You work hard and deserve some time off. A family vacation or a romantic weekend away is a lot more affordable than you think. A little planning, good decision making, and careful budgeting can make your next trip possible. Here are a few questions to help you start a vacation budget.
Where Are You Going?
It's a good idea to decide on a location for your trip before creating your vacation budget. You need to start by thinking about the places you want to visit. Do you love the beach? Is a big city more your style?
After deciding on a location, you can start saving money. For instance, you can travel to the beach during the off-season and save a lot of money. You can also visit a theme park when the kids are in school for discounts. You may have a family member that lives in or close to a major city that you'd like to visit. These are possibilities to consider.
Another thing to consider is that some locations are more expensive than others. For example, Hilton Head Island is always going to be more expensive than Myrtle Beach. You can look for a bargain location in this stage of planning your vacation budget without giving up your favorite activities.
How Are You Getting There?
Once you decide on a vacation location, you need to decide how you and your family are going to get there. In some cases, the decision is easy. The location is so close to your home that you know you're going to drive. It's also possible that it's so far away that flying is the only option.
If the location is in the middle, you need to look at the costs of flying and driving and work them into your vacation budget. You can use maps to determine the distance. You know about how many miles your car goes on a tank of gas. With this information, you should be able to determine how many tanks of gas you'll need and how much it'll cost. You also need to add in the cost of meals and snacks along the way. Also, if you can't drive the distance in one day, you may need to add a hotel room to the expenses.
For airfare, you can shop airline fares on the internet. You need to multiply the price of a ticket by the number of people traveling. It's also a good idea to add in the cost of parking at the airport and paying for checked bags if you need them.
Where Are You Going to Stay?
While visiting another town, you'll need a place to stay. You have lots of options. Most vacation towns have hotels and motels at a variety of price points. You can certainly find one within your vacation budget.
Another option is to rent an apartment or home in the area. For larger families, renting a home is a great option. It provides you with a lot more space than a hotel. You can also make some of your meals in the rental home to save money and stretch your budget. In some cases, renting a home costs less than a hotel.
If there are national or state parks in the area, you might be able to camp or rent a cabin at a reasonable price. Some National Parks offer camping with all the amenities, such as restrooms and fire pits with evening programs run by the park rangers.
With a little planning and smart decisions, you can take a family vacation and stay within your budget. You can travel off-season or opt for a lower-cost destination. There are many options for saving money within a travel budget when you plan ahead.