It’s Memorial Day weekend and you know what that means! It’s finally SUMMER! Time to relax, rejuvenate and revitalize while the weather is good and the vacation deals are being rolled out. If you’re thinking you have to break the bank or take out credit to afford a nice vacation, you’re wrong. And no, you do not have to go on a scavenger hunt for hidden deals on the dark web to afford a nice vacation either. Depending on where you’re going, the time that you go and who you go with, you can still have a memorable time and spend less money. In this post, I will share how to save money on your next vacation in 2021.
Create A Vacation Budget
Before spending a penny on your vacation, you need to plan. How much will you spend? Where will you go? How will you get there? What activities will you do? Then you need to figure out how you’ll go about acquiring the funds. A vacation budget ensures you enjoy your time and won’t end up overspending, or worse, having to go into debt. A vacation does not have to be island hopping in the Caribbean. It can be enjoying a historical township in your state or taking a road trip across state lines. Once you have a number in mind, you can decide how you want to spend it. The key is to look for flights, hotels, and entertainment that will all fit in your budget. Here is a great guide to creating a budget [How To Create A Personal Budget].
Start Planning Early
Saving money on a vacation involves detailed planning. It is through planning that you avoid the spur of the moment decisions that end up being expensive. Why? Well, you did not give yourself enough time to compare the prices of flights, hotels and attractions. When you start planning early you can plan the details of your trip and choose options that everyone can enjoy that are also budget friendly. You may even come across alternative or new activities for the family to enjoy that are completely free.
Be Conscious About Timing
Having a budget friendly vacation sometimes means you have to time your vacations right. Usually, hotels and airlines raise their prices during peak seasons to take advantage of the high demand. Alternatively, during off-peak seasons the same businesses will lower their prices to incentivize people to travel. For example, the cost of a weekend at Niagara Falls in the summer is more expensive than a weekend in the Spring. Savvy budget travelers take advantage of this phenomenon and are able to enjoy their vacations at a fraction of the price that others may pay . This is a great way to save money on your next vacation.
Drive To Your Destination
A trip to Mexico, Hawaii or France sounds breathtaking and amazing but there are many cities here in the U.S. that are within driving distance that you can enjoy. Driving to your vacation can be a part of the vacation itself in that you can turn it into a fun road trip. You can stop in a famous city or attraction on your way to your destination. Moreover, the prices of airline tickets are on a steep upward incline, so this is a very good budget friendly alternative. Not only that, but road trips also give you a chance to connect with your friends and family as there is not much to do other than enjoy each other’s company.
Take Advantage of Low-Cost Entertainment
If your vacations are primarily night clubs and parties, skip this section. However, if your vacations are made up of museum visits, hiking, historical sightseeing, beaches etc. there are many cost-effective ways to enjoy those events. If you time your vacation right, there may also be many local events that you can enjoy like concerts, art shows and many fun, family friendly outdoor activities. Be sure to go to the state/town/county website to take advantage of any opportunities for deals on their calendar of events.
Skip The Gift Shops
They say a single picture is worth a thousand words. Taking pictures with your family, friends and even locals is a great way to memorialize your vacation. Many people will spend a great deal for little souvenir trinkets that cost $20-100, but the real value of the item is probably around $10. Rather than buying souvenirs, on your next vacation take many pictures that you can share with family and friends upon your return. As the pictures are in a digital form, you can take them with you anywhere or share them with as many people as you like. This is one of my favorite things to do to save money on my vacations.
The above activities show how you can save money on your next vacation and still have a good time. However you choose to enjoy your vacation, do it responsibly while still working towards your ultimate financial goals.
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