Tips for Budget Travel
Instead of foregoing your family vacation because of economic troubles, try to work within a reasonable budget to make your trip enjoyable and affordable.
Planning a vacation during a tough economy is a challenging thing to do. Now, sightseeing across the country is nearly impossible with rising gas costs. Add to the fact that airfare (unless the right sites are checked) is outrageously high, and families are tending to stay home during the summer.
Stay Close to Home When Vacationing
The first key to planning a vacation on a budget is to cut down on unnecessary expenses. The cheapest locations will be those in the state in which the vacation-hungry family resides.
Depending on the state, options include beaches and National forests. They could be living in a state full of endless vacation opportunities and not even know it. All states have a history and, therefore, will be host to a handful of museums and other historic sites, such as landmarks and old forts.
How to Locate Information on Vacation Ideas
Once the family has decided how much they are willing to spend, they should begin searching for vacation ideas that fall into that budget. How much or how little a family can spend will determine where they end up. The best resource for locating vacation spots is the internet.
A plethora of vacation websites exists for the sole purpose of attracting a family during vacation time. The best plan is to go through as many sites as possible, gathering as much information as possible. Another option is to hop on the nearest interstate and drive to the nearest rest area. Rest areas are stocked with brochures of sites that one might not normally find (even online).
To Drive or to Fly When on Vacation? That is the Question
Once a vacation has been chosen, and a budget is set, it is important to decide whether or not to drive or fly to that location. In some cases, flying is cheaper than driving; finding the right websites can lead to incredibly inexpensive deals that often include a hotel to boot.
If driving is selected, it is best to find various sources as to what the shortest (and therefore cheapest) route will be. This can be done by looking at an atlas or through various websites that provide shortcuts and the like.
Whether a family has the means to plan an expensive vacation or if they are forced to work within a budget, planning a vacation is an easy thing to do. There are numerous websites and various other sources that lead them in the right direction. If planning within a budget, it is best to remain as close to home as possible to save money on gas and lodging.
On the other hand, if a family wishes to travel further, they will have every chance to find the best deal possible, which sometimes include airline tickets and hotel prices. Regardless, the most important thing is to take advantage of time with family and get out there and enjoy a vacation.
Basic Budget Travel Tips
Try Off-Season Travel
Going to Florida during July and August will cost more than going in November and December. The basic economic lesson of timing your travel is to determine when everyone else wants to go. Demand is high during those times, allowing places to charge more for hotel rooms, foods, and other goodies.
Check for Large Groups
Traveling at the same time that large groups will be in town ensures you will pay a premium for everything you do. Going to Ann Arbor during the weekend of a Michigan home football game means dealing with 100,000 other people needing hotels and tourist items. If you’re not going for the big event, plan your travel around it for the best budget hotel prices.
Know where you are stopping to eat and rest and the entertainment venues you plan to visit. You can plan your budget if you know the cost of everything you’re planning to do.
Budget Airline Tips
Find Basic Flights for Budget Travelers
Flights without meals and extra room for passengers will cost less. Budget airlines are cheaper because they offer less to their passengers, but typically you are giving up only luxuries that you can do without for a few hours anyway.
Be Flexible on Flying Times
Budget flights on larger airlines are at times when others don’t want to travel – late at night or early in the morning. Being willing to travel during those times means you’re more likely to get a budget airline price.
Direct flights cost more. Being open to one or more layovers, especially for popular flight routes, helps you save on the price of tickets.
Budget Car Rental Tips
Avoid the Frills
Sure, you would like to have the dual-temperature control, all leather interior, and V6 upgrade. Do you need it, though? Car rental prices are directly related to the car you choose. For budget travel, pick a basic car to rent.
Be Flexible on Style
You may have a personal preference for a Toyota Camry, but the Honda Accord will work just as well. Budget car rental often means taking whatever is in stock, even if the car is a funky shade of green. Sit back and enjoy it; the car’s purpose is just to get you to the best vacation spots.
Rent a Car Seat
Most car rental places have car seats for rent, and it typically is easier and cheaper than lugging your seat on the plane.
Budget Hotel Tips
Get a Bed
Budget hotels have few frills. They probably have cable – and maybe a swimming pool. For the most part, though, budget travel means getting just the basics. A bed and a clean bathroom really are all you need in a hotel room. On a fun vacation, you won’t spend much time on it anyway.
Stay During the Week
The best hotel prices are during the week when most people are working. Staying from Tuesday through Friday will be much less than a Friday through Monday stay. Plan your budget travel for the off-peak times.
Reserve your room as early as you can to get the best prices.
Budget travel is possible with time and planning. When you travel for less, you won’t spend your vacation worrying about what you’re spending!