Vacations are a great way to get away from it all and truly escape the daily grind, but not everyone vacations the same way. Some people go for sand and surf, others go to hike in the mountains and forests, yet others want to tour historical sites. Whatever your passion, the key to getting the most from your vacation is not spending too much on the peripherals. By lowering the overall cost of your vacation, you can either dedicate more of the vacation fund to your favorite things or plan vacations more often! Here are a few neat techniques for keeping your costs down without sapping that luxurious fun of a good vacation.
1. Seek Cozier Accommodations
By knowing what you want from your vacation, you can choose lodgings that suit your needs without breaking the bank. Unless you're in it for the towels, room service and hot tub, you probably don't need a full-service, full-priced hotel room. Lodges, bed & breakfasts, cabins, and even residential homes may be available for a few nights to a few weeks for much less than hotel rooms would cost. These options are not only more inexpensive, they're often cozier, cleaner, and more personal than hotel rooms. Booking early can often get you a small discount and smaller business proprietors will appreciate the forward notice.
2. Pack Essentials and Prepare the House
The number one cause of unexpected expenses while traveling is forgotten items. Take some time to mentally go over your trip and make a packing list with everything you will need. For things that you can't take on an airplane, over international borders, or would be cheaper to buy on location, make a separate shopping list for right after you arrive. Once you're packed and ready to leave, do a complete check of your house. Turn off the lights, check the faucets, turn off your thermostat and lock your windows. This is not only good security procedure, it will keep your house from racking up bills while you're gone. If you're handy with the utilities, you can even fully switch off your water and power for the duration.
3. Choose the Right Transportation
If you're staying in downtown-somewhere and everything you want to see is within walking distance of your rooms, you don't need a car for anything but ifyou plan on visiting more far-flung attractions you will want to weigh the relative costs of car rental, Ubers, shuttles, or scheduled tour busses. The prices for these services vary so research will be necessary to determine which option is most cost effective and suits your needs. For those who love to drive or need to set their own schedule, look into inexpensive local car rentals and choose a fuel-efficient model.
4. Cook and Carry a Box Lunch
Unless you're on a tour of local restaurants, you can save a lot of money by getting accommodations with a kitchen and cooking 'at home'. When heading out to your daily activities, take a hearty packed lunch, a few snacks and a large bottle of water. On-site food may be festive, but it is often massively overpriced because there are no other options available. You can get a taste for the real local experience by shopping in a nearby grocery store and trying a selection of popular but unfamiliar items.
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