The last few years have been tough on everybody when it comes to finances, so planning vacations and trips have not been as easy as most of us would have liked. However, just because you are on a tight budget it doesn’t mean you cannot have fun during your vacations! This article will help you with planning a vacation on a budget so that you can enjoy your holidays fully without having to break open the bank.
Begin with setting a budget. You may not necessarily be able to adhere to the exact budget you decide, but having a general idea about how much you are comfortable spending is important. This will help you in making other decisions regarding the destination, means of transport, accommodation and more. As a family you could assign a per-person budget or an overall budget, and if you are travelling with friends, you could each fix your own budget.
Decide whether you want to use a travel agent or not, according to your budget and requirements. It is common knowledge that travel agents usually have exclusive tie-ups with other service providers in the tourism and hospitality industries, which means that they can get you deals and discounts that you won’t be able to get your hands on, on your own. Even if working with a travel agent doesn’t directly save you money, you can find some fabulous combo offers and tourist packages that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Most people hesitate when it comes to hiring a travel agent because the general assumption is that travel agents charge exorbitant fees, but with some smart shopping you can find one in your budget.
Never be afraid to ask for discounts and deals. When you are making your hotel reservations, ask the person on the other end if they are offering any discounts or combo packages that could help you with your budget. While some hotels offer deals at particular times, others are open to negotiation, and sometimes you just have to ask. Who knows, you might end up saving a considerable amount of money!
If possible, limit the amount of meals you eat out at restaurants. Restaurants work out to be very expensive when you are travelling, and even if you eat at reasonable places, it is going to add quite a lot to your expenses. Instead, try to find a hotel that offers an en suite kitchen so that you can rustle up some meals on your own. Even if you cannot cook elaborate meals, stock up on some milk and cereal and fruits and other food items that don’t have to be cooked. Even preparing one meal a day on your own will save you a lot of money. Always keep some snacks and fruits on you while you travel during the day. This will help deal with the cravings and hunger pangs without having to spend on expensive snacks.
Try not to travel during peak tourist season. Being flexible with your dates will help you get great deals and discounts on your airline and hotel bookings. If you must book during the busy season (usually the summer months when everyone has summer vacation) then some smart booking tricks can help you get fabulous deals. For instance, booking very early in the morning or really late at night can actually save you a substantial amount of money since most people rush to make their bookings between noon and evening! Also, travelling in the middle of the week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays is recommended, since most flight bookings are for the weekend and thus, between Friday and Monday the tickets tend to be priced higher.