OK… so have you actually figured out your vacation since you read the first post? If not, there’s still time… and there’s a few more tips!
6. Pack as much food as possible with you – Nothing kills a vacation budget faster than eating out three meals a day, so stock up on food. Packing a cooler and a picnic basket will keep food available to you around the clock and let you decide when eating out is worth the expense. If you have long travel times and can’t pack food before you leave, set a budget and buy supplies from a local grocer once you arrive. If you’re doing a car trip, pack the car with munchies for along the way.
7. Stick to your budget – Going overboard while on vacation is one of the easiest and most natural things in the world to do. After all, you’re out there having fun and enjoying an incredible experience. Who wants to worry about spending a little more than planned, or having to say no to everything your friends or family want? Take cash (or traveler’s checks) for some of your expenses, and leave some of your credit cards at home. In other words, know how much you want to spend before you go, and limit your spending options while you are there.
8. Have a backup budget – If you’re going to overshoot your budget for some reason, at least have it planned out before you leave. It might be an extra $100 tucked in your wallet, or a back-up credit card at-the-ready. Just make sure you know that once you go past X amount, you are into your backup budget. Make sure the backup budget has an absolute limit and understand that it isn’t only for additional “fun money”. Your backup budget is there in case the airlines lose your luggage, you have to rent a car unexpectedly, or your flight gets canceled and you have to stay over a day or two longer than planned.
9. Have Fun! No matter what, make sure you spend your vacation days enjoying yourself. Money spent on a vacation that doesn’t leave you feel refreshed is a waste. So have a great time – and remember, a great time doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
You’re all set – now just figure out where you’re going and have a blast! Oh, and let us know how these tips worked on your super frugal but still totally fun vacation.