Budget Travel Guidelines

By: Ryan S
Planning to go on that much needed vacation with your family, friends or your partner doesn't have to cost you a fortune and stretch out your wallet until there is empty wallet. Tight budget can not limit you if you are willing to do some research and plan smartly.

First of all, plan your vacation for somewhere you can afford to go. If you're driving, make sure you factor in the gas it's going to cost to get you there and back. If your vehicle is a gas-guzzler, rent or borrow a more efficient model. If you want to fly, look for special airline discounts for certain locations, and choose your destination according to what's on sale. Particular time of the year like spring and fall, airline tickets are cheaper. Off-season is the another way to plan money-saver vacation. This way, you'll not only avoid the crowds, but also save a lot of money on your plane tickets, accommodations, rentals, and attraction prices.

One strategy to avoid paying for a stay in an overpriced hotel is to stay with nearby friends or relatives. While this may not be quite as exciting (or romantic) as you'd hoped, it will definitely save you a huge chunk of cash.

If you're looking for privacy and romance and don't relish the idea of adding more numbers to your group of two, find out if any of your friends or relatives own an out-of-town (or state, or country) cabin, cottage, or vacation rental they won't be using that you can "borrow"? for your holiday.

If you've got a week or so to vacation to your hearts' content, consider switching it up, opting for several nights' stay with friends/relatives (or borrowing their empty cabin), and spend the rest of your nights at a discounted hotel or low-cost bed and breakfast.

You may even want to consider camping if the weather is conducive to sleeping in the great outdoors.

Camping is not for everybody, but it certainly is one of the cheapest ways to accommodate a group on vacation. If you're okay with the car-and-bed-in-one concept, consider buying, renting, or (better yet) borrowing an RV, where you can travel at a leisurely pace, and sleep, cook, and use the washroom whenever you need to.

For food, there are also some money-saving tips and ideas that can help you with your vacation-on-a-budget plans. First, pack enough food for on the way there, especially if you're driving. Sandwiches, apples, carrot sticks, granola bars, muffins, trail mix, and chips make excellent edible driving companions.

Also, don't eat at expensive restaurants every night. Try to get the list of places where local people prefer to eat. Do some grocery shopping and cooking if you are renting a cabin. If you're going out for the day, pack some food with you and have a picnic.

You can save money with activities and attractions, too. While you may want to take a stab at the ridiculously overpriced theme park, try heading out to the beach or park instead, where you can go swimming, fishing, and hiking. If you're into history and culture, museums and historical sites offer a cost-effective alternative to more expensive activities.

With some careful planning, your tight budget doesn't have to get in the way of enjoying the vacation you deserve.

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