The current pandemic has definitely put a major dent into vacation plans, but with that, there’s some good news and bad news.
Because we’re all less likely to travel to faraway lands, we’re going to naturally be spending less money. But the downside to that is we may end up spending more to compensate for the lack of luster in our vacation destinations.
So, to keep that all in check, here are some tips to treat your family to a stress-free getaway without overspending.
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Take a Road Trip
At this point, it may go without saying that a road trip will be the best and least expensive option. But because you may find some flight deals, especially last minute, this one is worth mentioning. Even if the rates are close between flying and driving, you’re going to experience a lot more stress when you travel by plane.
From longer lines at security to worries over conducting coronavirus, airplane travel is definitely the more stressful option. And, in most cases, it’s still going to be the more expensive option — especially when you’re buying four or more tickets.
Look for Hotel Deals
There are so many sites that offer deals on hotel stays that we won’t mention them here, but you can find some amazing deals on any stay right now.
If you’re within driving distance of a major city, this may be a good time to experience that city’s culture. Just be sure to check the news to get a feel for the cultural climate of that city first. If you’re looking for a fun and peaceful family vacation, consider a hotel stay near a water park.
Get a Kitchenette
At home or on the road, one of the biggest ways we bleed money is by overspending at restaurants. A restaurant bill for a family of four could set you back $60-$100 and when you are traveling, you can multiply that by three meals a day for the duration of your trip. That’s why you should consider cooking a few meals at your hotel or AirBnB.
Compared to the cost of eating out, a homecooked meal could be less than half of the cost. And you can bet it’ll be healthier. Most of us enjoy evenings out, but every meal is asking a bit much of anyone. Instead, consider making those restaurant meals a special treat, even when you’re on vacation.
Look for Discounts
There are discounts available everywhere, especially as businesses in touristy areas are desperate for business. So go ahead and ask for a discount wherever you book. And before you enter your credit card information anywhere, do an internet search for promo codes for that specific business. Not every deal is advertised, and if you can even save $5 a day this way, that’s $35 in your pocket at the end of a weeklong vacation.
AAA is an automotive discount membership that has many perks. For one, there’s roadside assistance. If, by chance, your car needs to be towed during your road trip, your plan may cover that unexpected expense. And plans are incredibly affordable, so much so that they almost always pay for themselves and put money into your pocket.
Because it’s a large membership site in the transportation industry, AAA also offers many discounts on travel-related expenses, including things like hotels and theme park entries.
Service Your Vehicle
Before you embark on a road trip, make sure your car is up for the challenge. If you need an oil change or tire rotation, make an appointment with your mechanic well before your vacation. Even with AAA service, you don’t want to risk getting stuck on the side of the road. If nothing else, it’s quite an inconvenience. Also remember, when driving overseas to get an international drivers license before you leave, it’s easy.
And if your car truly isn’t up for the trip, you still have options. With the money you’ll save by driving, you may be able to rent a luxury car like a new Genesis sedan to make the drive even more fun.
Set a Budget
Have you ever made the mistake of counting how much you’ve spent in the middle of a vacation? Usually what happens is the vacation takes an extreme turn towards the frugal at this point.
So many families make the mistake of throwing caution to the wind at top vacation destinations. But in the end, you end up spending so much more than you ever imagined you would. A vacation budget doesn’t have to be limiting. Look at it as a tool to help you conserve your money to ensure you can continue having fun each day.
There are so many ways to enjoy your vacation time without stressing or overspending. Try any of the ideas on this list for your upcoming summer vacation.