Fun Budget Vacation Ideas
When most people think of a fun vacation the following words don’t usually come to mind:Â cheap, economical, inexpensive, low cost, budget, practical. However, I’m here to tell you that you can have a great time on vacation and still not empty the emergency fund or have to finance a vacation.
Everybody’s idea of fun vacation is different and the amount that should be spent on a vacation also can vary greatly. For example, many people think the beach is the only place to spend their time relaxing. However, other might find enjoyment in skiing the slopes of the Rockies, roughing it out in the wilderness, spending a dust filled week at a dude ranch, bar hopping in the big city, spending the family fortune on the blackjack table in VegasÂ and the list goes on and on.
Just because you plan to travel on vacation doesn’t mean you have to forget about your budget and throw money out the window. There are many practical, money saving tips that can save you a few hundred dollars over the course of a week. Keep an open mind and don’t get in the mind set, “this is vacation and I’m going to do whatever it takes to have fun and relax”. That’s fine as long as you have some control over your wallet.
First, and the most obvious is to drive, not fly. I know if I drive I will lose 2 days of my vacation driving, if I fly that’s two more days I can spend at the beach. For a family of 4 to fly to a vacation spot it can cost upwards of $1,000 just for airfare. The gas and wear and tear on your car would probably only cost a couple of hundred dollars. Think of all the fun things you could do on vacation with an extra $800! One great idea is to rent a convertible for the drive down and drive back, sure it might cost $100 a day x 2 for the car, but you still come out way ahead and that would probably be more fun the flying anyway.
Don’t eat out at restaurants the entire time you are on vacation. Sure we all have to eat but we don’t have to eat fancy or expensive meals every night we are on vacation. One thing we do when going to the beach is go to the grocery store and buy breakfast and lunch for the entire week. Honestly we usually do eat dinner out every night but not always somewhere expensive. Order pizza one night or pick up some fast food, just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you have to waste tons of money on overpriced cuisine.
Don’t spend every night right in the middle of the action. Hotels and condos will be much higher priced if you stay right on the beach or right in the middle of a historical town. Plan to spend a couple of night in the action and the rest on the outskirts of the fun. Driving or riding a bike to your tourist destination can save you hundreds of dollars. If you want to take advantage of the “night life” take a taxi you will still come out ahead.
Never finance a vacation! If you don’t have the cash to go on a trip don’t even think about using plastic. When the trip is over and you are back to daily life you will regretÂ continuing to pay for your overpriced week of fun for months to come.
The final piece of advice is to go on vacation during off seasons. Vacationing the week of the fourth of July, New Years or other holiday season will cost you more in almost every vacation category. Plan ahead and check to see when peak seasons are and stay the weeks before or after.Â Accommodation and airfare prices (if you must fly)Â may be slashed by over 30Â % or more during the off-season compared to the peak travel seasons.
Don’t think of money saving ideas as a set back or a damper on your vacation fun. Be creative with your ideas and you will think yourself when the trip is over and you still have money in your wallet!