How to Have an Affordable Vacation

How to Have an Affordable Vacation

You’re going on vacation! But you don’t want to spend a fortune. Did you know that any well-researched holiday can become an affordable vacation? You can still visit your dream destination or take an item off your bucket list without spending all the money you have (or don't have) in savings.
What should you research? It’s as easy as asking the five Ws and one H that news reporters are famous for. “Who to take” and “why to go” are easy. You might be taking a friend, loved one, or the entire family. The reason why can be as simple as wanting to or something much more personal. Here are other questions and tips that will keep your vacation affordable.

What to Do
It’s tempting to figure where you're staying and how you're getting to your destination right away, but you should look at what you're going to be doing each day first. Unless you're planning to stay in your hotel the whole time, you're going to spend more time exploring and enjoying the area. Finding out what a city has to offer might make you change destinations.
Apart from food, visiting attractions and participating in activities is what you’ll spend the most money on. If there’s something you know you want to do or see, check if they have exclusive discounts, like military or student discounts, on admission. If you're visiting a
couples resort, they may offer special packages, like buy one, get one half off.

For families, there are lots of
kid-friendly destinations that offer activities that are included. There might be offerings for just kids and for entire families to enjoy together. Activities aimed specifically at younger children and teens can give parents an opportunity to experience some worry-free relaxation.

When to Go and Buy
A great tip to keep in mind when choosing when to visit a particular destination is to find out when its off-season takes place. Traveling in the off-season for some areas typically results in cheaper transportation and lodging for visitors. The weather may be slightly less than optimal but avoiding long lines at popular attractions during peak season is worth the trade-off.
Whether you decide to travel during peak season or the off-season, being flexible with your travel dates can save you make transportation more affordable. Many airfare search engines have a feature that lets you know if it's cheaper to leave a day earlier or later. Some even allow you to enter a date and allow search results to yield all options within a few days of what you list  in the search fields.

If you know you'll be flying; it is helpful to know
which days tend to be less expensive to fly. Cheaper days to travel domestically can differ from more reasonable days to travel internationally. Internationally, any day of the week tends to be less expensive than weekends.
Not only are there specific days that offer more affordable airfare, but when you buy can also make a difference. There's lots of advice out there on the
best days to purchase airfare, so it’s worth a quick google search to learn the ins and outs of how airlines price their flights.

How to Get There
If there is an ocean between you and your vacation destination, flying is probably the only way to get there. Keeping things on the affordable side, when renting a car, bundle it with your airfare if you can. Airlines and some search engines partner with specific rental car companies to help their patrons save more.
When traveling somewhere domestic, sometimes flying is just the fastest way to get to a place, but not always the most cost-effective. You’ve probably noticed some pretty long layovers for airfares that are less expensive. If you have family or friends in the city where a layover is, think about asking if they want to meet up for a bit to catch up.

If driving is an option,
calculate how much gas expenses and any tolls will be for the journey. Consider leaving earlier than a flight would to not lose out on vacation time. You could treat your drive as an extension of your vacation by looking for fun stops along the way. Trains and bus routes can be other good alternatives if you don’t want to drive and can’t afford airfare. The travel time is usually similar to driving yourself.
Where to Stay
When it comes to lodging, there no reason to wait to book a room, Airbnb, or other available accommodations. Several sites offer chances to reserve lodging with no prepayment and free cancellation. Snagging an early deal is excellent, and still gives you an opportunity to get a better one if it pops up. You can set notifications to alert you if there's a price drop in the area when you're staying there.
Other decisions to keep in mind when picking a lodging place are things like free breakfast, near sites you’ll be visiting, and airport shuttles. Kitchenettes can be advantageous because they can  

be used to help with food costs by making food instead of eating out. Being able to save on meals can allow you to save entirely or spend more on the fun stuff. Don’t deny yourself all the eating pleasures though if there is a restaurant that peaks your interest.


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