While we all look forward to time off with our families, it can be a daunting task to plan a fun-filled vacation and stay within a reasonable budget. Expenses add up quickly, between accommodations, vehicle rental, ticket and entrance fees, meals and even animal-sitting costs, you can find yourself out-at-sea and needing a loan very quickly. Here are 4 ideas we have put together to help maximize your family trip without draining your pocket:
Although impromptu trips can be fun, it pays to plan. If you can schedule a time to sit down and look at the calendar into the future for opportunities for time off; maybe around other holidays or vacation days, not only can you piggy-back off those events for more paid time off from work, your fees are normally cheaper if you can book ahead of time. This may also allow you time to break-up payments for the larger purchases like accommodations and research up-coming local events.
Use Free Resources
Most destinations have local, free information available to you online and through mail; if requested, about upcoming special events. Visitors Bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, Craftspeople Leagues and even local schools maintain a calendar of events online nowadays. Some areas even have an Extension Office, often attached to the state school in your state, that offer free day camps and events for the entire family.
The further you venture these days, the faster your costs rise it seems. Vehicle rental, airfare, hotel reservations and pet-sitting are just a few daunting costs that face you with any big excursion. Most times, you can find adventure; without emptying your pockets, right in your back yard. Farmer’s Markets, Flea Markets, museums, art attractions and even new restaurants can be found simply by searching the web in your area. This can also help reduce the risk of potential fraud when using credit cards to make reservations.
Change the Way You Stay
Technology isn’t always our friend, but with the wide use of cell phones now, along with that comes apps. Although not all of them are useful, some can change the way you travel. Uber® and Lyft® can be directly linked to your debit card and do not require a credit check like many chain car rental companies do now. And, you only pay for your actual travel time, not to mention parking fees and the hassle of trying to find a convenient parking space. Other sites like Air BNB® and VRBO® allow you to stay in a private home at your destination and some are even pet-friendly. This can be helpful with vet bills and meal preparation when you have access to a full kitchen!
There are lots of ways to get away for less! From the privacy of your home, you can be thrifty with your vacation expenses if you plan ahead. Use the resources and event calendars available in your community and explore your immediate world for new and exciting events. Make your apps work for you by finding flexible accommodations and travel that works best for your family’s needs. And most importantly, get out there and enjoy summer!