Traveling is fun. But planning and paying for it? Not so much. While there’s much joy to be gained from spreading your wings, most people can’t afford to simply book flights and hotels without a care in the world about their bank balance. For the frugal-minded, these vacation-planning hacks will make it possible to have the amazing experiences you long for without breaking the bank. Here are tips for planning your next trip:
Rent a House or Condo Instead of Booking a Hotel
Hotels can be expensive, and coupled with flights often make up a large portion of the total cost of a vacation. Being smart about booking accommodations can save you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars on your next trip. Check out options on HomeAway or Airbnb to find out if you can book a home, condo, or apartment for less than you’d spend on an expensive hotel.
Get an All-Inclusive Vacation Package
If you do go the hotel route, you can still save money by booking an all-inclusive package. These packages include your accommodations as well as meals, snacks, beverages, and other services and amenities specific to your destination or resort.
If you’re on a tight budget, these packages are ideal because you know precisely how much you’re spending. Otherwise, you’re charging meals, adventures, and other costs throughout your stay that can lead to sticker shock when you get your final bill. Make sure you know precisely what is included in your package to avoid unwelcome surprise charges.
Get Affordable Care for Your Pets
If you have pets, you need to make arrangements for their care while you’re away, unless you’re taking Fido on the road with you. If your pets are staying behind, you’ll need to set up dog boarding services. For shorter trips, you could use a dog walker who can visit a few times each day to give your pup some love and exercise (and food), depending on your pets’ individual needs.
If you’ll be flying, be sure to plan out what you pack just as carefully as you’ve planned the trip itself. Weigh your bags down with too much and you could face extra fees at the airport or if you’re driving you may run out of trunk space. And be sure to choose luggage that is easy to maneuver so that you don’t injure yourself as you’re getting it to your destination.
Swap Homes for a Free (or Cheap) Stay
For the ultimate in savings, consider swapping your home with other travelers who are visiting your local area during the same time that you’re visiting theirs. Of course, this trick works best for people who live in areas that attract tourists or travelers, at least on occasion. Check out sites like Home Exchange to discover the possibilities.
Consider Camping (or Glamping)
For the outdoors-lovers and the adventurous type, camping is always an option that can result in substantial savings on your next vacation.
If traditional camping isn’t your style, glamping is a trend that offers the best of both worlds: the opportunity to spend a few days in the great outdoors without sacrificing all the luxuries of modern life. Whether you’re camping or glamping, you can visit a variety of destinations such as national parks, lakes, mountains, and more on a budget.
Planning a vacation is often so stressful that the experience itself loses its magic. You might feel like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation when you return because you’re stressing out about how you’ll pay off all those bills, catch up on work, or re-acclimate to your daily routine. Using savvy vacation-planning hacks takes the stress out of vacation planning, so that you can relax and enjoy your time away for the true escape you deserve.
Guest article by Dolly Santos. She is an information junkie who loves researching and learning about new topics. At Dollymath.com she compiles thoughtful educational articles based on her conscientious analysis of available information.
Image via Pixabay by romaneau