How to Plan a Cheap Vacation

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If you have been following my Instagram, then you know that I have been spending time in Miami with my family and friends. For those that don’t know, I recently moved from Miami to Los Angeles 2 years ago so [for me] Miami is more than a vacation spot –its home. Over the years I have learned a lot on how to vacation on a budget- the cost effective way. Vacationing on a budget-the cost effective way- without worrying about spending an excess amount of cash requires placing extra thought on every dollar you intend to spend while traveling.

Here are a few of my suggestions to plan a Cheap Vacation

1. Take a vacation in your hometown
What could not be more expensive than spending a day or two touring some of the favored areas in your own hometown? Rather than driving your car to some popular tourist destination or reserving plane tickets that are pricey, you should encourage friends and your family to follow you for a vacation right in your hometown.

A few fun activities that you could do while having a ‘staycation’ are: watching movies, arrange picnics with your loved ones or organize barbecue parties. You could visit local museums or hike nature trails in the area. Lots of people are unaware of history and the beauty in their own backyard!

2. Go on a road trip
Another example of an inexpensive family vacation is taking a camp trailer or tent and going on a road trip. There are a lot of great campgrounds around Los Angeles that I have newly discovered. In bigger towns it is possible to find a place to hook up a trailer for a small nightly fee. Since you are able to cook your own food, etc., you’ll conserve accommodation and meal cash. If you don’t have your own travel trailer or tent, you can rent RV’s and camping equipment for a reasonable fee. Check your local sporting goods store for rental locations.

Road trips are easy ways to spend more time and to catch up with your loved ones. What can be more fun than playing some of your favorite songs as you take a trip to another state?! Not to mention all the memories that you will make along the way!

3. Prevent peak seasons
If you want to go on an out-town-excursion by airplane, you could still make vacationing on a budget by avoiding peak seasons (e.g. National Holidays). Most airlines generally have very high ticket prices during specific months of the year, so you should refrain from booking flights around this time. You could also take advantage special discounts from leading airlines by using credit card that offer reward benefits. Start reviewing the features of your credit card and use it to receive the best deals for your plane tickets.

Most tourist destinations will likely be less busy in the off season, as well as save you money on air travel. When I was living in Miami I was able to find that the best time to visit with Disneyworld was early November or late February. A little reach and planning will take you far!

4. Take Advantage of the Internet
With a lot of travel sites on the internet, they all are competing for your travel dollar. Use sites that offer you the ability to compare prices. My favorite is Kayak, but I just newly discovered Hot Wire. It lets you identify a price, within your budget. The catch is that you don’t know what hotel or rental Car Company you’re using until after your bid is accepted and you’ve paid. Lots of people are frightened because they don’t know what they will get. Nevertheless, I have used it several times and have been pleasantly surprised! They use leading rental companies and resorts, so you’re really getting a good quality deal!

You may also place in a ‘Low-Fare’ alert at Travelocity. This can permit you to monitor the airfare for a certain place. You decide on the airport and what cost you’re willing to pay .They will then send you an email alert when the fare falls below your stated cost. But act fast when you get the e-mail, sometimes the fare only lasts a half hour or so!

5. Eat Like a Local
Resort eateries tend to be pricier than restaurants in the surrounding region. If you can’t manage to spend $30 each morning request recommendations for sandwich stores or cheap cafes nearby. Street food is another alternative that is low-cost and is an excellent way to taste genuine local cuisine. You can even save on bites, lunch and breakfast —and experience local colour—by purchasing fresh produce.

It’s very possible to have a great vacation without spending a lot of cash. Simply use your imagination and find new alternatives for lodging and traveling. Remember, your family and friend will not recall how much you spent. They are going to recall how much fun you had together!

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