6 Ways to Save on a Vacation on a Budget!

Summertime with kids can be draining on your wallet. If you’re looking to take an out-of-town vacation on a budget, there are plenty of options.

If you’re willing to think out of the box and sacrifice a few luxuries, you can save a bundle while still enjoying a fun trip.

Try these strategies to enjoy your vacation on a budget:

1. Stay in an extended-stay hotel.

When we travel with the boys I always look for this option and while I would love to come to a clean room, find my beds made and not have to cook, we find that the cost-benefit is always worth it.

Sure, you’ll forgo a few amenities, such as a pool or daily maid service, but most extended-stay hotels offer weekly maid service, a courteous staff, a safe setting, and a very low price. In addition to your immediate savings, most extended-stay hotels offer hotel suites with an efficient setup. You’ll have a kitchen (or kitchenette) equipped with a stovetop, kitchen sink, cabinets, and full-sized refrigerator in order to store and prepare your own meals. Many extended-stay hotels have a minimum required stay of seven nights. However, the rates are severely discounted. An extended-stay hotel can cost between $160 and $225, depending on the location, for a week’s stay. You can potentially save hundreds of dollars!

2. Cook your own meals.

Take advantage of your extended stay hotel’s kitchen! You’ll save hundreds of dollars just by not doing every meal out. If you’re staying in an extended stay hotel, you’ll have access to a kitchen, but you can still prepare your own meals even if staying in a standard hotel room. Microwavable meals may not be very luxurious, but they’re very inexpensive when compared to dining out three times per day while on vacation. Purchase microwavable pizzas, single-serve meals, and other items to trim down your food costs. If your hotel room has a small refrigerator, breakfast can be fully prepared right in your room. Purchase cereal and milk, pop tarts, or oatmeal packets at the grocery store to completely eliminate the cost of dining out for breakfast.

3. Veer off the beaten path.

By simply choosing to stay 10 or 15 miles off of the key tourist paths, your accommodation and meal rates will drop significantly. You may not get a glorious view of the ocean or a panorama of the city, but you’ll be able to save your money for the attractions you’d like to invest in. In addition, you’re more likely to get better service since the hotel staff won’t be bombarded with guests as they would in a hotel full of tourists.

4. Travel in the off-season.

If you don’t have children or yours are still in the very early grades, your schedule is more flexible as you don’t necessarily need to plan a vacation during the summer. If you do have children, consider scheduling a vacation around their holidays, or take a long weekend. By traveling off-season, you can save significantly on airfare, entertainment, and accommodations. Most travel agents consider the off-season to be spring, January through March, and fall, September through early November. Look out for specials to double your savings. Many hotels will offer special sales during the off-season in addition to their lower rates in order to incentivize tourism.

5. Visit Groupon.com

A few months or weeks before your vacation, become an avid visitor to groupon.com. This website offers local deals on fun activities such as trendy restaurants, afternoon cruise tours, spas, shopping, and even hotels. Consumers dictate the current deals—Groupons are only activated if a set number of people sign up. Therefore, if the deal misses its mark and doesn’t go into effect, you won’t be charged a fee.

6. Go into the wild and explore nature.

Rather than spending an average of $100 per night at a hotel, head to a local campsite and sleep in a tent. Alternatively, you can rent a popup camper from a local RV rental facility for a discounted rate since you’re staying in town. Camping is a fun activity for children. You can still do fun, touristy things throughout the day, and at night you can sit around a campfire and roast marshmallows. Many families’ best memories involve relaxed times like these.

There are plenty of ways you can save money while on vacation. Some are as simple as driving to the grocery store, while others may require you to sleep in a tent. But where there’s a will, there’s a way to make your vacation happen even on a very limited budget.

Do you have a tip for your fellow travelers? Please, comment below.

Have a fabulous day!

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