Great ideas for a vacation on a shoestring budget
While a luxury vacation might sound appealing, not everyone is able to afford to spend hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars getting away. If you are limited to a tight budget, fear not as there are ways to keep down the costs and take a vacation on a shoestring budget. Check out these ideas and tips below.
1. Stay Close To Home
There are many beautiful places to visit that do not necessarily mean booking a flight or staying in a hotel. Think about taking a vacation close to home. For instance, search around for lakes, state and national parks, camping sites, or points of interest in nearby cities within the state or region. Imagine staring up at the stars in the night sky while you camp by the side of a lake, there is nothing like it and it will not break the bank.
2. Plan Your Vacation Timing Wisely
Planning when to take a vacation can save you a great deal of money. The rates at hotels and apartments, along with flights, are generally more costly during peak periods. If you have the luxury of being able to take a vacation at any time of the year try to avoid periods in peak season. Depending, on where you are going, those peak seasons will vary. A quick search online will show peak seasons and when you can possibly expect to save upwards of 40% just by going slightly off season. In addition, booking a vacation midweek Monday to Friday generally mean rates are lowered by as much as 20% compared to weekends. As a general rule, Thursday through Sunday are the most expensive times to travel and book a hotel.
3. Check For Coupons
When considering to book your vacation (or before you leave for your destination), check to find out if there are any coupons or places that allow free entrance for children. Often when booking a hotel or apartment and flights together, you might find deals such as children go free or allow free entry or money off coupons with substantial savings.
4. Vacation In Locations Offering Free Activities
When looking to save money on vacation, you might want to do some research beforehand and find locations where free activities are on offer. This means that when you arrive at your destination you are not going to have to pay out to enjoy activities with the family. A quick google search such as "free places to visit at..." can yield you a ton of great options to check out.
5. Day Trips Are An Inexpensive Vacation
Just because you might not have the money to spare on a vacation for a week or two, it does not mean you are stuck at home. Consider taking a day trip or two over the course of a week. To keep costs down, consider preparing your food ahead of time and take it along. This will save on the cost of having to purchase dinner or lunch when out. Food and drinks are often one of the biggest expenses on vacation.
Happy vacationing! If you want to improve your budgeting and ability to save, try Sunbelt Money Manager inside Central Sunbelt's online Cloud Branch. Money Manager will build a budget for you, and auto categorize your purchases as you spend. Set savings goals and let real-time alerts help you stay on track. You can set a goal such as a summer vacation and let Money Manager help get you there!
To speak with a certified financial counselor for free, call 601-649-7181 option 6 or visit www.sunbeltfcu.org/wellness
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