3 Min Read
Are you dreaming of going on a vacation but think you can’t afford it?
The fact is, a vacation doesn’t have to be pricey at all. Use these eight easy tips to plan an affordable vacation you can enjoy without breaking the bank.
How To Plan An Affordable Vacation
1. Define Your Priorities
The first important step you should take before you start planning a vacation is to define your priorities. If you’re not willing to take anything less than a top-shelf experience, you probably better save up before you indulge yourself.
However, if your priority is to learn more about a new country, experience a different culture, or to take a few days off to relax, you can likely do so on an affordable budget.
So start by defining your vacation goals. Common vacation priorities include:
• Experiencing a different culture
• Discovering historic sites
• Trying new food
• Visiting a specific place – beach or a mountain
• Learning something new
Once you’ve defined exactly what you want to get out of your vacation, you can focus on the next tips explained below to plan your affordable vacation.
2. Choose a Budget-Friendly Destination
It’s no secret that cheap travel may depend on your destination. Here’s the list of details you should take into consideration when choosing a vacation spot:
• Flight ticket cost
• Accommodation cost
• Food cost
• Transportation cost
• Additional costs like museum entries and other tourist attractions
Luckily, you can easily find information on all the above-mentioned details online and assess which places are more budget-friendly compared to others.
3. Set a Travel Budget
How much should you save for your vacation? Booking a vacation without any set budget in mind isn’t the way to set yourself up for success. In fact, it’s so tempting to buy cheap airfare on a whim, book an attractive hotel, and purchase various excursions online that you could end up overspending without realizing it.
So before you go ahead and start booking your travel, make sure to set a budget and stick to it.
And if you're traveling with other people there are things to consider to plan a vacation on a budget that works for everyone.
4. Travel During the Off-Season
Most airlines, hotels, and attractions lower their prices when fewer people are visiting the destination. Plus, you’ll get to benefit from less crowded attractions.
So if you’re flexible on your schedule, planning your vacation during the off-season can help you save a lot of money.
While tourist seasons vary by destination, tourist season is typically during summer and winter, when school’s out.
5. Book Early
Once you’ve identified your priorities, set your budget, and picked an estimated time for your vacation, it’s important to book everything early. In general, airlines and hotels offer early-bird deals you can benefit from.
The most optimal time to book your fares and accommodation is one to three months in advance.
6. Use a Travel Perks Card
A travel perks card may help you save money from unexpected costs while you travel.
For example, some debit cards gives you automatic travel insurance when you book travel by using their card. So if your luggage is lost or delayed for a long-time, your flight is cancelled or delayed, or you rent a car on your trip, insurance is included.
Talk about a perk!
7. Don’t Eat Out for Every Meal
Some hotels come with included meals. If you pick a budget-friendly hotel with included food, it can save you a lot of money.
However, if your hotel doesn’t include meals, you could consider buying food at a local grocery store instead of going out to a restaurant for each mealtime.
In addition, you can save money by bringing your own snacks and beverages when you go out to explore attractions, parks, and sports games. Remember, snacks and drinks are usually two to three times more expensive at tourist attractions. For example, you can save $2 to $5 per bottle if you buy water or other beverages at a grocery store and bring it with you.
8. Look for Hotel Alternatives
Hotels are not the only type of accommodation worth considering. Actually, it can be the most expensive of all options. You can save a significant amount of money by exploring other types of accommodation, such as:
• Vacation rentals (Airbnb, Vrbo)
Ready to Plan an Affordable Vacation?
An idea of a vacation doesn’t have to stay as a dream. In fact, planning an affordable vacation is more than a reality.
Just make sure to take the tips listed above into consideration, and most importantly, start saving money for your vacation ahead of time. Remember, the earlier you start saving and the more consistent you are with it, the better.
Monorail can help you create a savings goal for your next trip so you can set money aside on autopilot. See how saving for a trip with Monorail works.
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