Traveling might not be one of your biggest expenses right now, but if don’t properly budget for a vacation it can be. Vacations are one of those things you want to be able to do at least once a year and ideally a couple times a year. With all of the planning and fun waiting to be had, they’re a great investment in life to have. There are a lot of times to make the most out of your vacations so that it’ll be fun for you and the whole family. Vacation memories stick with you throughout your life and are a well needed change of pace throughout the year.
- Affording the Luxuries of Life: People know that spending money on experiences are rewarding more so than just spending on material goods. They help with long-term happiness. With all of this in mind it shouldn’t be a budget breaker to go on a vacation every once in a while. You should plan a number of things out before even embarking on a trip or making any reservations. One of the first aspects of a vacation you need to plan out is timing. While there are major times of the year that everyone is going to go on vacation no matter what, you can be the outlier that goes during a different time. If you have the means to then you should consider flying during the midweek, late at night or early in the morning. See if you can stay at a hotel airport to rise and shine in the morning and be at the airport in no time. Take advantage of your favorite airline and earn AA miles for future trips, you’ll want to take more!
- Thinking Outside the Vacation Bubble: Just by shifting around some dates or times, you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars on airfare and other expenses. If you’re not able to go during an off-season check out the time between off-season and peak vacation times. During this time the crowds will be way thinned out and you can avoid cheaper prices. Many people would like to go on vacation during this time, but they’ve already planned their trips during the busy months. For many the traditional route has been staying in a hotel room and loading up the whole family in there. Luckily, there has been the rise of home rental services that families can take advantage of. Being able to stay at a house on vacation allows you a lot more space and can be taken advantage of through services like AirBnB or other websites. You’ll save money by being able to cook for yourselves, have more room for the whole family and an overall better experience. Consider combining your vacation with your friends and relatives so you’ll be able to rent a larger place and save money on it as well. You guys will be getting more for your money and a way to spend time with the entire family.
- Using Family Expenses to Your Benefit: Not many people know this, but they can get their children at incredibly young ages frequent flyer accounts. Over the years the amount of time they fly can add up and allow for the whole family to take advantage of a free trip. If you’re not using these points they’ll instead be wasted instead of saving you hundreds to even thousands of dollars of the years of vacation trip taking. If anyone is left home or abroad while you’re on your trip utilize social media and other video conversation to talk with them. This could include FaceTime or Skype so you don’t ring up a large phone bill from the entire exterior calling. It’s also a great way to show a loved one the sites around you.
- Utilize Technology For Cost Effective Solutions: Some of the things already listed are great technological tips for saving money. If you’re savvy and want to know even more ways to save money, then you’re in luck. There are things like Gasbuddy that help you find gas nearby and list different prices. Yelp is a great way for you to find out the locale and how good a place is to visit.
Google Maps is a must if you’re making your way around paired with other apps to show what kind of place you’re getting into and if it is going to be worthwhile or not. Overall, use technology to your advantage to save and make the best decisions on a trip.
Rachel Roberts worked in a travel agents for a number of years before starting up her own online travel business. She regularly writes travel articles aimed at families which appear around the web.