Normally when it’s time to take a vacation the last thing that you want to think about is ‘saving’ money. Vacations are made for splurging and treating yourself good for all the hard work that you’ve done, right? Most people probably think that, if they had to ‘save money’, their vaca would be a bust, but actually these days it’s not a sin to save even while you’re splurging a little.
The simple and often overlooked fact is that a vacation is supposed to be a relaxing time with family and friends. Some of the best vacations combine the 2 quite well and allow you to still save while you’re recharging the old batteries. Let’s take a look at how this can be achieved.
First, one of the biggest expenses of your vacation is going to be the flight. With the cost of gas going ever higher the cost of traveling by air has increased as well, making a flying vacation a very expensive proposition. If you want to save big bucks why not look at a vacation spot that you can drive to, or even one that is right in your own backyard.
Where you decide to go will affect your pocketbook greatly also. During the summer of course all of the ‘popular’ destinations are going to be the most expensive. The beach is going to be crowded but many other destinations like smaller national parks, rivers and lakes will be much less so. Renting a cabin on a lake, for example, would be a wonderful vacation experience and go much easier on your budget as well.
Then there’s the food; eating out eats a huge chunk of your vacation budget. Yes, eating out is also a fun thing to do on vacation and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it at all (I love eating out) but if it’s possible you should also cook your own breakfasts and eat lunches that you pack yourself. This will save a lot of money that, frankly, you can then use to splurge at dinner.
Finally there’s the new adage ‘go small but go often’. What that means is that instead of 1 large trip why not take a few smaller trips during the year. This way you can go to different places but more importantly spread the vacation bills out a little more evenly.
No matter what you do remember that it’s not what you do but who you do it with that counts the most. And have fun!