After the harsh winter and hectic schedules, many of us are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and spring break is the perfect opportunity to do just that. You’ve possibly spent months planning the perfect vacation; location selected, clothes picked out, and budget made.
While you may have a set budget, it’s easy to forget about it when you’re having fun and you end up spending more than you had budgeted. However, saving money while on vacation doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to save on fun. Plan ahead by checking out these great saving’s tips for your destination spring break.
Food–Vacation mode means that we tend to splurge a little, both in calories and in the pocketbook. Your food budget should include about 25% of your vacation costs, however there are some great tips on how to minimize that.
The average costs for a family of 4 to dine out for one meal is in the range of $50-$75, sometimes more. Consider if you dined out for every meal for five days, you could easily estimate a vacation meal budget upwards of $1,000. Wow. To bring that cost down, considering booking a hotel with a continental breakfast, and finding restaurants with early bird specials along with free kids meals (Jason’s Deli, IHOP, Fuddruckers, and Applebees to name a few).
Another great tip, is to stay mindful of those small costs that add up to big spending, such as bottle waters and snacks. When you arrive at your destination, stop by the local supermarket and stock your hotel room with a couple of cases of water and inexpensive snacks such as granola bars, crackers, fruit cups, and trail mix.
Activities – While you want to pack your spring break with as many activities as you can, there are some great resources that allow you to do just that without breaking the bank.
As a rule of thumb, budget the activities that are most important to you. After that look into the free or discounted activities that the city you are visiting may have to offer such as hiking trails, museums, lakes or beaches and visiting their downtown areas. These types of places can usually be found on the city’s website or through some great apps like GPS My City and Groupon.
Travel and Transportation–If your destination is within driving distance, consider using your car instead of flying. You’ll save a bundle and you won’t have to rent a car when you get to your destination.
If flying, you’ve probably scored the cheapest airfare, but don’t forget to plan ahead on how you will get from the airport to your destination. Research the city’s transportation methods such as buses and trains, or services such as Uber and taxis to determine which might be better on the budget.
Rent a home instead of booking a hotel room –If you’re going with a few friends, consider pooling your money and renting a home using AirBnB or VRBO, which can be significantly cheaper than getting a hotel. You’ll also be able to make your own meals, if you like, instead of eating all your meals at restaurants.
Final tip, and perhaps that most important… don’t let your Spring Break put you into debt! With a little prep and planning, you’ll be able to have a great vacation that fits your budget, or possibly even increase your vacation savings for your next trip!
— If you have any other saving’s tips for fellow travelers, leave them in the comments below. —