A vacation budget of $5,000 may seem like a lot, but as anyone knows, spending money is easy. Vacation spending has a way of getting out of control quickly. Setting up a budget and sticking to it is the best way to ensure that your vacation spending doesn’t haunt you for months following your trip.
There are several components to your budget you should always take into account, such as transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment. Be sure to include other costs that are unique to your situation as well.
Using These Strategies Will Help You Create A Vacation Budget That Works For You:
- Transportation. Transportation costs include airfare, car rental, gas, and parking. Most of these items are pretty easy to plan for. This tends to be the easiest part of the budget to plan for and stick to. Simply add up all the known costs and then plan accordingly for the likely gas and parking expenses.
- Food. You’ll probably do a pretty good job of sticking to your transportation budget, but food can quickly get out of hand. For example, you might plan on eating a bologna sandwich in your hotel room for lunch every day. But if you’re having a good time at the beach or amusement park, you’re probably just going to grab something there.
Entertainment. If you’re going to spend all your time at one location, like an amusement park, this category can also be easy to plan for. However, if you’re just heading to Miami, for instance, to wing it, entertainment costs can really mount up if they don’t figure into your budget.
- Even though the amusement park, zoo, and other tourist attractions are expensive places to eat, consider where you’re really most likely to eat and plan your budget accordingly.
Shopping. We always like to buy mementos while on vacation to remember the experience. Consider the costs of T-shirts, knick-knacks, and anything else you will be likely to buy and include this estimate in your vacation budget.
- Be realistic about how you and your family plan to spend your time. Then, you can get an idea of what you’re likely to spend. You don’t have to actually follow your plan, but budgeting for the activities you enjoy will help even if you change your plans.
Sticking to Your Budget
Try These Techniques To Stay Within Your Budget While You Are On Your Vacation
- Keep all your receipts throughout the day and keep a rough running total in your mind. Having even a rough idea of what you’re spending will help keep
- Staying within your vacation budget
you from straying too far.
- At the end of each day, check your spending against your budget. Total all your receipts each night and see how you’re doing in each of the categories. If you do this simple measurement each night, you dramatically increase the odds that you’ll stick to your budget.
- If you’re overspending, you’ll know that you need to tighten things up a bit. Maybe lunch will have to be at McDonald’s today. Or maybe a day of sightseeing instead of going to a baseball game is in order.
- By the same token, if you’re consistently under-spending relative to your plan, maybe you would enjoy a fancy dinner or more expensive entertainment on occasion.
What seems like plenty of money can run out quickly without some planning and restraint. By making a budget and sticking to it, you’ll find your vacation is a lot more enjoyable. You’ll also find that the months after the vacation are a lot more enjoyable, too.
What if you could stretch your $5,000 budget into a $10,000 vacation? Imagine how much more you could do and enjoy: a nicer hotel, better food, or maybe you would change your plans all together. It can be done. With some research and planning, taking a nicer vacation than you think you can afford is well within your reach.
Turn your vacation funds into more fun by trying some of these ideas:
- Airline Tickets. You can save a lot of money on airline tickets if you’re flexible with your travel dates. A day or two earlier or later can make a huge difference in the cost. Tuesdays – Thursdays are usually the cheapest days to travel by air.
- Consider alternate airports, too. Sometimes, flying into a different airport can save hundreds of dollars if you have to purchase several airline tickets. Larger cities typically have multiple airports.
- Hotels. If you’re going to a popular destination, you’re likely to find hotels that offer coupons or even free tickets to popular attractions.
- Search online for the lowest price hotel room that meets your needs. Also consider joining a hotel points program.
- You can save a lot of money on food by getting a hotel room with kitchen facilities. Food is usually a major expense when traveling. A kitchenette can save a ton of money, especially if you have kids and are staying for a week or more.
- Consider a cruise. Cruises offer spectacular food and a lot of entertainment for a relatively small amount of money. There’s always the option to sign up for off-ship excursions, which aren’t free, but usually aren’t too expensive either.
- You’ll need to include the cost to get to the ship from your house and back again, but cruises can offer a tremendous value for the money.
- Go in the off-season. Most travel locations have a peak and off-season. This is usually dependent on weather and when travelers are most available to travel there. By going in the off-season, there is much less demand and prices will be lower. This is true for air-travel, car rental, lodging, and most entertainment.
- You also have the benefit of fewer crowds to deal with.
- Group travel. Traveling with a group can really cut down on expenses. Larger groups can get better rates on everything, from transportation to lodging, food, and entertainment.
Adding a few, or all, of these ideas into the planning stages of your next vacation help save you thousands of dollars on your trip. These simple steps can help turn a vacation into a Vacation of a Lifetime.
Nothing refreshes the body and mind like a good vacation. Whether you travel alone, with family or extended family and close friends, it’s good to get away from the daily routine! Just think how much more relaxing and enjoyable it will be if you can do this and save money.
According to the American Society of Travel Agents, the 5 most budget-friendly travel destinations are:
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Orlando, Florida
- Branson, Missouri
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Los Angeles, California.
Here’s a few of the top reasons why these locales are so budget-friendly:
- Las Vegas, Nevada. In Las Vegas, you can get away, explore tourist attractions and stay in one of the many awesome hotel resorts, all for very decent prices.
- Because of the vast number of hotel rooms, nearly 150,000, says the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, many package deals to Vegas are available. A common travel package to Las Vegas includes flights, hotel, food credits, and a discount on show tickets.
