How To Vacation On A Budget: 7 Helpful Tips

by | May 17, 2017 | 0 comments

I’ll admit it. I am frugal. I don’t like to waste time or money. And, I almost rarely pay full price for anything. And that holds true when it comes to traveling. I no doubt am always coming up with ideas on how to vacation on a budget.

First and foremost, one thing our family loves to do is travel. As a matter of fact, even two nights away can feel like a great vacation. (Not to mention, packing for only a couple of nights is in fact much easier than for an entire week away!)

As a matter of fact, even a quick getaway can still give you that refreshed vacation feeling.

And most noteworthy, from the experience of many trips taken, and the research I have done, I have found you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on any type of vacation.

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So, because I want to help you save money also, here is my list of 7 hacks to help you know how to vacation on a budget!

7 Tips for Vacationing on a Budget

How to vacation on a budget – Tip 1:

First, accumulate points.

We have a credit card that we use for pretty much everything. And for each dollar that we spend, we accumulate points that we can use toward hotels. Ironically, we do pay off this credit card every month (so there is no balance!), but we intentionally use it for as many purchases as possible. We even incidentally use it to pay our bills.

For this reason, why we use it all the time, is so that we can accumulate the maximum amount of points.

When we do eventually cash in our points for a hotel room, there are oftentimes even more ways to rack up points during the hotel stay.

For example, we will forego room service or new towels and linens. Many hotels will give extra points as an incentive for forfeiting these accommodations.

I honestly don’t think that we’ve actually paid for a hotel room in years! Hence why foregoing certain items is not a big deal to us at all! The bonus points add up quickly. And most of all, that’s what we’re aiming for.

How to vacation on a budget – Tip 2:

Second, look for free breakfast.

You should probably know, we are a family of five. So we still always, (always!), stay at a hotel with breakfast included.

It probably saves us about $40/ day.

And because we’re eating there, it’s therefore nice to not have to rush out of the hotel room and find somewhere to eat.

No doubt, a stroll down to the lobby is much more convenient.

How to vacation on a budget – Tip 3:

Third, find deals in the off-season.

What may seem strangely enough, we take our vacations to the “hot spots” in the off-season.

Rather than pay a ton of money, the off-season is always cheaper. And by and large, sometimes hotels & airlines will throw incentives in since you’re traveling at these times of the year.

A great deal + free things?! YES please, sign me up! 🙂

Presumably, if we are visiting a theme park, many times we can get half-price tickets and the lines are generally shorter. #bonus

As moms with kids-in-tow, we know the shorter lines are much appreciated!

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How to vacation on a budget – Tip 4:

Stay off-site.

Another smart hack is not staying at theme-park hotel chains.

Again, if you are visiting a theme park, staying outside of the park is so much less expensive than staying inside of the park. And, the off-site hotels often have shuttle services for free that will take you where you want to go.

The slight inconvenience is usually worth the savings!

How to vacation on a budget – Tip 5:

Next, pack snacks.

Even if our hotel doesn’t have a refrigerator, we always pack plenty of water bottles, juice boxes, and packages of snacks.

As long as they’re non-perishable, you will be fine.

This also saves us so much money and it’s healthier than eating out the whole time we are away.

How to vacation on a budget – Tip 6:

And, the souvenirs.

As for souvenirs, each of our kids has their own money to spend. They can use what they have in their piggy bank from birthdays, allowance, and tooth fairy money. They know ahead of time how much money they have to spend and they can choose however they would like to spend that money.

It saves us from “shiny-object” syndrome. Everyone knows ahead of time what they are able to spend, and similarly it teaches them budgeting and responsibility.

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Do you need to find ideas on how to save money? Take a look here on how you can!

How to vacation on a budget – Tip 7:

Finally, choose experience over items.

I’ve recently started clearing out items in my home and selling them to use that money towards weekend trips and nights out.

I even got my kids involved. We set a budget for a vacation that we wanted to take and we all cleaned out our bedrooms to see what we could sell. In a matter of 2-3 weeks we had made enough to take a long weekend away over Spring Break.

Not only did we more than pay for the trip just by cleaning out the clutter, we got rid of a ton of stuff. And in my opinion, that’s always a great feeling!

jar with coins in it and a snorkel mask on top of a map for how to vacation on a budget

And most of all – making memories

Now yes, of course if we wanted to, we could save up the money and take a big vacation that costs a lot of money. But why also do that when you can do it on a budget?

Ultimately, it’s all about making memories. And if we can do that all while saving money, I will feel even more refreshed after a vacation.

In conclusion, we have found ways to take vacations that are amazing, and that our kids seem like they love, meanwhile without racking up credit card debt. And that is, above all, an extremely important hack to be able to do.

So, let me know if you try my tips! Drop a comment and tell me how you vacation on a budget!

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Bridgette Petrino
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Bridgette Petrino

Bridgette is a wife and mom of 3 daughters. She is a recovering perfectionist who used to worry chronically, keep up with the Jones' and feel guilty for taking time for herself. Eventually, the pressure of being perfect caused her to crack. She ended up having a breakdown, which led her to realize the importance of self-care, specifically for moms. Now, she helps women just like her, to stop feeling guilty and to take their lives back. In turn, marriages, relationships and families are being healed. Bridgette is a former accountant who is now an advocate for mind, body, soul, and self.
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