Plan a Family Vacation On a Budget

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Money is always an issue in today's world, but that doesn't mean you can't plan a fun vacation on a tight budget, it just takes a few tricks and some smart thinking in order to pull it off. Here is what I found to be useful when planning a money conscious vacation.

To Fly or Drive: Assuming that by now you have your destination already picked out, how are you going to get there? Gas prices are near four dollars a gallon, and plane tickets are expensive, not to mention the very strict rules as to what you can and cannot take on board. So to help with both here is what is recommended.If you Drive: Instead of eating your meals at McDonald's on your way to Vacation, pack a cooler of food. You can buy a cooler and a weeks worth of sandwich stuff for around 25-35 dollars. Get a tune up, they can be expensive but a Tune up will help keep your car fuel efficient and could possibly save your life. Budget at least $20 over what you think you'll be paying in gas.

If you Fly: Travelocity, or other Internet sites like Travelocity can help with finding a cheap rate. Flying at odd hours will ensure a cheaper ticket! When traveling around Europe book your plane for around midnight because those flights offer the lower rates.Whatever airline you book with, look up their site as well and see what their rules are as far as carry on material and flight exchanges or cancellations.You might be able to get a cheaper rate through the airline than through Travelocity, and you can save even more money by bringing food with your carry on, so long as they allow it. In flight snacks are expensive so if you can, pack your own. Where to Sleep:The best advice on where to stay once you've reached your destination is to check hotel rooms and rates early, a few months in advance.The earlier you book a room the cheaper the rate. Also try to book in their off season, many Hotels will have cheaper rates when they don't expect a lot of reservations to be coming in.
"I Forgot" Its a bummer when you find out that you forgot something important and have to spend money on an item like, a bathing suit, or shampoo. Granted these items can be cheap, but its better not to have to spend money on them.

Here's what you do to make sure you don't forget anything. Do a walk through of your home and write down all the things you use for personal hygiene, and things you will want to have on your vacation. Tape the list to the top of the suit case, and the day of your flight... start packing. Once you know, that everything on the list is in the suit case... rip up the list. Its easy and its a fairly good way to make sure you got everything. Meal Time: An expensive, but fun past-time during vacation is eating out. Plan your meals ahead of time. Budget your money and if you can, eat out everyday, if you can afford it. If you can't, look at your monthly food bill, and estimate how much it will cost for you and your family to eat for the amount of time on the vacation. Then either pack a cooler to take with you, or plan on going shopping at a store near the hotel and fixing picnic-like meals in the room. Try to set money aside for at least one meal out at a restaurant, and if you do, make sure it's a place that isn't common to your home town.Make it something different and something fun.


Sugar said...

thanks for these tips ! a mother could sure use something like this . =)

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