- Vegas casinos will clamor for your business. However, if you want your vacation to Las Vegas to be truly budget-friendly, avoiding the casinos may be wise. Alternatively, you can budget a certain amount of money to enjoy the experience of the casinos, and when you hit that limit, stop gambling.
- With the many shows, amusement parks and great places to eat, there are plenty of non-gambling activities to do in Vegas as well.
- Orlando, Florida. Because of Disney World, Epcot, Universal Studios, Sea World, and more, there’s no end to the package deals you’ll find for Orlando, Florida. Families converge in groups each year to this sunny Florida vacation mecca.
- Depending on the time of year you go, you’ll snag some incredible “freebie” days at Disney and Universal Studios. Since July and August are in the middle of hurricane season, not to mention the hottest months of the year in Florida, you may prefer to avoid Orlando during those months.
- However, if you’re seeking a great travel deal to Orlando, you’ll find it in July and August.
- Branson, Missouri. Second only to Nashville, Tennessee, as the country music capital of the world, Branson offers a stay at a fine hotel, delicious meals, and entertaining shows at some astonishingly low prices.
- Here’s an example for a family of 4: two nights hotel, 4 free admissions to a water park, 4 free show tickets to a Country Music Hall, 2 free large pizzas, and a $10 card to a local play spot, all for $298.60 for those vacationing in June, July or August.
- Another real advantage to a Branson vacation is that the location is easily accessible from several U.S. states. You can take a car trip to get there in a day or so.
- A destination you might not have considered, Branson offers numerous budget-friendly opportunities.
- New Orleans, Louisiana. What’s not to like about a visit to New Orleans? Steeped in history and some of the most charming old Southern homes you’ll ever lay eyes on, this city of jazz and art is an experience in and of itself. If you haven’t been to New Orleans and you like to save money, you’ll definitely want to place this destination on your travel wish list.
- Beignets and chicory coffee can be had for a song at Café du Monde. A walk around Jackson Square when the artistes are displaying their wares is free!
- For another real New Orleans experience, take a stroll down Bourbon Street after dark and just listen to the music wafting out to the streets. No charge. Of course, you’ll be drawn in to one of the no-cover-charge lounges to enjoy the entertainment.
- Los Angeles, California. This destination surprises as one of the top five U.S. budget-friendly travel locations. With museums, Venice Beach, Chinatown, and all things Hollywood, consider a budget-friendly trip to LA. Allow time to enjoy the free sightseeing and inexpensive (but good) street food.
- Exploring Universal City Walk or the Hollywood Walk of Fame won’t cost a dime, except for food and drink. Include in your budget what you’d like to spend on shopping and entertainment at these locations so you don’t get carried away and overspend.
With careful pre-planning coupled with a great package deal, you’re sure to live it up during your cost-saving vacation to one of these top 5 budget-friendly vacation destinations. Whatever your pleasure, you can afford to travel to one of these budget-friendly vacation destinations.
Like most of us, you probably love to go on vacation, but hate the expense. Below are six tips that can dramatically cut the cost of your next vacation. Instead of putting so much money toward your travel expenses, you can save it or spend it on something that really matters to you.
Save Money on Your Next Vacation With These Six Tips
- Check out nearby airports. Many decent-sized cities have multiple airports. You might be surprised at the difference in cost.
Avoid checking your bags. Airlines have become aggressive about charging for bags you check. Look into any fees the airlines charge for checked bags; policies vary considerably. It might make sense for everyone in the family to have a carry-on to avoid those charges.
- Consider looking into airports within a 50-mile radius. The money you can save might be worth an hour drive.
Think big. If a large group is travelling with you, you might be better off renting a house or a large suite with a kitchenette.
- Get some friends to travel with you, and your trip may be even more economical. You can split the rental fees and you might even have more fun in the process.
Consider your travel days. Some days can be much less expensive for flights than others. Look at all your options. The same situation applies to hotel rooms; the rates often vary widely by the day. Some real savings can be found here.
- Not only can you save money on your accommodations, you can prepare your own food. You can save a lot by eating in. If you want to spend that money while on vacation, put it toward something you’ll remember 10 years from now. That’s probably not going to be food!
Go during the off-peak season. Off-peak travel seasons may not work if you have children, since school can be an issue. But if you don’t have kids, the savings can be considerable. Hotel rooms, car rentals, and flights can all be much less expensive.
- One note: house and villa rentals are frequently by the week. However, some rentals are Friday-Sunday or Monday-Thursday. Weekend rates can be much costlier than weekdays. See if your plans will allow you to take advantage of the lower-priced days.
Stay Closer to home. You may be surprised how many French people have never been to Paris. Or how many people from Arizona have never seen the Grand Canyon. Try looking locally for destinations. Have you fully taken advantage of what your area has to offer
- An airline ticket to Europe can be half the regular cost during certain times of the year, saving you hundreds of dollars on each ticket.
- Not only will you spend less money, but the crowds are much smaller.
- In many places, like Florida, the beach can be a lot more comfortable in May or October than it is in July.
- A vacation with a day spent at the amusement park, another day at the beach, another exploring the woods, and another site-seeing, all while sleeping in your own bed at night might be the perfect vacation for you and your family.
To really cut vacation costs, use as many of these tips as your situation will allow. A vacation doesn’t have to be financially painful. Plus, you may have more fun doing something out of the ordinary. And you may even save enough for another vacation!