10 Ways to Take a Vacation on a Tight Budget

Everyone needs a vacation every now and then. Vacations provide time to recharge your batteries, relax and spend quality time with the person or people you love. Do you need a vacation but don’t think you can afford one? Try some of these tips to enjoy a great vacation – without spending a lot of money.

 

1. Pack light

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If you’re flying you’ll save money as well as a lot of hassle if you carry your bags with you instead of checking them. If you’re driving, you’ll improve your vehicle’s gas mileage with a lighter load. To help you pack lighter luggage, see if there are any laundry facilities at your destination. Plan to take a couple of hours to wash your clothes at some point in the middle of the trip.


2. Go camping

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This can be especially fun on a road trip and will save you the expense of a hotel stay. Many campsites across North America are far from primitive and can contain showering and even kitchen facilities. Just remember to book your campsites before you leave. Some popular sites fill up weeks or months in advance, particularly for summer weekends and holidays.


3. Prepare your own food

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It’s a lot cheaper to buy what you need at a local grocery store and cooking it yourself than buying it from a restaurant or a hotel store. If camping, cook over a campfire. If you choose to lodge somewhere overnight, try to book a facility with a kitchen.


4. Bring a cooler on the road

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You’ll be able to take a variety of healthier, cheaper foods and drinks instead of relying on restaurants, gas stations, and vending machines.


5. Stay at a hostel

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You’ll meet some interesting travelers as well as save a significant amount in the cost of lodging.


6. Take a day trip

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Taking day trips close to home instead of staying somewhere overnight. Depending on where you live, you probably have a variety of recreational opportunities right in your own backyard. Find destinations that you can visit in a day, and then return home in the evenings. This will not only save you money, but it will save you the stress and exhaustion that often accompanies traveling long distances.


7. Look for special deals

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Many tourist attractions, transportation agencies, and hotels slash their rates at the last minute to fill up empty slots. They also provide group and package rates. Finding a good deal may take some patient searching and flexibility on your part, so have a few options in mind when planning your vacation activities.


8. Sign up for travel reward programs

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such as credit cards with airline mileage plans. Even if you don’t travel all that often, you will reap the benefits eventually.


9. Travel in the offseason

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You’ll skip the crowds as well as the high prices at popular destinations.


10. Walk and use public transportation

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Public transportation like buses and rails in major cities. Taxis and even parking your own car can become costly very quickly.