How to Afford a Summer Vacation This Year
The summer might not be here yet, but it’s a good time to start thinking about a summer vacation. Summer vacations are great ways to relax, have a great time, and get away from your regular life for a while. Unfortunately, they can often be quite expensive. However, they don’t have to be. Here are some tips for planning an affordable summer vacation.
Plan in Advance
There’s a reason why this is a good time to think about your summer vacation, and that reason is because waiting until the last minute almost always costs more. Not only do many hotels, airlines, and tours charge more the closer you get to a date, but you also limit your choices when you wait too long. If you book well in advance, you have the luxury of being able to comparison shop and look around for the best deal. If you don’t have much time, this becomes nearly impossible to do.
Plus, when you start planning in advance, you have more time to save money, which is obviously important.
As mentioned, planning earlier gives you time to shop around and look at prices for different flights, hotels, and attractions. There are many websites and apps that can help you comparison shop for the best deal. Be sure to check these out when you’re planning a vacation.
It’s also a good idea to search for discounts. Many theme parks and other attractions offer deals if you book in advance, and you might be able to find some coupon codes out there as well.
Try to Avoid Flying
Depending on where you’re hoping to travel, you may be able to get there without flying. In most cases, flying is the most expensive way to travel. You might want to consider driving or taking a bus or train if these options are possible. It might take a bit longer to get where you’re going these ways, but it can also save you a lot of money.
Make Alternate Food Plans
Eating and drinking can seriously cut into your budget when you’re on vacation. Of course, you can’t just decide not to eat and drink. However, you can take snacks and water with you when you travel, and this can save you a lot of money.
You may even want to consider booking a hotel room or rental property that has a fridge or a full kitchen. This will allow you to shop at a grocery store and prepare at least some of your meals yourself, which will save you a lot of money.
Consider Another Time
Summer vacation doesn’t necessarily have to take place during July or August. These are often the most expensive times of the year to travel. If you can get time away another time, you may wish to book your trip for a different time of year.
Don’t only will it likely cost less to travel at another time, but it’s also usually less busy, so you’ll have more opportunities available to you.
Look for Free Events
No matter where you’re planning on spending your vacation, be on the look out for free events, activities, and attractions. Check out a local newspaper or website when you’re traveling and see what you can take part in for free. Depending on where you’re heading, you’ll might be able to find free concerts, festivals, shows, and many other events that are a lot of fun without costing a lot of money.
Consider a “Staycation”
Depending on where you live, there are likely a bunch of exciting events and attractions nearby that you probably haven’t taken full advantage of. Why not visit some of these during your vacation and turn it into a staycation instead? You can still have a great time and take part in new experiences and attractions, but you won’t have to pay for a flight and a hotel room.
Set a Budget
You’ll need to set a budget for your overall vacation cost (since you’ll probably have to save up for it) but a daily budget is also a great idea. Set a limit for how much you can spend each day when you’re on vacation. This will help you make wiser decisions and prevent you from getting into money trouble.