Summer is here. Long days, warm weather, and relaxing vacations. The summer months bring an increased demand for travel, but you don't have to pay through the nose to have a great holiday. Here's a few tips to plan your next getaway on a budget.
1. Avoid the beach.
The beach is a great location, but it's a popular destination. Everyone and their mother will be headed to the shores. This will likely drive travel prices way up. Don't even think about your hotel or even renting a place to relax near the waves. If you're really dedicated, you can find a lesser known beach. But if you really want to save money, it's probably better to choose a less popular destination.
2. Don't worry about a rental car.
If you're headed to a big city, consider all your transportation options before booking an expensive rental car. Many cities have affordable public transportation options. Maybe you can save money by finding a hotel within walking distance of places you'd like to visit. You can supplement anything with Uber or Lyft. There's no need to drive on your vacation. Save money and leave the car in the park.
3. Minimize your restaurant eating.
There's no need to eat out for every meal on your trip. Yes, there will definitely be restaurants you'll want to experience. But you can cut back on your spending with a light grocery run when you arrive. Try to find a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast. You can easily make a sandwich in your hotel room. And then dinner can be your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Limiting your restaurant meals to one a day during your trip can cut more expenses than you think.
4. Find affordable, less popular attractions.
Everyone wants to go up the Empire State Building. That's what makes the tickets so pricey. There will definitely be expensive attractions that you can't miss, but not all of them have to break the bank. Look for cheap or even free places to visit. Public parks and museums are a couple examples. The best part about these places is that you can make your own adventure. Explore lesser known attractions to make a unique trip while saving money.
5. Plan a staycation.
If you can't afford to leave your city, don't wallow at home. Chances are there is plenty you haven't seen in your hometown. Do some research. Find the hole in the wall places you haven't been to yet. There's probably some kind of small restaurant, used book store, or even a vintage arcade to visit. You'll never know if you never look.
No vacation has to cost a fortune. If you just take the time to examine your options and budget accordingly, you can have a great trip for much less. While you might want to spend a lot on an amazing destination, getting back home without too much credit card debt will be a much better reward.