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» How to Plan a Cheap Summer Vacation

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You will have more fun on vacation if you know you arent spending more than you can afford. Learn how to plan a cheap, fun summer vacation.
You will have more fun on vacation if you know you arent spending more than you can afford. Learn how to plan a cheap, fun summer vacation.
Summer vacations are a perfect opportunity for a family getaway or an active outdoor trip. It’s something we all remember fondly!

Unfortunately, they can get expensive fast, especially if you have a large group to plan for and you may find yourself quickly over budget if you aren’t careful.

Too often people either neglect to take summer vacation or decide to splurge and use their savings to take that big summer vacation trip they’ve talked about for years.

But you can travel without spending a small fortune if you plan wisely and budget accordingly.

Consider the following options when it comes to cheap travel in the summertime.

  1. Make a list of the activities you’d like to experience. Maybe you’re interested in horseback riding, canoeing, golf, or swimming. Look for a facility that includes as many of those activities as possible free of charge or allows you to buy discount passes. If you’re interested in free activities like sightseeing or museums, try to find lodging as close to the activities as possible so you won’t need to pay for transportation.
  2. Make your reservations for hotels and airline tickets as early as possible. The later you wait, the more you pay.
  3. Check out special summer fares for airline tickets. A lot of airlines offer them, but there’s a limited selection of destinations and travel dates. You can also get summer specials on cruises if you look hard enough, but they tend to sell out fast, so you’ll need to book right away if you find one that you like.
  4. If air travel isn’t to your liking, you’ve still got options. If you plan to take your own car, make sure to have the oil changed and the tires inflated to maximize your gas mileage. Or consider renting a car; many car rental companies offer summer deals. You can also get deals on train and bus travel; just check the websites.
  5. When it comes to driving, planning is the key to cheap travel. Take the time to map out your route and figure out where you will stop for gas and food. Mapquest offers a feature that will help you find areas with lower average gas prices to target your stops and save money. Just make sure that you’ll be stopping in safe areas.
  6. Look for discount vacation packages. You can search online or get a travel agent to help you. Vacation packages are particularly good if you plan to do a lot of activities; many will include excursions or activities as a part of the package with no additional cost. However, some packages do charge more for activities, so make sure you know exactly what your package includes.
  7. Consider something different. Instead of traveling to a hotel, try a voluntourism opportunity, go camping, or stay at a bed and breakfast. Voluntourism allows you to stay in exotic locations at a significant discount in exchange for volunteer hours. You could find yourself building houses, painting murals, or cleaning up a park. If you don’t have a tent, you can still find affordable camping trips with lodges or cabins. Cabins are a particularly good option if you have a large group; they’re often cheaper than renting individual rooms for a lot of people, and you can save on food if you take the time to bring your own food.

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