With summer officially just around the corner, it’s only natural to start thinking about your summer vacation plans. It’s always a great time of year to get away, enjoy the fabulous weather, and just relax and unwind. Unfortunately, a summer vacation may not necessarily be in the budget, or so you think. There are plenty of ways you can, in fact, plan a budget-friendly summer vacation that still delivers on good times, and great memories.
Road tripping is one of the best options for people looking to get away without having a huge pile of cash to spend. You can create an itinerary that works for your budget, the amount of vacation time you have available, and base it on your interests, of course. Still not convinced road tripping would fit in the budget? Here’s a look at ways you can plan for a fabulous summer road trip vacation that is extremely budget-friendly:
Skip the Pricey Hotels and Resorts
One of the first tips is to skip all the pricey hotels and resorts. These can easily run to $150 per night and more, especially during the summer season, which is peak travel season. If you plan on visiting any popular cities and towns, you can easily double that per-night cost. A more affordable option is to book Airbnb’s on your travel route. To cut your cost even further, book private rooms on Airbnb instead of booking an entire home or apartment. This option is usually $30-$75 per-night, depending on the location.
Another great option is to look at summer vacations in terms of a yearly thing. If this is something you want to do on a regular yearly basis, then it can make a lot more sense having your own accommodations, so to speak. Buying a used travel trailer can end up saving you all kinds of money in the long-run, and make it possible for you to travel more often since you aren’t worried about hotel costs. Having your own travel trailer also means you can do your own cooking, thereby saving money on eating out, and you can outfit it with all the necessities of home.
While buying a brand new travel trailer can be pricey, used travel trailers can end up saving you a ton of money and still give you everything you want on your wish list. If you’re going to buy used though it’s important to do your homework and know what you’re getting into, and the red flags to watch for. You can learn more on this blog from Small Woods Trailers, as they go over all the important points.
Look for Deals on Entrance Fees
Another great way to save money on your road trip is to look for deals on entrance fees and admissions. This includes admission fees for theme parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, etc. Often there are certain days of the week, or even certain times of the day where a discount can apply, thereby saving you money. If you are traveling with kids, there may also be special deals for them.
And it’s not just the attractions that can offer deals and promotions; restaurants also do the same. Kids eat free, discounts off meals, and free appetizers are just some of the examples that you can come across. Ideally, you want to do a bit of research before you head out on your trip, which will allow you to visit these places on the “right” days of the week.
Create an Itinerary and Stick to It
Much like how when you create a grocery list and stick to it at the store in order to stay on budget, you can take the same approach with your summer vacation. Creating an itinerary in advance will allow for you to plan everything that you will encounter, and ensure you don’t spend a fortune in gas going out of your way just to get from one spot to the next.
Go ahead and plot your route, plan where you will stay, where you’ll eat, and even what attractions you’ll visit along the way. Of course, things will pop up here and there, but try to stay close to your itinerary as much as possible.
Pack Snacks, Beverages, and Meals
You can also save a fair amount of money by packing your own snacks, beverages, and meals that you can eat in the car. You’ll find there is no shortage of rest stops on highways in the United States, so you can easily pull off at one of these stops, stretch your legs, use the washroom facilities, and enjoy the food you’ve packed.
If you do plan on packing your own food and drinks, you’ll obviously need a cooler to keep things nice and fresh, and it’s a good idea to have a travel-sized waste bin in the car, so things stay tidy and uncluttered.
Ensure Your Car is Road-Trip Ready
One problem that road trippers can run into along the way is mechanical issues with their vehicle. This can end up costing you a lot in repair fees, especially when you don’t really know the repair garages and centers well. The best tip is to make sure you get a proper tune-up or checkup before you take your car out on the open road. Top up all your fluids, check your tire pressure, and ensure everything is in good working order before you head out.
Extend the Fuel in Your Tank
Finally, there is the fuel you will go through while on your road trip. With the price of gas on the rise, obviously, you want to be sure your car is being as efficient as possible with the fuel. Ensuring that your air filters are clean and your tire pressure is correct is a great start. You also want to be sure you stick to the speed limit and not go over. Speeding can lead to you going through fuel faster than you would if you were driving at the limit. As well, try to avoid getting stuck in rush hour traffic whenever possible. The constant stop and go will drain your tank much faster. The AC can also drain your gas tank quicker, so if it’s not too hot, just keep the windows down.
By following these various tips, you’ll be able to plan for a successful summer road trip that is also budget-friendly. How do you travel on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!