Vacations are one of the first things to be cut when your budget is tight. We’d like to think that saving money on vacation is possible, but we often resort to simply not taking them instead of figuring out how to make them work in our budget. The truth is, with some creative planning you and your family can still enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation on a reasonable amount of money.
It takes a little bit of extra planning, but here are a few simple solutions to saving money on vacation
1. Consider staying within driving distance
This is easier if you live near the ocean, a national park or another type of vacation spot but you’d be surprised how many great vacation spots you’re near, no matter where you live. The key is to find a place that you can drive to instead of having to fly. Not only do you avoid the headache of battling with an airport, but you also save money on traveling expenses.
Get creative -- there may be spots within a few hours drive of your home that you’ve never considered.
2. Skip the hotel
This is a great time to do some networking or bartering. Do you have a skill you can barter in exchange for a few days lodging at someone’s vacation house? What about offering to house-sit for someone who will be traveling but lives in another city? Don’t be afraid to get creative! If you know people who are renting out their house, it could be a great opportunity to take a mini vacation for much less than the price of a fancy hotel. Staying with friends or family is also a great way to save money as well as visit with people. Just remember that you must be extra respectful to your surroundings because someone else lives there (and it never hurts to leave a thank you note).
3. 10 to a room, 2 to a towel
In short, this means house as many people as you can, in as little space as you can. Many of us have memories of piling the whole family into one hotel room on a family trip, so why not save some bucks and follow the lead from your younger years? You aren’t going to spend much time in the room anyway so why waste the money on multiple rooms? Having a big family reunion and all staying in one house might seem like a headache but it’s also a fantastic way to make memories with the people you love, and to save a little money. In the end, “10 to a room” might be a little too crowded, and you might want to bring your own towels!
4. Cook your own food
Going out to eat can be an expensive venture, especially if you’re traveling with kids. Cooking dinners for your family or packing sandwich supplies for lunches is a huge money saver. To save money while still allowing for fun, consider doing breakfast and lunch in your room with supplies you pack, then eating dinner out. There are a lot of ways to save with food on vacation if you think outside the box!
What are your tips for vacationing on the cheap? We’d love if you would share them with us in the comments!
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