How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Vacation

’Tis the season for social media feeds full of photos of white sandy beaches, picturesque mountains, or exotic locales. Well, envy no more because budget-friendly vacations are right at our fingertips! Here are some of our best tips and tricks for traveling without breaking the bank.

Pack Lightly

If you plan on cashing in those frequent-flier miles this summer, avoid baggage fees by packing lightly. This is even easier if you plan on staying in an Airbnb with a washer and dryer. If not, pack pieces you can mix and match comfortably to create multiple looks while away.

Snack Smart

If you’re taking a road trip, where you grab snacks can save you money. We know it’s tempting, but instead of loading up on expensive gas station and rest-stop food, bring snacks and meals along from the grocery store. If there is a large group, purchase snacks in bulk and split the cost evenly. The same goes for drinks. Pack a cooler to avoid expensive purchases.

Cheap Entertainment

Most destinations have cheap (and free) attractions. As you plan your trip, aim to incorporate as many of these activities as possible.

Eat Like a Local

Make it a vacay rule that no meals should come from chain restaurants. These places (think: Hard Rock Café) are especially pricey in touristy areas. Instead, ask locals about their favorite places to eat. These will likely be more affordable, and you’ll support the local community when you visit.

Are You From Around Here?

As you explore new places, talk to the locals about what they enjoy doing and seeing in their town. If you’re worried you’ll meet more tourists, the best people to turn to for advice are bartenders and waitstaff.

Home Cooking

If you’re staying at an Airbnb, cooking your own meals is always an option. You’ll save money buying groceries versus eating out. If you aren’t staying somewhere with kitchen access, you can keep sandwich-making supplies in your hotel room and take advantage of free continental breakfasts.

Consider Meal Times

For foodies with a slew of restaurants to try while on vacation, see if you can visit them for breakfast or lunch. Oftentimes these menus are significantly more budget-friendly than their dinnertime counterparts.

Stacks on Stacks

If you’re concerned about not having enough money for a vacation, start a special bank account for future travel and give it time to accumulate. When your vacation arrives, you’ll pull from there!

Do you have any budget-friendly vacation tips? Share them with us in the comments below!

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