When the economy is suffering through a recession, it is common for family vacations to be one of the first luxuries placed on the chopping block. There is a need for people to get away from their daily lives every so often, however, and vacations can also be a great bonding experience. Instead of cutting out vacations altogether, families and individuals need to discover inexpensive ways to travel to new places.
Finding an Inexpensive Hotel
Lodging expenses are among the most cost prohibitive aspects of any trip. Rather than let this stop you, however, you simply need to do some research. There are multiple websites that are able to offer you the opportunity to book into a high class hotel for a discount rate. You can also save money by participating in a hotel chain’s rewards program and by looking up the social networking pages for each of the hotels that you are considering. It is common for hotels to provide special discounts for their Facebook fans and Twitter followers, so make sure you look into that before you book a room.
Saving Money on Meals
Although it might cost a few more dollars each night, you should consider staying at a hotel that offers a kitchenette. If a kitchenette is not available, then you should look for a room that has at least a miniature refrigerator. This will allow you to make several of your own meals. Eating out three times a day is extremely expensive, but packing a picnic lunch and then making food in the hotel room for dinner will be comparable to the cost of your regular grocery expenses.
Ask for Discounts on Local Attractions
Most hotels have discount coupons available for local attractions. Before you head out the door each morning, you should consult with the front desk to see if they are able to provide you with any coupons or vouchers. Many museums also offer free or discounted days, so make sure that you do some research to determine which attractions are best for which days. It would make no sense to go to the museum on Tuesday if they offer a half price option on Wednesday, for example, but a lot of people fail to plan such things out. By thinking ahead, you can save a lot of money.
Flying vs. Driving
Most people assume that driving is always the cheapest option, but this is not necessarily the case. Do an analysis of the gas prices along your route, and compare the total cost to the cost of flying to your destination. Do not forget to factor in transportation costs at your destination, and make sure that you look for sales before you book a flight.
Where Should I Go?
If money is really tight, then you should probably go to a location that is only a few hours away. Hotels are also often cheaper in smaller towns, so consider taking a trip to a less popular destination. Regardless of where you go, however, a little forethought and research will allow you to dramatically reduce the total cost of your trip.