A Tight Budget Does Not Prevent a Glorious Vacation
There is a good reason the 1% of the world is only 1%. The majority of us do not have unlimited funds to vacation in whatever fashion we please, not even close. The fact is, we all need vacation to find the brighter side of life and stay sane, according to HealthNet. When planning a vacation on a budget, some special consideration must be given to maximizing what time you can afford to spend at your destination of choice, and how to minimize the costs associated with travel.
Find a Cost-Conscious Destination
Plenty of travel resorts and destinations have long-decided that they would rather have the business of on-a-budget travelers than no travelers at all. This does not imply that these destinations are any less enjoyable than the ones favored by the ultra-wealthy, they are simply more affordable.
Many destinations are considered to be budget-friendly because their appeal revolves around natural features that do not cost a great sum to build or maintain. U.S. News and World Report lists some of these scenic locations, including the Grand Canyon, Williamsburg, Florida beaches, and Albuquerque. These experiences vary greatly in the activities and sights they provide, but they can all be thoroughly enjoyed on a tight budget.
Depending on just how light your wallet is, you may choose to travel out of the country to take full advantage of the rare vacation. An epic vacation once every five or so years may be preferable to a less memorable, in-country vacation once every year or two for many. Forbes knows this, and they have compiled a list of affordable, non-domestic vacation spots for hopeful travelers. Locations in Mexico and Puerto Rico will be more budget friendly, while others may find that even South Africa and Bali are within their financial means. Once you have settled on a destination, you can begin forming the itinerary and preparing your home.
Know Your Time Constraints
An itinerary should be formed with cost-consciousness in mind. LearnVest offers some great tips for travelers looking to mitigate costs as much as possible. They advise taking advantage (in a good way) of any friends in the region who are willing to let you stay with them free of charge. If this is not possible, seek out a bed and breakfast or hotel catering to weekend business warriors, as their rates tend to be more affordable.
Doing as much research as possible pre-departure will allow you to find delicious-yet-affordable local cuisine. Taking advantage of the off-season for travelers will allow you to secure lower rates across the board. When you arrive, consider cooking for yourself for most meals, as it tends to be far less expensive than eating out for every meal. Real Simple offers additional tips on how to stick to your budget once you arrive.
A tight budget often means you can’t afford to waste the days you spend on vacation. Time constraints mean that you should plan to pack your days with sightseeing and activities that you feel are must-dos in a given destination.
Before you head out, make sure that you have any pets boarded with friends, family, or professionals. Be mindful of oversharing on social media — you don’t want to “advertise” that your house will be empty, especially if your friend list includes a lot of people you only-sort-of know. Do not forget to triple-check door and window locks, turn off lights, and prepare your home so that you spend no time worrying that you forgot something, as this can actually ruin the serenity that a vacation is meant to provide.
Vacation is the ultimate natural high. It is the utmost form of healthy escapism. And above all, it is proven to benefit our health. And, even though a budget does limit how we vacation, it should not be a deterrent from vacationing completely. With a savvy approach to choosing a destination and arranging the details of a given trip, virtually anybody can get the most out of a domestic or international trip.