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Vacations on a Budget

Holidays, while important for relieving stress, may cause tension because of expenses. Budget vacationing ensures that you get that all important getaway without worrying about how much you spend on it.
Vacayholics Staff
A very wise man whose identity remains unknown once said, "The rainy days a man saves for usually seem to arrive during his vacation." Who can disagree? It often seems like the greatest cause of stress for many people are exactly those days that are supposed to relieve them of the mundaneness and madness of daily life. And for most of us, the stress stems from the expenditure that is incurred while on a vacation. The travel, the stay, the activities, shopping for knickknacks and souvenirs to carry back home, all cost a pretty penny. While there are some costs that are hard to avoid, planning your vacation on a budget will ensure that you do not have to suffer the misery of an empty bank account.
Tips for Budget Vacations
Dreams of a five star luxury vacation are all fine but the truth of the matter is that in the economy we are in, it is important that we count our pennies. But at the same time a holiday is necessary to rejuvenate our batteries as we live our pretty much automated lives. In order to plan budget vacations, all you need to do is keep a few ideas for budget travel in mind. Here are our top tips for planning a vacation that you don't have to wipe out your savings for.
Travel Cheap
One of the biggest expenses is on travel, especially if you are traveling with your family. Book your airline tickets much in advance. The more time you wait for booking your tickets, the more you are going to have to spend on them. Log on to different travel and ticket booking websites as most of these have competitive pricing and holiday discounts that you can avail of. Also if you are planning a vacation to a tourist hub, then look up sale price tickets that many airlines have on offer for tourist hot-spots. Taking flights that include stop-overs, or opting for less traveled routes can also get you tickets for prices that are much lower than normal. If you are going on a vacation to a place that is not very far from your hometown, then it may be a good idea to drive down in your own car. This will save you the cost of car rentals for your holiday and leave you scope for changing schedule if need be.
Hotel Bookings
Another key thing that you will need to plan for well in advance are your hotel bookings. During vacation time, many hotels have special discounts. If you are traveling with your family, inquire about special pricing while making your bookings. In the travel industry, families are an important target audience, and they are always eager to please this demographic. Look out for family-friendly organizations which offer discounted rates. If you are a member of an organization that makes you eligible for discounts, then use this to qualify for lower prices at hotels. Budget holidays will also need you to focus on your meal expenditure. There are many hotels that offer complimentary meals. Check these offers out before you make your bookings at a hotel. While traveling with kids, check out hotels that offer per person discounts in case you share your room with your kids. There are also hotels that allow you to rent out sleeping bags and place them in the same room. They will charge you nominally for this and allow you to save a huge amount on a second room.
Off-season Travel
One of the best ways to ensure that your holiday does not cost the earth is to not travel during peak season. While this may rob you off the chance at vacation discounts, the fact is that most holiday spots are much cheaper off season and will let you save a lot of money. When planning romantic vacations, travel to beaches during the monsoons, or the hills in winters. This way the place will not be packed to the hilt with tourists and you will have a lot of alone time with your partner.
Mini Vacations
Instead of opting for holidays that are a month long, opt for weeklong mini vacations. Choose from destinations like a friend's cabin in the mountains. If you and your family love the outdoors, go hiking or camping. Introduce your kids to a lifestyle away from televisions and the Internet. This will not only save you a lot of money but also allow you and your family to connect.
Places to Visit on a Budget
While zeroing in on places, there are some places that will spring to your mind instantaneously because of the fame they have garnered for being inexpensive vacation spots. Most of these places offer huge vacation discounts that can be availed of. While you may use the tips given above to make a trip to even the most expensive place on the planet for a budget vacation, the places listed out below will ensure that your vacation fund is not wiped out.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
The capital of Honduras tops the list of cheapest places to visit, with hotel charges starting at as low as USD 13 for a night. Taxis are cheap and rides to your destination may cost you as less as USD 1. Negotiate the rates beforehand to avoid an argument when you reach your destination. The nightlife and restaurants are pretty light on your pocket as well.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Looking for a place to travel to near America? Book your tickets for Vancouver, Canada which has hotels that will charge you as little as USD 9 per night. The cost of living is really low and you can travel pretty much everywhere on foot. The city has an expansive variety of international cuisine at reasonable rates. Also nearby places like Whistler Mountain allow you to indulge in activities like skiing.
Margarita Island, Venezuela
Probably one of the cheapest vacation destinations on the planet with hotels that charge as low as USD 13, beer at USD 1, and an appetizing seafood meal at USD 7. The exchange rate at Venezuela ensures that you save a lot of money and the sheer beauty of the place makes it one of the best vacation spots in the world.
If you want to stick to domestic travel, head to Florida while planning vacations on a budget. Avail of cheap Orlando hotels during off season and tickets at a discount at Disney World when on a Florida vacation. You can take part in walking tours which are extremely cheap or just laze around on one of the many beaches. What could be better?
Las Vegas
Think fun and the first spot that springs to mind is Las Vegas. Okay so maybe you will have to spend big bucks on the stay but you will definitely save money on food by just gorging on the buffets that most hotels have a spread of. Plan a trip in off season and you are sure to have a trip of a lifetime without burning a hole in your pocket.
Other than these places, you can also plan trips to spots like the Carolinas, Grand Canyon, Belize, Western Ireland, all of which are cheap places to visit. Great budget vacations are not difficult to plan. All you need to ensure is that you make all your bookings in advance. Once you have your holiday plan all figured out, just travel to the place of your choice and have unadulterated fun without worrying about your finances.