Mike Jones 4m 1,028
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Vacationing On A Budget
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When you start planning a vacation, one of the more sensitive subjects is the budget. Sure, it would be awesome to just decide to take a vacation, pack your bags, and jump on the next plane to where you want to go, but most people don’t have that luxury and have to plan their expenses. Sometimes, the vacation even gets canceled because the budget is tight. Here are some tips that will help you go on a vacation, even if you don’t have that much money to spend.
Pick the When and Where
Instead of going someplace famous, a major tourist attraction, why not pick a place less known, and, consequently, less expensive. In their list of budget travel destinations for 2016, Forbes.com offers details about places like Malaysia, China, Spain and Greece, countries with rich history, plenty of places to visit and cheap food and lodgings.
When to take a vacation is also something important to consider, as prices tend to go up during full-blown vacation season, but are a lot more manageable outside the season. Early or late summer is a great time for visiting a country in Europe, since mid-summer is the busiest time of the year, and winter is a good time to visit a Mediterranean country, like Spain or Greece. The weather is manageable and the prices are really low.
If you do a bit more research, you can find times when prices in major tourist destinations, like London or Paris, get lower. This usually happens immediately after a national holiday, or international events, like the Olympics or football tournaments. After the profits they make during these events, hotels and travel agencies can afford to offer some discounts, so why not take advantage of it?
Find Package Deals
If you’re flexible on the destination, you should have no problem finding a budget deal. Browse some travel websites and look for last-minute deals other people have canceled. Those will be sold cheaper by the website, out of fear of losing a potential customer. Of course, the safest way to find something cheap is to plan with months in advance.
Be flexible when it comes to the extras the deal offers. Don’t turn away just because it doesn’t offer car rental services. With a bit of effort, you will be able to find something on your own just as affordable. Or, you could use public transportation. While it will take you longer to move from place to place, a trip on the train in another country can be just as unforgettable an experience as visiting an attraction.
You should also try to find a friend or two to tag along. Package deals usually come for multiple people and are cheaper the more you are. And having people you care about close to you can make for an even more delightful experience.
Travel Light and Smart
Airlines charge for everything you have with you, and carrying three bags full of clothes for a one-week vacation may be a bit of an overkill. Pack as few items as possible and, preferably, fit everything in just one backpack if you’re going for only a few days.
Take the old clothes you plan on throwing away, and replace them with new ones if you also want to go shopping during your vacation. You will travel lighter and free up some space in the wardrobe at the same time.
If you don’t take a package deal, planning the flight is another step where you can save a lot of money. Same as before, plan in advance and book round-trip tickets if you can. Also, don’t be afraid of connecting flights. While it will take longer for you to get where you want to, you will end up paying less than for a direct flight.
People spend a lot of money on food alone during their vacations. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, as long as, again, you are flexible. You will be able to find cheap places to eat wherever you go, without even compromising on the quality of the food. Sometimes, you won’t even find the local specialties without going off the beaten path.
Instead of booking a hotel with breakfast included, why not find yourself a small café nearby, where you can enjoy the local cuisine? Hotel breakfasts are more expensive and rarely offer the same quality as a restaurant or café would.
Take a walk and canvas the area on your first day, and make a note of the restaurants that catch your eye. In most countries, restaurants have the habit of displaying their menu outside the door, along with the prices, so you can make an idea of which one is cheaper and, based on looks and number of customers, you can make an idea about how good it is.
The number of stars on the hotel you choose can sometimes be misleading. Always try to pick a hotel with a lot of, and good reviews. If you’re doing the search on a website that centralizes offers for a lot of hotels, you should also try going directly to the websites of smaller hotel chains. Sometimes, you will find better deals there.
Where the hotel is located is also reflected in the price. Instead of booking a room near a city center or major tourist attraction, try to find a hotel on the outskirts or another nearby town, which has a direct or easy to follow route to your points of interest. Prices drop significantly lower the farther away you go, and hotel staff tends to be nicer or at least has more time to take care of your needs.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make your next vacation a definite success, even you’re on a budget.
About the Author
With a master’s degree in Mass-Communications, Mike Jones is professional writer who focuses on personal growth and self-development. He was always fascinated about psychology and what makes people tick and uses that information to help people reach their full potential.