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How to Vacation on a Budget

It’s almost time for your trip and for you to dig into that vacation fund. Budgeting during the year can be difficult, but managing a budget during a vacation can be even more stressful! Here are some financial tips for staying on budget and making your vacation stress free!

Plan in advance! Planning and budgeting are two key components of your vacation. Be sure to keep in mind where you are going, what form of transportation you will use to get there, and activities you plan on doing when you get there. Browse online and look for recommended hotels or campgrounds, restaurants, beaches and entertainment spots that fit your budget. Make an outline of your budget and the various costs of the trip before you leave. Making a reservation and buying tickets in advance is a great way to plan.

Last minute planner? Looking to leave for a spontaneous, long weekend? Booking last minute can be the way to go. Many websites can offer various flights, hotels, attractions and activities, and car rentals for the last minute planner! You may even score on big savings.
Going in groups! Nothing says fun like grabbing a group of friends and adventuring together! Group rates for hotels, attractions, and flights can near around 15% off. It’s a great way to split up the costs.

Hotel alternatives!Depending on where you travel to, there are many accommodations you can use when finding a place to lodge. Look for vacation rentals on condos, townhouses and various hotel properties. If you have friends or family at your specific travel destination, you may be in luck! This can certainly help cut hotel costs, and at the same time, you get a nice visit in with friends and some advice on places to go nearby.

Daily cash allowance! Set a daily budget used for food and drink and other activities. If it is an emergency (or must-have) use your credit card. You can even sign up for a travel credit cards that can give you bonuses for airline points and bonus miles. Some credit cards even give cash back and discounts!

Score some deals! Look for discounts and coupons: Be on the lookout for any airline deals! Look for comps too such as a free breakfast at your hotel, various student/member discounts, and coupon books Ask for recommendations for inexpensive stops nearby.

Look out for souvenir shops! Souvenir shops can be tempting and are EVERYWHERE. Make a list of who you would like to buy gifts for and the price range of what you’d like to spend. Shop with your specific budget in mind! Don’t forget a unique souvenir for yourself that’s in your budget.

Exchange rates! Do your research on different exchange rates and transactions fees, depending on where you are going. Make sure you call your credit card company ahead of time to let them know you are going to another country or state. This will save you from the embarrassment and frustration of your card freezing during a transaction.

Hungry? Can’t forget about food! Wherever you go, there are many stops, diners, and restaurants that can fit your price range. Look online for specific recommendations that are suitable to your liking! You can also save money by picking up fresh produce at the local grocery store.

Wherever you plan to vacation, leaving reality for a few days can be relaxing and is well-deserved! Be sure to keep these affordable tips in mind and focus on spending your money wisely. Remember, you don’t need to be gone for weeks at a time, you can have the same benefits and experience, while saving your wallet, with a shorter vacation. Be sure to make your next vacation fit your budget, wants and needs.