Everyone deserves a vacation. Memories are made and everyone needs time to destress. Even when money is tight, it’s important to try to take a vacation. Vacations don’t have to be expensive cruises, or trips to the Bahamas, but the important thing is to get away. We need a break for our mental and sometimes even physical health, whether you go it alone, with a partner, or with your family. But listen, even planning the vacation on which you will destress is stressful. Hours of scouring for the right prices, comparing prices, appeasing family members, figuring out the budget–it’s can cause the headache you’re trying to get rid of! To help in your planning process, here a few simple tips that we gathered from Time Magazine and Real Simple.
Book way ahead or at the last minute. Plan your vacation either a year ahead of time if possible. You can score the best deals this way, especially on airfare. Conversely, if you plan right at the last minute, you can score on hotel bookings and cruise bookings. Typically, you’re going to pay more for airfare, though, so be sure to weigh all the variables. Another tip on airfare booking to book in the middle of the week, preferably on a Wednesday at around midnight. Check out our blog on booking airfare for even more tips.
Skip the hot spots. While Paris is amazing, there are so many beautiful French cities to visit for much, much less (make Paris the day trip, instead). Instead of Costa Rica, try Nicaragua. Instead of the Greek Isles, try Athens. There is as much charm, beauty and excitement in so many less popular but equally historic and interesting cities.
Avoid Chain Hotels. Instead try boutique hotels, mom and pop bed and breakfasts, or home/apartment rentals. All are generally cheaper than big name hotel chains. Rentals are always cheaper for longer stays, and generally more comfortable.
Put aside a few dollars each week for spending money. There’s nothing worse than being on vacation and realizing that you’re out of money, or being so stressed about your hotel bill that you can’t enjoy a nice dinner out. Open a savings account attached to your checking and transfer $20 per week, or whatever you can afford. It will be nice to have a chunk of change you can spend freely. You can either create a cash allowance per day, or just have a cushion to alleviate some stress.
Of course, look for deals. Don’t check out without a coupon code. Check out Groupon and Living Social for awesome package deals, or PromosPro for coupons for everything from your next cruise, to vacation home rentals.