HOW TO PLAN A VACATION ON A BUDGET
1. CHECK YOUR EXISTING BUDGET
Don’t set up your trip impulsively! Money can make or break memories. Be sure to verify how much off-time you can afford. Whether you go away for a weekend or a month, your trip depends on how long you’ll be gone. Get a calendar and figure it out! As a precaution, tie up any loose financial ends and pay all your bills before your departure. Nothing kills a post-getaway high like delinquent notices and late fees.
2. CHECK YOUR PRIORITIES
Depending on how your accounts balance, divide your funds among the basics: “food”, “transportation”, “shelter”, and “entertainment”. In a list numbered 1 to 4, with 1 being the least and 4 being the most, consider what you’re willing to spend money on. According to your list, decide the budget cap for each essential.
1. Transportation (Willing to spend less)
2. Shelter (Willing to spend less)
3. Food (Willing to spend more)
4. Entertainment (Willing to spend the most)
3. CHECK YOUR NUMBERS
Secure the best prices on tickets, transportation, and shelter by requesting “flexible” travel dates. For instance, commercial travel sites, like Kayak.com, use the “flexible” option to access a calendar of rates; this allows you to check prices for each day of the month and pick what’s affordable.
After swapping numbers around, determine where the remainder of your budget will be spent. For food, peruse restaurant reviews, on sites like Yelp.com or TripAdvisor.com, to choose the most worthy dining hotspots. For entertainment, research free discounts and specials within the local area. Imagine a free day at the museum, a walking tour of the sights, or perhaps a theatre matinee set at half price.
Don’t miss out: make calls, take notes, and have fun!