Summer vacations may seem like a frivolous way to spend money. Since travel doesn’t fall into the category of a physical need, it must not be important. I see it differently especially as I get older. I look at summer vacations and travel itself as vital. Coming out of the pandemic, I for one, need to get back out into the greater world. Staycations can be enjoyable but just aren’t the same. For me, especially this year, a summer vacation is essential.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that
you can see the place you came from with new eyes and
extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too.
Coming back to where you started is not the same as never
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
So, for those of us that need a vacation, where to go to keep it economical? Here are the best places (and tips) to travel on a budget.
Family and Friends
Over the years, I have had many friends and family members scattered throughout the world. I have a sister in the south and a sister on the East Coast. I have friends and families who live next to oceans and in large cities and rural counties. Take advantage of having connections in places you may have never traveled to. The best places to travel on a budget are places that have free lodging. Even if your acquaintance does not have room to put you up, they can be a travel guide while you are there. As a result, you can use their local knowledge to save. They can point out cheap places to eat such as local food trucks and diners. Knowledge of local low cost and free attractions to visit like museums, libraries, parks, hiking trails and other natural attractions result in big savings for you.
Take a look at a map. Make a circle around your hometown that encloses everything within an 8 hour drive. (8 hours is my limit so feel free to adjust.) This is a massive area. For my family, we can even drive up to Canada and visit Niagara Falls. Driving can save big on a vacation cost and brings tons of natural wonders and fun attractions into play. Cheap accommodations and campgrounds are out there to be discovered with a little planning once a destination is found.
Check Out Scott's Cheap Flights
With Scott’s Cheap Flights you can find amazing deals to the best destinations. Simply enter your airport of choice and answer a couple of questions and it will notify you when there’s an amazing airfare deal. You can sign up for free for the alerts. This is a good way to automate the legwork and find cheap flights to great destinations without a lot of labor.
The key to traveling on a budget is to plan ahead. Last minute vacation plans can be very hard on the pocket book. Vacations should be a line item in your budget. Many all inclusive packages are available to amusement parks and other destinations that help keep the costs low and more importantly keep the cost fixed so there are no surprises that bust the budget. If you need expert help setting up a custom cash-flow budget and a savings plan for your travel plans, check out Apprisen’s Financial Health Plan. It’s currently $20 off with promo code DADGRAD20–offer ends 6/23/21.