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    Categories: Traveling

Budgeting Tips For Vacation Costs

Planning a vacation can be a lot of fun. However, it’s important that you take your time and plan a vacation that fits within your budget. Here are some of our best budgeting tips to ensure your vacation planning goes smoothly.

Start With Your Must-Haves

More often than not, people think that a vacation is much more expensive than it actually is. The problem is that they don’t sit down and plan out what they’re looking to do on their vacation. Take some time now and determine what your must-haves are for your next vacation. This could be a must-have vacation destination, restaurant, attraction site, or anything else. Just pick the things that you will do on your vacation.

It’s a good idea to get your family or travel companions involved in this process. You might think the entire group would enjoy a day at a theme park but find that the older kids would prefer to explore the city or hang out at the hotel pool. Choices like these will impact your budget.

It’s Time to Figure out Your Budget

Once you know what you must-do on your vacation, it’s time to set your budget. You’re going to need to start this process by doing some research. Start with your budget for accommodations and transportation.

See what some of the vacation rental units cost in the area by looking at options online. If you rent one with a full kitchen, you can save money that would be spent eating out. Determine how much time you will be spending in your hotel room, villa, or other type or rental. If you only need a place to sleep and keep your belongings safe, go low budget. If your family has members who tend to relax indoors and enjoy the amenities, plan to spend more of your budget on the accommodations.

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Next, see what plane tickets cost or estimate how much gas it will take based on the travel mileage. If you are flying, consider your transportation options when you land. Will you be renting a car, utilizing ride-share services, or trying out the public transportations options?

The rest of your budget will go towards your daily activities. Look up admission fees to attractions you want to visit. Also, consider how much you’re going to spend on food to eat. By adding these up, you can get a feel for where your total budget is going to be. Realize this is a ballpark figure, and you may want to increase your budget if you want to have the option to do more.

Consider Off-Season Traveling

Now, since you have your budget figured out, it’s time to hash out the details. You’ll likely notice that there is a big price difference when you travel in the off-season. If you want to save some room in your budget, then consider traveling in the off-season. Just make sure the attractions you want to visit are open, and you’ll be good to go.

Check weather reports to be sure your trip would be hampered by rainy conditions. You might want to have a few options open in case of poor weather, such as heading to a museum when it’s too cold for the beach.

Travel in Groups

One surefire way to make a vacation much cheaper is to travel in groups. This can help to drastically reduce the cost of accommodations. When group traveling, consider vacation rental homes or hostels over traditional hotel lodging. Plan out your eating schedule ahead of time and consider a trip to a local grocery store to lower food costs for your group. If you have multiple parties sharing the costs, you can keep each portion of the total cost low to ensure that you don’t go over budget.

You might find group discounts online for things like cruises or tourism packages. If you have friends you are comfortable traveling with, you might have the opportunity to experience more for less money.

When it comes to setting and sticking to a vacation budget, there are many factors at play. Taking the bull by the horns and planning all the details of your trip is the best way to ensure that you’re close to your intended budget. Be sure to use our budgeting tips to help plan your next vacation.

Lizzie W: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball. You can find her on Twitter @LizzieWeakley.

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