It may only be April but before we know it the summer will be upon us. If you’re anything like me your warm weather weekends are already filling up with weddings, cookouts, road races, and concerts. You’re also like me if you like to throw at least one summer get-away into the mix. Whether it’s a relaxing long weekend at the beach or a week-long trip to an amusement park, here are some tips to ensure you won’t be flat broke when September rolls around again.
Celebrate summer with festivals, carnivals, and free events.
Many cities have different festivals and events throughout the summer that are very cheap (or even free). By planning your vacation around one of these events you can enjoy yourself without spending a fortune.
It doesn’t need to be 5-star to be worth your while.
Vacations don’t need to be extravagant and over-the-top to be enjoyable. Focusing on the simple pleasures can make your time-off more relaxing. Use your low budget vacation as an excuse to really relax. For example go on a simple weekend trip to a bed and breakfast, shut off your cell phone, and don’t bring your computer. Enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch, read a book on the beach with no distractions, or have a picnic. Force yourself to go back to a simpler (much less expensive) time. This is honestly my favorite type of summer get-away. I may be old fashioned but I think we all need to go back to the basics every once in a while. Not to mention you’ll come back from vacation relaxed instead of exhausted.
Travel off-season or midweek.
If you prefer to plan a more lavish vacation, travel Monday through Thursday, by doing so you avoid the higher weekend lodging rates (and the crowds as well). Better yet, destinations that are desirable in the winter will offer deals in order to get your off-season summer dollars. Try looking for a summer vacation in the Bahamas or Florida. Or look into spending a week somewhere known for skiing and snowboarding.
Save on food.
Food can easily become the most costly part of vacation, especially if you go out for every meal. Eating out and trying new places is one of my favorite aspects of vacation. But three meals a day at a restaurant isn’t friendly on the wallet (or the waistline). You can save a serious amount of money if you find lodging that has a kitchenette or even just a fridge. This way you can enjoy a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast instead of spending money on a breakfast buffet. Or pack sandwiches for a day trip to the waterpark.
Don’t limit yourself to hotels.
There are a lot of different options when it comes to lodging. Hotels tend to be the most expensive yet they are the first place people tend to look. If you are traveling with a group maybe a cabin is the cheaper option. Traveling alone or with one other person maybe you should look into a Hostel. Campgrounds may surprise you as well. Although camping in a tent is something I enjoy (and it only costs about $15-30 per night), it’s not the only option. Most resort campgrounds have all the amenities you need and offer rental trailers and cabins. Be open-minded and creative about where you stay and you may be able to save a bundle.
No matter where you are traveling this summer if you are a little bit flexible and plan ahead you should be able to enjoy yourself without the added stress of money.
How do you save money on vacation? Where are you traveling this summer?