Are you always hunting for ways to travel on the cheap? Planning a frugal vacation is becoming more and more popular. While it’s great to travel, travel isn’t cheap. Finding ways to save here or there are key when it comes to being frugal. Frugal vacationing isn’t about sleeping in a tent in a Walmart parking lot. Being frugal comes in many forms. Read on for 5 ways to plan a frugal vacation.
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5 Ways To Plan A Frugal Vacation
Vacations are essential for relaxation time, quality time with your friends and family, and just getting some time to unplug! However, with more people trying to be frugal, and the prices of everything rising every day, it can be difficult to plan a frugal vacation and still enjoy yourself! I love using Vacations Made Easy to help plan the perfect getaway along with these five tips will help ensure your frugal vacation is great, successful, and enjoyable for all.
Stick Close To Home
Although flying to Hawaii sounds awesome in theory, it’s pretty expensive and won’t make for a very frugal vacation. That is unless you actually live in Hawaii. However, If you live close to somewhere that you can drive to for vacation, planning a frugal vacation at this location will surely save you money.
There are many things you may not be aware of, right in your own town or close by. Taking the kids to a local water park, ski resort, or amusement park. Doing a couples weekend getaway in a close by town. Maybe planning an outing and visiting all the tourist attractions right in your own town. Pack a picnic lunch, find a nice park to sit and enjoy lunch and soak in your own towns character.
One doesn’t need to get a a plane or travel for hours to have a great vacation. Sticking close to home is the best frugal vacation one can have.
While some of the better attractions cost money, there are also usually some free attractions. Before you go on your trip, do some research online to see what attractions are offered in the area and if any of them are free and worth going to see! This way you can find some great activities for your frugal vacation without breaking the bank.
If you can’t find things that interest you that are free, there are always sites you can hit up that have great deals. When we went to Vegas I used Las Vegas Perks to find awesome prices on shows and outings. Groupon also offers great deals that might be of interest to you when traveling. Getting discounts on things is not free, but better than full price.
Save on Gas
If you drive on your frugal vacation, you want to make sure you’re not spending too much on gas. Gas prices can be extremely high in some places, and the cost of gas will add up quickly. Try downloading an app on your phone like Gas Buddy or GetUpSide. Both apps are for finding the best prices and to earn cash back or save money on gas and fuel. This gives you an advantage when you’re getting gas for your car and you won’t have to spend even more time driving around to find something affordable!
While you won’t save thousands, you can save enough to maybe splurge on a nice dinner out, or an extra attraction while traveling.
Hotel Costs Can Break a Frugal Vacation
It might be tempting to get a huge suite at the Hilton, but honestly, vacation isn’t about the hotel room. It’s about getting out, sightseeing, spending time with your family, and getting to explore! Of course you want to have a clean hotel room, but don’t splurge on the hotel too much because then you’ll have to sacrifice money for other areas and it’s not worth it since you’ll only be in there to sleep anyway! Keep an eye on our travel deals page for great deals on hotels, and all sorts of travel.
Basically, a hotel is just a place to sleep and store your belongings while you are out enjoying the vacation. It’s not hard to find nice hotels that don’t break the frugal vacation bank. Another great tip is to use reward cards. Marriott and IHG are 2 I highly recommend. Over the years of using both cards for all our bills and daily spending, we have earned more free hotel stays than we can use. It’s great to bank them up and have them there when we want them.
Dine In not Out
While everyone loves to dine out and be waited on, it can get very expensive. Cooking your own food, or packing your own lunches helps save money.
If you are staying in a hotel, maybe opt to find one with a kitchenette or at least a microwave and fridge. Packing foods you can quickly prepare helps save a ton of money. Canned soups, meat and cheese, microwave meals, fruit and veggies. This of course doesn’t mean you can’t eat out. But, the more you can eat the food you brought, the more you save.
Same goes for splurging at a bar on drinks. Drinks can cost a lot of money when traveling. Bring your own mixes from home and enjoy cocktails in your hotel room, or at the pool if allowed.
Using Apps While Traveling
Yes, I can count and I know this is tip number 6. However, it’s a great one that I felt needed to be added.
There are so many great apps you can download when planning your vacation, that will help save money while on vacation. A few of my favorites are the Expedia app, Hotels.com app, and of course, Groupon. These are my most used apps when we travel.
Final Frugal Vacation Thoughts
For those who love to travel, but just can’t afford jetting off to far away places, I hope this helps you get some travel in. There are many ways to make travel dreams a reality, if you take time to research and put thought into it.
Also, there are many ways to earn money for travel, or for whatever you may need money for. Don’t sit home and follow other travelers on social media! Get out and make your own travel memories. Looking for more ways to save money, check out Hot Couponing.
Enjoy your travel, and stop by our That Traveling Chick Facebook page and tell us all about it.