Are you living on a tight budget? Are you trying to figure out a way to plan for a vacation that won’t have you spending a fortune? While everyone would love to get away, the fact is that vacations can be expensive, so it’s essential to find a way to stretch your money. This can mean the difference between being able to go somewhere, or having to stay home.
In order to help you with your holiday plans, we’ve gone ahead and put together a few tips that will help you get the most from your vacation for the least amount of money.
Opt for a Road Trip
One of the first tips is to choose your destination and mode of transportation wisely. A road trip will tend to be much more economical than booking a flight somewhere. And if it’s a city you plan on visiting, you’ll have the freedom to book accommodations outside the city limits and save a huge amount on hotel rates. You can then drive in and out of the city for the day.
Plan Your Route in Advance
Another money-saving tip is to be sure you plan your route in advance. You want to be sure you’re taking the most direct route so as not to waste a lot of gas. Let’s face it, gas prices tend to be going up on a fairly consistent basis, so getting lost and wasting an extra hour or two getting back on track ends up being a huge waste of money. It’s also a good idea to print out your directions or map in advance because you never know when technology could unexpectedly fail you!
When you map out your route in advance, you’ll also be able to calculate your exact mileage costs, which makes budgeting easier. Carmax has a handy Fuel Savings Calculator that you can use to figure out your gas mileage. You can even compare two different cars so you can see what each one would cost you on your trip.
Make Lunch Your Big Meal of the Day
Meals are another expense that can add up really quickly while you’re on vacation. Seasoned travelers have come to realize that it can be more economical to make lunch their big meal of the day rather than dinner. Lunch menus tend to be a bit cheaper in restaurants, even though there is no sacrifice to quality. It may also be easier to get into those popular restaurants at lunchtime rather than the busy dinner hours.
Travel During Off-Season
You can also take a little time to research your destination and learn what its peak travel season(s) is. By traveling off-season, you can save money on accommodations, attractions and sightseeing tours/tickets, meals, and not be fighting the crowds. A definite bonus of home educating!
Take Advantage of Free Admission
Finally, there are all kinds of art galleries and museums that will offer free admissions or savings at certain times of the day or days of the week. This will take a little advance research, but again can help you stretch your vacation budget. Remember to use your social media to find out what’s happening locally, and see if you can spot any local gems!