Now, I don’t typically advise you to spend money when you don’t have it; however, there are some things that are just that important…like a vacation. Okay, so let’s get one thing straight. I’m not really suggesting that you go out and spend money that you don’t have, but what I am encouraging is that you make some time to rest, relax, and take a break from reality even if the budget’s tight. And here is how you can do it.
1. Consider How Much You Can Afford to Set Aside for Vacation
First off, you need to consider exactly how much you can feasibly set aside to save up for a vacation. Look at your budget and figure out where you can shave a few dollars off here and there. For us, we can easily save a few dollars by opting for free date nights as well as tightening our grocery budget just a little bit more. With that we can save close to an extra $50 every week. If we plan ahead, we could easily have anywhere from several hundred to a thousand or more dollars by vacation time, depending on how long we plan to save obviously.
2. Create a Plan
Once you’ve decided where you can save, make your plan. It’ll do you little good if you’ve decided to save but never actually make action steps to cut back. So write out your plan for saving money and establish a place where you’ll hold those extra funds.
3. Determine Where Your Money Can Take You
Now that you have a reasonable idea of how much money you have to spend on vacation, it’s time to decide where you can go. If you’re only saving a couple of hundred dollars, then a camping trip is likely more within your budget. However, if you’re committed to saving $1000 or more, you may be able to take a more elaborate trip to the beach or somewhere else you’ve been dying to go. After you’ve determined what location is within your budget, start making your plans. Keep in mind, though, you’ll need extra cash to pay for meals, entertainment, and any other extras you plan to enjoy.
4. Look for Deals
As you’re planning your vacation, don’t forget to look for deals and places where you can save extra money. Groupon is a great place to find trip deals. Plus you might be able to find some local deals by touching base with a travel agency or by calling a visitor’s center in the area.
5. Consider a Staycation
Honestly, with as much travel as Barnabas and I do for his job right now, we really are more interested in just staying home when we have the option to. So don’t rule out a “staycation” as a reasonable vacation idea. When we’re staying home for vacation, we like to do things like fun home projects we wouldn’t get to otherwise, exploring our area and visiting local attractions, and enjoying some of the local fare. With this option, you’re able to enjoy a bit of down time just as easily, you just don’t have the added expenses of traveling and lodging.
Think you can’t afford a vacation because you don’t have the money? Think again! Use these simple tips to prepare for your next vacation and afford a fun trip (or staycation) even if the budget is tight!
What are your best tips for affording a vacation on a tight budget?