Everyone needs a little vacation now and then. How else can you get away from the grime of day to day life? But if you’re stuck with a low income, paying for a luxurious vacation may seem impossible. As much as you need a getaway, the last thing you can afford is to pay full price for a vacation.
Don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of your much-needed vacation. By getting creative with your schedule, your mode of transportation or even your destination, you can go on that getaway without racking up a bill that will follow you home. Don’t let your personal finances dictate your creativity in finding ways to enjoy a great holiday without breaking the bank or taking out a loan.
- Be willing to make travel plans at the last minute. Are you hoping to enjoy a tropical vacation aboard a cruise ship or at a resort hotel? Making your reservations at the last minute can save you big bucks. Since resorts and cruise lines desperately need to fill their rooms, they often offer big discounts for stays that are quickly approaching. Being flexible about your destination can put your dream vacation within reach. Don’t know where to start? Start your planning at your desk; there are entire websites that specialize in making last minute travel plans.
- Be willing to travel during off-peak times. Maybe you’ve got your heart set on visiting a specific destination, but you can be flexible about your travel dates. Scheduling your vacation during off-peak times can really reduce the cost of your vacation. For instance, if you are willing to schedule your all-inclusive vacation to the Riviera Maya during late summer or fall, you will enjoy huge savings. Disney-goers can also reap the benefits of an off-peak vacation since park tickets and hotel accommodations are cheaper during those times.
- Be willing to drive to your destination. For many families, the cost of vacation accommodations is within their budgets’ constraints. The real problem is paying for transportation to their vacation destination. Airfare for a family of four can be really expensive. You can avoid that portion of your vacation expense almost entirely if you are willing to drive to your destination. Be aware, though, that this savings can significantly shorten your time at your destination if you live very far from your vacation spot. You may want to stick to driving to vacation destinations that are within a day or two’s drive.
- Be willing to stay with family or friends during your vacation. Who says that you have to stay at a hotel while you’re on vacation? You can remove the cost of accommodations from your vacation expenses by staying with friends or family members while you’re on vacation. Saving money this way will only work, however, if you have friends or family near your vacation spot.
- Be willing to become a tourist in your own city. If your budget is really tight, you may not be able to pay for accommodations or transportation to another city. Don’t let that ruin your vacation plans. Instead, have a vacation in your own city. By staying at home, you can enjoy a vacation without paying high hotel bills. Simply pretend that you are a visitor in your own area. Plan an activity or outing for each day as you would in another city. You may even plan a day trip or two to destinations that are close enough to return to your own home each night.
This article was brought to you by Richard who has a personal finance blog (Low Income Loans Australia) in Australia which helps low income earners find ways to save money and get more value out of each dollar they spend.