How to make your vacation budget-friendly
Wondering how to fit a vacation into your budget? There’s still plenty of sunshine and warm weather left to enjoy. To make things easier, we’ve got some tips on budget friendly travel. With a little planning and inspiration you can zero in on a vacation that will give you the get-away you need without breaking the bank.
Make sure you’re on the email list for an airline or two that you regularly fly with. Keeping an eye on their emailed specials, and being flexible with your destination can make for some great deals on trips all over the U.S. If you’re going to fly one of the many carriers that charge baggage fees, figure out how to pack light. Besides saving you money, it’ll save you time. There are plenty of good resources like this Travel Channel video, for tips on how to make the most of your carryon luggage space.
Use a vacation home rental site like VRBO.com, Airbnb.com or HomeAway.com. You’ll find small condos and lofts cozy enough for two all the way up to huge homes that sleep 20 or more. Most properties require minimum stays of 3 to 5 days, sometimes more during peak season, but if your trip is for more than just a long weekend these rentals are the way to go. They almost always end up costing less when you factor in buying groceries instead of eating at restaurants, and they especially make sense if there are more than two of you traveling together.
Take a road trip. Chances are that you’ve piled in the car with your family to take a vacation once or twice in your life. Chances are even better that all the airlines competing for your travel dollars and offering seemingly great fares (until you factor in all the extra costs) have made you forget that driving is also an option. Remember the days of “are we there yet?” You know how they say it’s more about the journey than it is the destination? Well, there’s nothing like better driving to take in the scenery and the uniqueness of your surroundings. Not convinced whether it’ll really be cheaper to drive? Check out this handy fly or drive calculator from BeFrugal.com.
Choose nature versus theme parks. One day passes for popular theme parks can run from $86 to $115 — you got it, for one day. For a family of four that’s $344 to $460, before three meals worth of food for everyone (‘cause who wants to leave early when you’ve paid that much for a pass?). Instead, think about a destination that includes beaches to lounge on, a lake or ocean to play in, or hiking trails to explore. You’d be amazed at how many free activities and beautiful spots you can find. For ideas, take a look at National Geographic’s list of Legendary Day Hikes in the National Parks and if you’re craving the sound of waves on the sand instead of birds in the trees, then see these Top 25 Beaches in the U.S. as rated by TripAdvisor.com.
Take a staycation. We saved the biggest money-saver, and maybe the most relaxing option for last. If you’re like a lot of us, unless you have out-of-town visitors you don’t ever think to do and see everything your local area has to offer. Wouldn’t it be nice to ditch the packing hassle, the cost of getting there, and the stiff neck from sleeping on a strange pillow? Why not finally visit the restaurants you’ve been dying to try, and see the movie you haven’t had time for? Find the best walking or biking trail around and indulge in a spa visit. Just promise us you won’t open your work laptop or check email.
If your summer travel isn’t as budget-friendly as you hoped and you need help paying for it, LendingPoint has you covered. We offer fast, fair and flexible vacation loans. See what kind of monthly payment fits your budget with our loan calculator, and check to see what offers you could qualify for. It only takes minutes and won’t affect your credit.