5 Tips For An Affordable Luxury Vacation
In this economy, its easy to get tied down to the everyday routine that is life. Bills don’t stop, so we find it difficult to in efforts of maintaing our standard of living. However when all we do is fall into the humdrum routine of EAT, SLEEP, WORK, REPEAT we begin to grow weary. EVERYBODY needs a break from time to time, and brief get away can be just what the Dr. ordered. Here are some Tips I use to get the most bang for my buck with my family!
1. Plan as far ahead as possible, when looking to vacation last minute trips are usually something to avoid when on a budget. The last thing you want to do is go on a vacation when you have bills due. Try to plan your vacation atleast 9 months in advance, while it may seem far away the dates come quick. Plan where you want to go, and what activities you want to do, account for any gas mileage, rental cars, food and drinks, spending money and of course where you plan to stay!
2. If the location you choose is far, you will want to decide which travel arrangements are for you. If you are traveling with friends you may decide to take a road trip, if you have a family with small kids that are easily irritated, you may want to try flying, the distance, and accounting for the cost of gas money will be detrimental in your decision. For example if you are a family of 7, it would be cheaper for you to rent a van from a car rental place, this will also take care of your transportation while you are vacationing. My general rule of thumb is if its less than 500 miles, its generally cheaper to drive. Spirit.com and AirTran.com are generally the cheapest airlines. Check and compare prices of rental + gas vs. The price of plane tickets for each member of your party. For travel even if your cell phone has a GPS I recommend a Portable GPS! Cell phones can be distracting in a new environment, or if you get a phone call while you are trying to find your way you may end up lost on the wrong side of town!
3. Now that we know where we’re going and how we are getting there, where are we going to lay our head once we arrive? Well if your like me your ready to relax and need luxury. Most people will start looking on expedia for hotel pricing, but an more affordable and more luxurious option is vacation rentals. Vacation rentals are properties owned by individuals or management companies for the specific purpose of short term vacation rentals. These homes are generally very nice and up to date, with amenities like granite countertops, and all the luxuries of home that most hotel rooms don’t offer such as refrigerators, microwaves, washer and dryers, and modern furniture. These in my opinion are way better then hotels, with more privacy. Vacation rentals can range in price from $50-400 per night depending on the size as they range from 1br condos all the way to 7br mini mansions. You can find Vacation Rentals on websites like homeawayfromhome.com Most vacation rentals will have a pool and if your like me and LOVE pictures get a Lifeproof Cell phone case to make sure you dont water damage your phone!
4. FOOOOOOOOD! OK so now your on vacation with you family and you guessed it, kids are hungry. If you took my advice from #3 your going to start seeing the savings here. Normally on vacation youd have to be ready to fork over tons of hard earned money on fast food and pricey restaurants, where the average family dinner can range from $40-50 per meal, 3 times a day, thats about $150 each day you vacation ouch. With the vacation rentals you can simply go shopping at the local grocer and cook family dinners, or whip up your specialty! You can typically live of $70 of groceries for about 4 days!
5. Look on the local craigslist for discounted tickets, to attractions. Usually if you check the tickets section you can find very good rates on shows, sports tickets, attractions and theme parks from the locals, as always with Craigslist, use caution and do your due diligence, while many use craigslist the right way, there are also many that may use it to try to scam others.