Vacations should be fun, relaxing, and ideally affordable. Unfortunately, there are times where we might get unlucky with our holiday, resulting in a boring holiday that probably cost you way too much money. So if you want to halve the cost of your next trip while doubling the fun, here are some crucial tips to keep in mind.
7 Vacation Tips To Stay On Budget & Still Have Fun
Bring people that are a good fit for your style of holiday
If you’re going to bring people with you, make sure you bring people that are compatible with your style of holiday. Some people much prefer to just relax and soak in the sights and sounds while they unwind. However, others would prefer to go partying every night and meet new people.
You can’t really mix these two types of people, so you should try and pick compatible people to tag along with you. If you can’t agree on what to do, then it’s just going to be a bad experience for everyone involved.
Similarly, if going alone or as a couple, try to think about the type of tourist (people) will be at your destination during your stay. If you are wanting to relax and unwind, you don’t want to find out that you booked during spring break and it will be filled with college students wanting to party 24/7.
Set a budget and don’t go above it
Sounds obvious, but there aren’t a lot of people who will actually bother budgeting for their holiday. Instead, they’ll just buy their travel tickets and then hope to get by with whatever money they have. If they run out, then they’ll just bring out their credit card or withdraw some cash. While this is perfectly fine in most cases, you might end up spending way more money than you hoped.
Try and be frugal on your holiday–you should never feel like you need to spend a lot of money to have fun! Plus, if you consistently overspend on your holidays, you reduce how often you can go on vacation.
Challenge yourself to spend less and reward yourself when you stick to your budget by being able to go away more often.
Investigate free activities
Believe it or not, no matter where you go, you can find tons of stuff to do that is absolutely free of charge. And I am not just talking about hiking or going to the beach.
A quick google search for “free things to do in…” will yield tons of results. Even big cities like London and New York have plenty of options. The great thing is that these options will usually give you a more authentic feel for your destination.
You don’t have to do all paid or all free activities on your vacation travel, but a good mix of the two will save you tons of money and allow you to experience more.
Plan locations ahead of time but don’t make a strict schedule
If you make a strict schedule for your holiday then you’re asking for trouble. Things don’t always go as planned so it’s usually best to just have a rough idea of what you want to do instead of trying to fit loads of things into a single day.
For example, you could search what to do in Myrtle Beach if you’re in South Carolina or a neighbouring state. This is a very general term to search and will give you loads of ideas. However, don’t get too crazy with your planning. Aim to do one or two things in the day and use the rest of your time to relax and get from one attraction to another.
The trick is to have an ultimate wish list, things that you absolutely want to do. Then you can fill your time around that. And if things don’t exactly go to plan, at least your bucket list of experiences will happen.
For example, my husband and I took a trip to Cape Cod to get married in 2008. We scheduled time to get the paperwork done and the actual ceremony first into our itinerary and then worked everything else around that.
Be mindful about your travel and accommodation options
Travel and accommodation are likely going to be the two biggest costs in your vacation. Thankfully, they can both be reduced if you know what you’re doing!
First, make sure you keep an eye on other accommodation options. While most people are accustomed to staying in a hotel, you might be able to save a lot of money if you choose Airbnb instead. For some people, a motel is usually enough because all they want is a place to sleep at the end of the day.
Travel is a similar story. Don’t just look for the quickest and most efficient way to get from point A to B; consider taking trains, coaches, or even walking to save money while also soaking in more of the sights and sounds.
Plan your meals
If you aren’t careful, you may end up spending tons of money on food during your travel and vacation. And that will eat into your budget for other things you may want to do.
Being mindful of your schedule, like travelling during times like lunch or dinner, can help you prepare. Obviously packing and taking a whole meal with you isn’t always an option, but taking a snack to carry you over is always a great idea.
If you will be away from your accommodations during mealtimes, research the best places to eat before you go. That way you don’t feel pressured to over pay or not be happy with the food choices available.
You may also consider upgrading your accommodations to include a kitchen. Yes, the initial cost of the room could be more but if you can at least make some of your meals and/or possibly be able to pack meals for day trips, it could save you a lot of money. If you do choose to go with an efficiency unit for your stay, make sure there are grocery stores nearby or you will defeat the whole purpose of having a full kitchen during your vacation.
Personally, I know that I have a tendency to overpack. I never wear or use half the stuff I take with me. Not only does that cost me more in baggage fees, but the aggravation of trudging from one place to another is exhausting.
Consider creating a capsule wardrobe the next time you go on vacation. And try to minimize the amount of electronics and jewelry you take with you. You don’t want to have to worry about your things or worse, have them stolen.
Once you have a rough itinerary, make a list of all the things you think you will need. Then try to condense the list by finding alternative or double duty options, like using your phone as your camera or bringing a jacket that can keep you warm and dress up an outfit for a dinner out.
Your next vacation doesn’t have to break the bank to be fun. With a little pre-planning, you can do all the things you want to do and not come home to more credit card debt. And that will make it even a better holiday experience.