-hop-off bus. These have become widespread in bigger cities. For a fixed price, you can hop on and visit as many places as you like along the route.
4. Many Other Ways to Save
There are a lot of ways to keep costs down on a budget vacation. Eat lunch on a park bench with bread, cheese, and wine when you’re Paris. Who needs an expensive restaurant when the sights are free? Or take your own tea bags with you so you only need to ask for hot water in a hotel. But perhaps the most important way to make sure your holiday doesn’t end up costing an arm and a leg is to set a budget and keep to it.
Wherever you go, be sure to send lots of great photos to your family on FamilyApp!