Vacation on a Budget

After the economic downturn that we are recovering from in our country, people are still working on rebuilding the family budget and hopefully still remembering the things that we learned.  You don’t have to go into major debt or go crazy to have a fun family vacation.

Here are some tips for planning your vacation on a budget:

Ask Yourself How Much Can You Afford to Spend on Your Vacation?
Regardless of where you plan to go, the first step you need to consider when you’re planning a family vacation is the budget. How much can you afford for a family vacation? Your budget will most likely be the deciding factor for most of the questions regarding your family vacation. Which resort will your family stay in? Are you going to travel by plane or by car? How many days or weeks are you going to be on vacation? How many souvenirs are you going to buy? Your budget determines all these things.

Want to maximize your savings? Try torepare a detailed outline of your expected spending before you make arrangements for your family vacation. For instance, while putting a price limit on your overall meal expenses is good, it’s even better to itemize all costs in advance. You can limit your eating expenses to $5 per person per day for breakfast, $8 for lunch and $10-$12 for dinner. It’s easier this way to see at a glance whether you’re still well within your budget or if you’re already in danger of going over.

Plan Your Vacation in Advance
To gain the most accurate estimate of how much your family vacation is going to cost, do some thorough research weeks or even months prior to the trip. Take advantage of the resources online in order to estimate how much you will spend on your family vacation. Finding out the costs of accommodations, meals, and airfare is not difficult at all. All it takes is one phone call to the hotel, restaurant, or airline and you can get an exact figure right away. You can also use travel sites to help you have a fairly good idea of how much the attractions and entertainment in a particular place are going to cost.

Anticipate Additional Costs
A summer vacation can easily be ruined if you suddenly find out that you have no more cash in your wallet despite having a few more days to spend on your vacation. So while you’re on the planning stage and you’re working on your budget, add 10% to 15% of your total cost to your budget. That’s for incidentals, which you can spend on souvenirs or use to take your family out to a really good restaurant on your last night on vacation.

Take Advantage of Freebies
Many vacation hotspots will have various free offers, such as a free meal or a complimentary souvenir, for tourists and out-of-towners. Inquire about these freebies and take advantage of them to further reduce your family summer vacation expenses.  Consider buying an Entertainment Book for the area you are visiting.  It’s a great way to save money on food & activities.

Plan a Staycation

Who says you have to get on a plan or travel 500 miles for your vacation? Check out the local hot spots and sleep in your own bed.  There are lots of great experiences your family can have right in your own backyard.

With adequate foresight, thorough planning, and a little bit of creativity, you can definitely enjoy a wonderful summer vacation with your family even on a very small budget.