Planning for a summer vacation on a tight budget can be cumbersome, especially for large families. However, there is always a way or two that you can trim down the expenses without reducing the fun part of the holiday. The key lies in making sensible choices while taking into account the needs of the family and the essence of the vacation. From looking for signup offers to booking flights in advance, you can always get a means to cut your expenses and make the trip less expensive. Some creativity and planning may come in handy. Here are some tips and simple ideas you can use to plan for an affordable summer vacation.
Image via Adobe Stock, by JenkoAtaman
Signup for Fare Alerts through Email
A vacation needs adequate planning with an eye for better deals. That means that you should be watchful of any offer available and take advantage of any drop in fare, among other necessities that you are likely to use while on vacation.
There are a host of sites that offer airfare alerts and notices every time there is a drop. You can sign up for notifications on airfare through DealBase, TravelZoo, among other leading sites. These sites will also notify you of any promotional deals of individual airlines and the opportunity to compare various prices.
Look Out for Discounted Packages
Summer vacation comes with many requirements and packages to be bought. Everything you buy for your holiday should be well thought and budgeted to curb unnecessary spending. There are platforms where you can scout for discounts and the most affordable packages for summer vacation. Utilizing these platforms can offer flexible purchasing and planning for holidays.
Do your Things during Weekdays
According to travel experts and insiders, the best day to get a travel deal is always on Tuesday at 3 p.m. This is usually the time when most airlines put up their flights on sale. It might not be the case when looking for vacation flights, but the point here is that rates and availability of affordable fights change every day. That means that you can compare the different prices throughout the week and see what suits your pocket.
Take Advantage of Off-peak Pricing
Have you ever been to any resort in summer, Or perhaps to a beach earlier or later in the season? If yes, then you may have noticed that some of the great holiday destinations become cheaper when many travelers are not around. That is not all; there are some holiday stuff that you can get at a discounted price during off-peak season. For instance, you can buy your swimming costumes during winter when they are most likely to be cheaper and keep them for the summer holiday.
Cut Off Extra Spending
There are some extras that you can always do without and not compromise the fun side of the holiday. Trimming such items can make your budget a bit lighter. Here are some ways of cutting the budget.
- Instead of buying all your meals you can save a substantial amount of money by booking your family in a hotel with free breakfast. Alternatively, you can go to hotels with a kitchen extension to cook your own meals.
- Looking for flight programs that waive baggage fees can cut down the overall cost of the vacation.
- Settle for self-drive to trim the cost of hiring a driver. Accordingly, you can also use the GasBuddy app to locate the cheapest gas stations near you.
- Use public transportation to save the extra cost of using a taxi to move around.
Get an Alternative to a Traditional Hotel Room
Summer holidays are not less fun if you avoid expensive five-star hotels. In fact, you can add more fun to the vacation by being adventurous and finding a rented family vacation home. If your family is larger, then this is the best way to go. It not only cuts the cost of the holiday but also gives you the feeling of a family unit by spending your time together as opposed to hotel rooms with shared halls. And it also serves well for extended stays.
Websites like Airbnb have the best platform to search for rental lodgings around the world. Alternatively, you can get short term fixes by exchanging homes with other tourists on HomeExchange.com. This site allows you to live in someone’s home as they live in yours for the period of your vacation.
For the lovers of camping, you can look for better camping sites earlier enough through different websites and book your spots in advance.
Go for New Hotels and Resorts
Newly launched hotels and resorts often offer discounted prices to lure more tourists and travelers. As much as it may be hard to come across such offers, it is worth your try. In most cases, you will have to go through local newspapers or survey the town you would like to visit on Google if there are such openings.
You may have to be very vigilant to get these offers because they are often short term and may last for only a few weeks. Renovated hotels also offer cut-price stays and can be an excellent way to plan for an affordable summer vacation.
Scout Free Events and Attraction Sites
Entertainment forms a considerable part of summer vacation. It is one area in which most families spend big because of the fun part of it. The cost of getting your family to fun spots can really add up and mess your budget if you are not smart enough. However, there are some ways in which you can enjoy gigs and fun camps at an affordable cost.
Most tourist destinations have programs for free entertainment and fun activities that help you trim your spending, especially if you have a large family. You can save more by going to public beaches instead of paid spots and enjoy a walk in the city as you learn from the locals rather than visiting museums. However, you should practice caution as you connect with people you do not know.
Look out for these free sites in local newspapers or ask the local population as soon as you set foot in the city/town. Some events may be small but packed with a lot of fun activities for the family.
Plan Ahead with Your Meals
Some restaurants are often known for their pricy foods and can be a significant threat to your budget. Avoid going for meals in restaurants found in gas stations and other fast-food restaurants. Be sure to ask the locals for cheaper options. Alternatively, you can stock up your grocery basket with breakfast items like cereals, bread, and some fruits. Additionally, it is advisable to buy your foods during the day as dinners are often expensive.
Go for Theme Parks with Discounted Tickets
Theme parks are great fun spots for families spending their summer holidays. The bad news is that they are never cheap. However, there may be some relief. Some theme parks offer discounts to their tickets. The best trick to get a price cut is buying your tickets in advance or online as compared to paying at the gates.
Getting a season pass is also an excellent way to cut some costs, especially if you are planning to visit the pack more than once.
Keep off Checked Bag Fees
Packing light is not only efficient but also cheap in the long run. Most airlines charge more on the checked bag, and that can dent your pocket heavily.
Summer vacations do not have to be expensive. As much as it is time to have fun and enjoy the fruit of your labor, it is essential to consider the cost of the entire holiday package to avoid running out of money or coming back home with nothing in your bank account.
You are supposed to enjoy your holiday and don’t waste time worrying about work. The tips and simple steps above should help you plan for an affordable summer holiday with your family.