Planning a vacation is always an exciting adventure, but after you get done adding up the travel expenses, it’s normal to feel a little stressed and discouraged. There is a positive side of things though, and spending a fortune on your vacation isn’t an inevitable circumstance. To help you plan a budget-friendly trip, here are a few common mistakes to help you learn what to avoid.
Limiting Your Options
Many first time travelers get so excited to book their trip that they buy the first available ticket they can find. The problem with this strategy is that airlines offer discounts at different times and for different reasons, and by jumping on the first opportunity that comes your way, you could end up spending much more than if you shopped around. Calling and comparing rates and available discounts might take a little bit of time, but searching for a better deal is always worth the effort.
Packing Way Too Much
It’s important to be prepared when you plan on traveling away from home, but packing too much can lead to unnecessary expenses when it comes to checking your luggage. Pack as light as possible; make a list of everything you need (medications, appropriate clothing, toiletries, etc.) After you make your list, stick to packing only those things, and make no room for exceptions. A one week vacation doesn’t need to include three sweatshirts or four pairs of shoes; use your vacation to allow your inner minimalist to emerge.
Eating Out for Every Meal
Food and travel go together very well, and one of best parts about being in a new place is getting to experience the best local cuisine you can find. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of that experience, but avoid eating out for every meal. Even though you most likely can’t make a home cooked meal in your hotel, utilize the times you do go out by saving your leftovers. When going out for dinner, order a side dish and save most of your entrée for breakfast the next morning; you can save a large amount of money simply by turning one meal into two.
Only Visiting the Tourist Attractions
As much fun as it is to see the famous sights that you read about online, you’re selling yourself short by limiting yourself to only those attractions. Tourist hubs are there to make money off of travelers, and you’re most likely going to overpay for what the service is really worth. Expand your adventure and embrace wandering around; sights, food, and souvenirs are going to be much cheaper if you go where the locals go, and you’ll get a much more culturally satisfying experience as well.
Insisting on Driving
When renting a car, try to use it only to get yourself to your hotel and back to the airport, or if you’re feeling really ambitious, forgo the rental car altogether and take a cab back to the airport. Most cities have bike rental shops that offer a cheaper and healthier version to get around, and by taking it slower on your vacation, you’ll be able to enjoy the new environment, soak in the scenery, and grab some memorable pictures along your way.
There are many ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of traveling without enduring any harsh effects on your savings account. It might take a little bit more time and planning, and you might even have to sacrifice a few conveniences, but returning home after vacationing under your allotted budget always feels completely gratifying.
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