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How to Take a Great Vacation for Cheap

By on February 26, 2019
How to Take a Great Vacation for Cheap

America might be the only country on the planet where people brag about putting in an 80-hour workweek. As a nation, we take a lot of pride in our work ethic, but it’s important to put work down and take a breath at times, too.

You might think that all those hours would finance a lavish visit to the South of France or a luxurious resort stay in Dubai. In reality, many Americans have to be cost-conscious when they travel to ensure there’s money left over for daycare, college tuition or even just rent. So, how can you enjoy your vacation time on the cheap?

Choose Less Frequently Touristed Destinations

Earth is a big planet, and yet people are quick to limit their vacation options to a short list. Popular destinations you may know include Hawaii, parts of Western Europe, Southern California and Mexican resort towns. Not all of these locales are expensive to visit, but by expanding your horizons, you’ll visit unique places and save money in the process.

Have you explored all of the tourist destinations and fun things to do in your own backyard? What about visiting a neighboring state or road-tripping it to a national park.

Traveling within the country will typically be cheaper than international travel. The USA offers a multitude of amazing destinations, but if you want to travel internationally, many smaller countries are extremely affordable if you can cover the airfare. If you do choose to go international, booking more than 90 days in advance can save you significant money on plane tickets.

Be Open-Minded About Lodging

Vacation is supposed to be about letting go of your responsibilities, and it can be easy to associate that with luxury. However, you might have a completely satisfying experience staying in a less luxurious setting that makes your trip more fun.

Younger travelers might enjoy a galavant traveling between hostels, or for an authentic experience that’s inclusive for the whole family, try staying in a cabin for a more outdoorsy experience while visiting a park or more rural location. You might enjoy the way your change of setting helps you detach from the rigors of “on-the-grid” life.

Take Advantage of Deals

There are so many ways to shave costs when traveling. The major credit card vendors have wisely tapped into the travel market by partnering with frequent flyer programs and hotel chains to offer great benefits. If you travel frequently and haven’t already got a card that offers travel rewards, you should get one as soon as possible. Many of these cards have the added benefit of waiving foreign currency exchange fees, and some include trip insurance.

Even if you don’t want to open a credit card, you can save some coin by booking your trip through one of the many available online travel services. Kayak, Expedia, Hipmunk, and Priceline are just a few. Apps like Skyscanner, Google Flights and Flightics can even set up fare alerts to let you know when something pops up in your price range or for a specific destination.

Nice Work, Enjoy Your Trip!

There are so many great ways to reduce your costs when traveling. For example, let’s say you find a flight using a fare alert to travel to a small African country that you might otherwise never visit. By planning your lodging ahead of time and budgeting for food, you can easily organize a relaxing and fun 10-day stay for under $500. Just bring your pillow —saving money is great but we can’t help you make the plane fly any faster!

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington

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