Studies have shown that taking regular vacations is good for your health. The trouble is that going away is not equally beneficial to your budget. You must first have money to spend it, after al, but there are plenty of things that people on limited budgets can do to help themselves afford some time off.
Fatten Up Your Savings Account
Although this topic could easily be a stand-alone article, it’s still worth mentioning here. If you don’t have at least some extra money in your budget, it’s pretty much impossible to take a trip anywhere. The good news is that there are lots of ways to reduce your spending without hurting yourself too much.
If you are willing to do things for yourself rather than let other people do them for you, you can generally save a great deal of money. For instance, you can make your own coffee, fix your own meals, and even cut your own hair if you want to save up for a big trip. Being a careful shopper at the grocery store can also pay off.
If that’s not working, it’s become fairly easy to find a part-time job that you can fit around your regular one. Online forums such as Task Rabbit, Upwork, and Craig’s List are all good places to find short-term gigs. In cities where movies and televisions are regularly filmed, you can also pick up work as an extra. It’s not a glamorous gig by any means but it will certainly help you save up funds.
People with cars may even be able to pick up additional work hours by driving for Uber or Lyft. Homeowners can likewise take advantage of their possessions by renting out rooms on spaces like Airbnb. However, individuals who choose to operate rental properties should first check their city codes to make sure they are following local laws and regulations.
Be Flexible With Plans
Ideally, we would all have a flexible schedule and a savings account full of extra funds. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. We have to keep our bosses happy so we’re forced to sign up for vacation in advance. Even so, flexibility in all aspects is a key component when it comes to cheaper vacations.
Taking off for a vacation during the middle of the week, leaving from an alternate airport, packing light, and/or traveling in the shoulder season (offpeak) may save you some serious cash. If you have friends that will drive you to the airport and look after your pets, don’t be afraid to hit them up for help as this too will help you cut vacation costs. Just be sure to return the favor and/or bring them a nice gift on your return.
Consider More Affordable Destinations
It could be your dream to go to Australia, New Zealand, or the South Pacific but the high airfare prices could end up holding you back indefinitely. However, considering alternate destinations like Thailand or the Caribbean could allow you to enjoy fantastic snorkeling and great beaches at a fraction of the cost. That way you can still go on vacation without hurting your finances.
If flying is completely out of the budget, you should investigate nearby attractions such as national parks. These spots are generally a good value since most of the activities found there (hiking, swimming, nature walks, etc.) are often free or inexpensive. Large metropolitan areas are also excellent locations for getaways since most of them have a wide range of attractions, events, accommodations, and dining options so you’re sure to find something within your budget. The trick is to go during the middle of the week to get the best prices because hotel rooms tend to cost more on the weekends.
Good luck and bon voyage.
Image credit: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay.